We were feeling good when we finally got rolling from Marysville and we made the T-call (relay) in Gary. Although when we went to New Boston, MI to fuel the fuel pumps were only putting fuel out at one gallon every five seconds. We had to put nearly 200 gallons in and it was freezing outside. We then got the load headed for Lodi, CA. Lots of miles, enough time to get it done and it would be part of last weeks paycheck. We realized the boxes were made in Indiana by the same company we had picked up boxes from in California. Why don’t they make these cereal boxes in California? At first everything was fine and we got as far as Wyoming without incident. The wind was picking up and I was having problems maintaining speed on the flat let alone on the hills. Passing a chemical plant that had a smoke stack where they burn the smoke I noticed that the wind was so strong the flames were bent over parallel to the ground. I figured that was the problem I was having as I had a very heavy load so I pulled in to the truckstop that was right there. The next morning Liz headed out but quickly had the same problem and the wind was not very strong. We pulled off at another truckstop in Wamsutter, WY and notified OnRoad again. They deemed that our fuel filter needed replacement and we needed to go to the other side of the highway and get it taken care of. The place was closed but they had a 24 hour service. The parking lot was unplowed so Liz didn’t want to pull in and we waited across the street. We notified OnRoad that is where we would be but they never passed the word along. Finally the repair shop found us and we got in. They agreed about the filter and we were back on the road pretty quickly.

That evening the weather went to hell again and we saw a sign saying chains were required ahead. I decided that since I have never put chains on the truck I was not going to do it in the dark and we pulled in to a “truckstop.” I use the quotes because it was really an RV park and convenience store with a little bit of room for trucks. I pulled in next to another truck but it was already slippery and a little tricky. It seemed that they plowed with a front end loader which packed the snow down and then it froze so basically we were parked on a sheet of ice. In the morning the roads were clear and we were going to get started again. We were able to borrow a little bit of cat litter to get some traction and got out. I had tried to get the chains to use but the pad lock was frozen so I couldn’t get them out.

As we approached Salt Lake City we had the engine protect problem again, twice. We were able to get to the terminal where they told us it would be Wednesday before they could look at it. This was Monday. We also needed a preventive maintenance service so we said do that as well.

We slept in the truck Monday night and then rented a car on Tuesday to get out and see a little of the area. We went to Park City to do some Christmas shopping and then we went to Temple Square. Very interesting and we met a woman whose grandfather and great-grandfather had actually helped build the temple. Tuesday night we were sleeping and the engine protect problem kicked in at 3:30 in the morning when it was in the teens outside. Obviously the rest of the night was not pleasant. At 7:00 they knocked on the door saying they were ready to check the truck. We got our laundry and left. When I checked back several hours later they said it was almost done but they needed to get a new coolant sensor. I pointed out it had been replaced less than a week before but he was sure that was the problem. They got the part and installed it and the problem happened again within five minutes. They then decided they needed to dig deeper. We checked on being able to stay in a hotel since we would not be able to stay in the truck. Our ever helpful DM gave us some directions that the local people didn’t understand but they simply took care of it here. We agreed that if the truck wasn’t ready by five we could go to the hotel.

In the meantime we are also trying to get Liz upgraded to a solo driver but the person who does driving tests is not available. At the very end of the day there was another person who needed to upgrade as well. So I gave him his driving test and his mentor gave Liz hers and we got that done. Not bad, been driving solo for 10 weeks and I am certifying other drivers.

We went to the hotel after that was completed. Fortunately normal hotel, Days Inn, had been converted to a safe house so we got to go to a Microtel instead. It is miles better than any Days Inn I have ever stayed in. Staying in a real bed and using a real shower and bathroom was wonderful.

This morning our truck is still not ready and it will be at least noon, that was told to me around 8:00. I contacted the DM and pointed out we had been down for three days and needed a new truck. She said “I’ll see what I can do.”

The adventure continues.