Joe aka Slave Driver

Any reference to my husband from now until the end of this mess with Walmart in California – from Red Bluff to Pomona – is going to be as Slave Driver.

We have until June 9 to move 20 trucks 541 miles.  Deadhead from Pomona up to Red Bluff  – 541 miles – for no pay and the trip back for the pay miles.  So he is driven to get this done on time.  We’ve done one round of 4 trucks already.  Got them delivered yesterday and are on our way back up to get 4 more.

Cajon Summit

Friday, last Friday, we delivered in Fontana the trucks we had picked up in Oklahoma City.

Only in California would the highway planning people put a high speed on ramp near the bottom of this 9 mile 6% grade and make trucks merge into the oncoming high speed traffic to get off and into a weigh station.  The smell of brakes getting hot is pungent all down this canyon.  There is a lot of squealing brakes as the trucks try to slow down enough to not hit the on coming traffic as they try to get in the designated lane to the weigh station.  Even at the recommended truck speed of 45, the mass of the vehicle just clipping one of the on coming cars could send that car down a steep and rocky embankment.  Totally stupid on the part of the highway engineers.

I am coming to the conclusion that most of the highway system created in California was done while everyone was in a windowless room smoking marijuana joints.

There are NO mile markers to let a person know where they are.  Just in the last five years they have begun putting exit numbers on all the highway exits.  How the heck are you supposed to let the 911 operators know where an accident is (as we had to inform them on Friday evening).

Pea Soup Andersen's

We had left Pea Soup Andersen’s in Santa Nella (Gustine) California on I-5 going north.  Somewhere – because there are no mile markers – north of the weigh station we had seen the aftermath of the 3 car wreck on the south bound side.  When Joe  called it in the dispatcher wanted to know where we were.  Hellllll-o-o-o  north of Gustine and the weigh station.

I got ahead of myself in that rant.  I have to tell you about my minor incident.  My right hand outside mirror on the

Right hand mirror is gone

truck I was delivering to Fontana on Friday……blew off after it banged twice on the passenger door.  Too little time to get off the road and get it taped.  By the time I did get off the road it was about a mile past and in no shape to be worth going back for.

I had one more time I really needed the right hand mirror to get off the interstate.  After that it was one protected right turn and the rest were all lefts so I managed to get to the delivery site safely.

Okay, back to Santa Nella, or Gustine that it is more commonly known as, and Pea Soup Andersen’s.

One of our friends that does the Driveaway stuff had been to Pea Soup’s and highly recommended it to us if we were near there at any time.  So we stopped in about 2005.


Joe  is not a fan of pea soup so he held out for another year before trying it.  Now he orders it all the time when we get there.


Pepper.  Joe  cooks his food further at the table by dousing it in pepper.  He takes the lid off the shaker and dispenses it on everything.  Ranch dressing is his next condiment of choice and not just on salads.  Cantaloupe,  watermelon, to

Fruit Plate at Pea Soup Andersen's

name just a couple things.

The two hour time difference here in California is wrecking havoc with my body’s rhythms.

We have been getting into the hotel rooms near midnight our time and to bed at 1 a.m. (this is on Central time).  We then get up at 6 a.m. and it is full dark out since here it is Pacific time and two hours behind Central.  I have trouble with dehydration, strange sleep patterns, and the endless going.  This morning has been the first chance I’ve had to spend a small bit of time online to get my blog updated so family and friends know we are alright.  I’m stealing a few minutes now while Joe  is in a hydraulics shop getting some fittings and hoses replaced.  Here he comes so I’ve got to get back to work.

If there are no problems with these trucks while on the road tomorrow we will deliver around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon (local time).  Then we will head back up to Red Bluff for 4 more.  This will be our third set and a count of 12.  If things go well then we will be in Pomona to deliver the fourth set on Saturday and the last 2 trucks will be delivered on Monday.  Now this is if all goes to plan.

If you are thinking of taking a trip to California for the summer, there are a lot of things to do here that don’t include the usual of Disneyland.

Gilroy is the garlic capitol of the world. It is on Highway 152 heading to Hollister.  This is accessed on Interstate 5 going north then east on CA 152.  Further east of Gilroy is Hollister and you can spend a day at Casa de Fruta.  There is a train than goes around the property.  You can see the many ponds and tons of ducks.  I don’t know what you will see while on the little train but I’m told that it is a fun filled trip and you learn a bit about the farming lore of Casa de Fruta.

If you are someone that likes old, and I mean old, harvesting machinery Casa de Fruta has acres of it.  Old pieces of machinery are placed about the property with placards that indicate the make model and year of the piece.  Some tell where the machinery was used.  A lot of it is overgrown with vines but it is not totally hidden.

Casa de Fruta has many orchards.  Citrus, stone fruits (peaches, plums, cherries) and they have nut trees of nearly every variety.  They dry the fruit and package it for their store on the property.  Local wines, and wines bearing the Casa de Fruta brand label are sold in the stores.  Wine tastings are frequent.  There is a restaurant that has some fairly good food BUT the pies are made from their own fruits and is the best pie I’ve ever had.

There are several places along I-5 leading to Sacramento that have biking trails, hiking paths, and there are lakes to boat on.

California has many beaches to play on.  All along the western coast from the Los Angeles area and north are lots of towns near the ocean and they offer different types of excursions on the water.

Traffic here is horrid.  There are people everywhere and the highways are busy.  The roads are for sh** most of the time.  Densely populated areas the highway upkeep is good.  The further inland you go, for example north on I-5, to the farm lands and sparse population the roads are pretty bad.  Jarring chuck holes and slabs of concrete that have caved in.  It is enough to make me whine “Are we there yet?!”

Fresh fruits, nuts, and olives are sold at farmer owned stores.  These are marked by billboards boasting what they offer.  A lot of them are humorous, “Eat & Get Gas” is proclaimed mostly.  Near Corning, way up on I-5 and north of Sacramento, the olive orchards are everywhere.  Corning is the olive capitol in California.  They stuff the olives with nearly everything.  Almonds, onions, the normal pimento, and lots of things I would not think of.  Varieties of olive oil are mind boggling.

As in Gilroy – the garlic capitol of California – the garlic bulb is celebrated in those parts.  Braids and wreaths of garlic are hung in every store.  There are several different types of garlic baking devices from clay to stainless steel.  The varieties of garlic are also numerous.  Did you know there is a BLACK garlic variety?  I didn’t.

The scenery is spectacular where ever you go in California.  At sea level or way up there.  The weather is not too bad for the most part.  At least as long as you stay away from Death Valley and the Mojove desert in the summer.  Those two places are like hell.

Okay, I’ve got to get some other things done while Joe is letting me have an early evening.  I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Weekend and had a blast with family and friends.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

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