Shiny Side Up, Dirty Side Down

Topic 20469 | Page 1

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Burntstick's Comment
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Hello, if you're interested in reading my first two posts to catch up on some of our backstory I started them on the diary titled 'On a Greyhound to Montana and our trucking future with Jim Palmer'. I'm going to be posting under this heading from here on. It just rolls off the tongue easier!

This part of the world is waking up. It's going on 6 am and our bus is an hour and a half east of Missoula, Montana. An hour and half from our final destination on this 40 hour bus ride.The sun is slowly emerging casting a hazy light over the landscape. It's beautiful. A far cry from the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois. HilIs shrouded in smoke from nearby wildfires and valleys being grazed on by herds of cattle. I can imagine the cattle smells on par to the folks on this bus today. Myself included. One can't spend 40 hours on a bus living out of fast food and gas station bathrooms and come out smelling like roses. I can't wait to get off this bus. If everything goes right it will be a long time, if ever, that we find ourselves on one of these coach buses. It hasn't been totally unpleasant, but close. It surprises me that comfort is not taken into account at all when these coaches were being designed. Or perhaps the engineers designing them thought they did have comfort in mind and just missed by a country mile. Regardless, an hour and a half from now it'll be someone else's discomfort. We'll be heading toward a hotel room reserved for us by Jim Palmer Trucking and straight to, what I hope, is a nice long nap on a real bed. We'll get picked up by a shuttle from the Days Inn. I desperately hope there's somewhere near the hotel to get some real food too. Greyhound buses don't stop at truck stops, but at fast food restaurants or just ordinary gas stations, well, at least the ones we've been on since we left. In Chicago we luckily had enough time to find a restaurant, but I had a hamburger, not knowing that for the next 35 hours that's all that would be available. You live and you learn. I can't eat another fast food burger or gas station hot dog though. I need some real sustenance. For our family everything about this is new. Our children both have new lives too. One of the twins moved to be with his older brother in New Mexico for independence from his father(I’m a step-father) and his family, while the other twin stayed back in Illinois having just started a great job at a big hospital. He seems content in his decision to stay and Valerie and I are happy he's found a rewarding job that keeps him motivated. They're both extremely supportive of our decision and have been a part of this from the very beginning. We've leaned on them when doubt loomed and they held us up each time. We're here in large part part because of their love and support. That's how our family works. A friend on a large farm, with a mouse problem happily took our cats, whom she hopes gets right to work eradicating the rodents. If I know those two felines they're already on the job. Disemboweling small critters seemed to be a favorite pastime of theirs at our house. Birds, rabbits, chipmunks, and of course mice were regularly displayed inside out on our back porch. They're cats, it's what they do. Where we get hung up a little is with our dog, Cholo. He's become the heart of our family since we rescued(who rescued who?) him a little over two years ago. He was just a puppy then, only about 4 months old but came from a bad situation and was terrified of everything. He's come a long way. A Chihuahua mix of some odd sort, he has woven himself into our life in ways I never thought possible. Valerie and I have always had large dogs so we were both a little apprehensive when we met Cholo, but it didn't take long. When I get on wifi and figure out how to upload photos I promise to show him off. We knew he couldn't come to training with us so we had to find a suitable place for him to stay until such time that we could all be reunited in our truck. I'd be lying if I said it's not a big motivator for us to learn our new craft so we can get our little boy back. He's staying with a good friend, a doctor and his wife and two girls for the time. They have three dogs of their own and have watched Cholo for us several times in the past so there's a history there. When we dropped him off on Friday he was off running and playing with the other dogs, barely noticing that we were leaving without him. We've already received many Snapchats from him and he's doing just fine. Just fine indeed. Jim Palmer has a great pet policy and that was a huge reason we tried so hard to get on with them. It surprised me to learn how few trucking companies allow pets. It was an immediate deal breaker for us. JPT allows for a wide range of pets from what I can tell, as long as there's only one. A large part of our dream to become truckers included having our little Cholo with us. He'll be the perfect trucker dog. Our mascot. Although this is a big change for us, I'm sure it is for every family when a parent decides to take on the life as an over-the-road truck driver. If it were just me going out to do this I don't think it would work for us. The major appeal for us is getting to be together, husband and wife(and dog of course). Half an hour from's starting to set in. We're really doing this. Our entire family is really doing this. Thank you again for stopping by. I'll be back soon. Shiny side up my friends, shiny side up :)


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

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