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i'm ready for my close up mr demille
soopageek
Location: Belgrade, Montana

As you can tell, I'm in the process of making my way westward.  The past few days have been rather eventful, so here's a quick recap.

Wednesday evening I met tundraguy1979 at the Flying J there in Haubstadt.  Over dinner we talked about the trucking biz, since he's currently lreaning to become one.  It was pleasant conversation and company and hope to do it again sometime, since more often than not, it seems I am eternally in Indiana.

On Thursday I did some hard driving across Illinois, Missouri and a good deal of Iowa.  I had to stop in Omaha, the location of my company's main terminal and headquarters.  See, CDL holders have to have medical examinations every two years and mine expired that very day.  I got into Council Bluffs, Iowa just across the river from Omaha with not enough hours to make it to the terminal on the west side of the city, so I camped out at TA until 3am then went to the terminal.  When you go through a terminal for Werner they have what's called a "Safety Lane" where some mechanics do a quick inspection of the truck an trailer and determine if it needs anything.  They determined mine needed quite a bit of work to be done, so I parked in front of the shop and caught a quick nap on a recliner in the driver's lounge until the Doc came in.  Turns out it was time for a random drug test as well, so we got that out of the way in addition to the dog and pony show of the physical exam.  The truck was still not ready, but as luck would have, they were having some sort of free burger/hot dog barbeque occuring on the premises, so I had some lunch then headed for the arcade in the driver's lounge.  This is one of the cool things about the terminal on Omaha - the arcade room is free.  First came the Centipede/Millipede/Missile Command combo machine followed by some Ms. Pac/Galaga.  Then I made my way over to Rush 2049... I was a big fan of Rush the Rock back in the day....  but enough of this...  What I found out later after I walked back over to the shop was that due to a rather sizeable leak in the rear main seal, my truck was going to the Pete shop to be covered under warranty and probably wouldn't be ready until at least Tuesday... yeah Tuesday  Since I was under a load due to be in Seattle on Monday, they opted to swap me out of the truck.  So, that's right kids, I have yet another truck... it's still a Peterbilt and it's candy-apply RED.

By the time I got everything transfered out of the old truck and into the new, it was 6:30.  I managed to make it into central South Dakota before becoming too sleepy and pulled it into a rest area for the night.  I got up this morning and decided since it was such a beautiful day that I was going to go see Mt Rushmore.  And I did, kinda.  The reason this entry isn't accompanied by lotsa cool pictures is because the closest I could get was the town of Keystone right at the entrance to the National Monument.  Commercial vehicles are not allowed into the park.  In Keystone, however, they had s ski-lift that took you up high enough on an overlook that you could see it, from quite a distance.  Most of the pictures I took up there were quite shitty.  I may get some of them online later, but currently their underwhelming quality doesn't have me very motivated to share them.  Two cool thigns about the ski-lift though: at the top was a grill where I had a buffalo burger that was quite tasty and I got to alpine slide back down, which I had done in years.  I'm surprised I didn't kill myself.  Even though I couldn't get as close as I would've liked to truly appreciate Mt Rushmore, all-in-all it was a nice experience.  Maybe sometime this week when I'm not quite so tired I'll get around to actually writing about it and sharing some pictures, but I'm not making any promises.

When done in the Black Hills (incidentally, I've had "Rocky Raccoon" stuck in my head all day now) I put down a solid 8 hours of driving with one stop to make a coupla sandwiches and take a whizz.  It's doubtful I'm going to make it to Seattle by 8am on Monday due to the day-long detention in Omaha, but I should make it into Seattle sometime on Monday and get to work unloading this trailer.  I wish this entry could've been more interesting, but I'm rather tired and have already spent an hour or so catching up my f-list.  My apologies for any glaring typos, word ommissions, or other typing faux pas 'cos I'm too tired to proof-read this mother fucker.

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My sister just got back from South Dakota.. she said that Mt Rushmore was the most boring thing she saw during the 2 weeks she was there. Apparently, in order to park and look at it, even from the road, you have to shell out some bucks. So she and her boyfriend parked about a mile or so up the road and walked down. She said it looked more interesting as they were whizzing by it, hehe.

I *guess* it's good you got a new truck, I mean, I'd hate for you to be broken down in the middle of BFE, yanno.

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