First Week Recap

I know I’m a bit behind but it’s a been a busy first week.  We had planned on going to “Available” status with our load brokering company on the afternoon of Monday April 4th after Michelle’s doctor appointment in the morning.  We did end up going live, but ended up not getting any calls that day. 

We got one call on Tuesday for a load out to Utah, but our bid was too high so we didn’t get it.  But then the phone started ringing on Wednesday.  We placed several bids before finally landing a load from Greensboro to Chicago.  Just under 800 “loaded” miles.  Not too shabby to start off.  Pick up was at 5:30 and delivery was 9 the next morning.  But of course, when we went to pick up, the load wasn’t ready yet.  So instead of being able to cruise thru downtown Chicago at 5 AM when there’s very little traffic.  We hit it at 7:30 AM and had to sit in traffic for well over an hour.  Had the customer not given us a bit of a break for starting out 2 hours late, we would have been severely late.  We hunkered down in a WalMart parking lot for a few hours to catch up on some sleep then because of the cold weather we grabbed some dinner and headed out to a hotel in Naperville, IL for the night. 

Friday morning started off with a few more bids for loads before we finally landed one from St. Charles, IL to Auburn, Indiana.  We made the run and got into Auburn exactly at our delivery time.  Unfortunately, as is often the case in this business, if you don’t get a run somewhere on Friday that keeps you moving over the weekend, you usually end up spending the weekend where you end up on Friday.  So we spent the night in Auburn and then moved on down to Fort Wayne, IN on Saturday afternoon.   We went to check out an RV park to see if we could stay there,  but it was unfortunately closed.  It did provide a bit of humor though as Michelle caught the street name on the Garmin.

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Another cold night forced us into a hotel again for the evening which we got at a bargain price on Hotwire.  But we ate some of the food from our cooler and kept our costs down for the night.

Sunday started off a bit snowy before turning to rain and it kept warming up so we gave the Indiana State Park system a try and stayed at the Chain-O-Lakes State Park for the night.

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We pulled in, plugged in our electricity, and warmed up a delicious dinner in the electric skillet while catching up on a few of our tv shows.  The electric heater kept the chill out of the air as we spent our first full night sleeping in the van.

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Getting Started

Before we hit the road, we had to get the van ready for expediting.  That means we had to get everything we needed to both carry freight and live in the van as much as possible to cut our expenses. 

First thing we had to do was add in a new floor.  The floor that the van came with was a rubber mat with some carpet-style backing on top of the metal.  Yeah, we could have just saved ourselves the trouble and ripped out the flooring, but we decided to leave it there for insulation purposes and put a layer of plywood with e-track on top of it.  A friend-of-a-friend took on the job for us and had it finished in a day.  While he was at it, he also installed a row of Rubbermaid Fasttrack on either side near the ceiling so we could hang stuff on the walls up off the floor.

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Once that was in place, we started moving stuff in and getting it organized.  Of course Michelle had to try on the safety equipment in the process. 

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And it all looked much better in the end.

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Enter Tootsie

Time to crank up the old blog again.  Major life change coming up for Michelle and I in the next few days.  We’re both leaving our jobs and going on the road as freight expediters.  We bought a van back in January (which we have named “Tootsie”) and we’ll be hitting the road soon.  We’ll talk more about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it as we go along so come along for the ride.

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Stone Mountain State Park

Our second and probably last camping expedition for the year brought us to Stone Mountain State Park.  Great park with lots of trails.  Unfortunately we didn’t get far enough around the Stone Mountain Loop to actually see the mountain, but we did manage to catch the Stone Mountain Falls (and the stairs from hell) and we did ride down to the Widow’s Creek Falls.  Pretty cool stuff.