I’m a passenger for the next week and a half

Had I been thinking before we left home this time I would have packed some card making items. That way I could create some fantastic (ha ha) wonky cards while being bounced and jostled along the way. Saving any stamping or heat embossing work for the nightly stops at hotels.

Alas, I was in such a dither to get the Thank You cards finished in time I didn’t do any thinking otherwise 😦

Tuesday we deadheaded from home to Birmingham, Alabama for Joe’s trucks going to Greenfield, California.


On the way to Alabama we got a call about two trucks for me from Montgomery, Alabama to Bossier City, Louisiana.


That little side trip is now finished.

To get back on track for Joe’s load we are taking US 287 north through Texas to link up with Interstate 40.

Long ago US 287 was called the “Monfort Highway”. Greeley, Colorado had the nation’s largest feedlot for cattle being shipped in from nearly everywhere. This feedlot was named Monfort. Also in Greeley was a slaughter house and beef packing plant named Monfort as well.

The truck drivers for Monfort were legendary. Fast and aggressive drivers, known for their supply of drugs to keep them awake for day after day, and they also supplied these drugs to other truck drivers that asked for them. Mostly the cattle truck drivers sought out Monfort drivers for the goods.

Fantastic wrecks were common back then. One of the worst and frequent type of wreck was a “Swinging Meat” truck. Back in the 1950’s to 1970’s sides of whole beef were suspended from a rail and hook device inside a refrigerated trailer. You can well imagine the results of a highway exit taken too fast or an “S” curve on a road. The swinging meat would be banging around inside the trailer. The 75,000 pounds of mobile weight was the undoing of many truck drivers, not to mention the fatalities incurred by these trucks wiping out passenger cars.

Monfort no longer exists because of these wrecks, and many other problems that arose from demanding more out of their drivers than was humanly possible.


US 287 is still a major roadway used by trucks to get from the southeastern part of the US to its northern highways.

Safe travels to everyone on the many highways and byways this Memorial Holiday weekend.

As the truck drivers long ago used to say over the CB radio. “Keep the shiny side up” as you drive to your destinations.



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

10 responses to “I’m a passenger for the next week and a half

  • aspot2stamp

    I so love all the neat information you share. Really makes me feel like I’m along for the ride. I have been getting your updates but have been researching the junque journal thing like a crazy woman. I am going today to get the girls each a notebook so they can create as well. They like me tend to save tons of little trinkets,pieces of paper ect 🙂 I think for Will I ‘ll just get him a sketch pad so he wont have a frilly girly journal. We are currently having roasty toasty heat here so staying in is what we will be doing. Sorry to not have checked in with you sooner. You could use your passanger time to jot down all those brilliant ideas that come to you while driving down the road. I know I see things and ideas are sparked and sometimes color combos. Just an idea 🙂
    Take care and Praying for safe travel for you and Joe this holiday weekend as well.

    Much love and bug hugs

    • Message In A Fold

      You are having the full gamut of weather aren’t you. Winds, rain, and now heat! Good time to be creative.

      Sounds like you have junque journals taken care of for all of you guys. Hope to see photos 🙂

      This trip is shaping up to be more of a memory jogger than I expected. Joe was a passenger yesterday and neither one of us is any good at it 🙂

      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Well I’m glad those days of drugged drivers is over on that route now. We have just had a rather nasty accident happen on the forecourt of our local garage….Ruth’s in-laws business. Sadly the woman driver who caused the accident died at the scene; her car sideswiped the petrol pumps smashing them up completely. How on earth there wasn’t a fire? A young woman who works at the garage had to be cut out of her car and has badly bruised legs but the young lad who was dragged by the car suffered fractures to eye sockets and ribs and has a punctured lung. Luckily he is not considered critical. So much damage and loss of life because of driving far too fast.

    Enjoy being a passenger Leslie 🙂 You should have taken your knitting!!!!!!

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Oh my goodness! How awful! Did the vehicle destroy all the petrol pumps?

      Your daughter’s in-laws have quite a lot to deal with in order to get back up and running again. Repairing structural damage, having underground systems checked for any damage, then the costs involved to do all this plus get in new pump machines. What a disaster.

      I hope the poor young man who was dragged heals well with the aid of doctors and nurses ministrations. Poor kid, he’ll have nightmares for a while. As will the young girl trapped in the wreckage.

      Are you and Rod experiencing nicer weather? Enough to be able to ramble around outside and enjoy the air? Take care my friend.

      Love you – Leslie

      • gardenpinks

        The servicing side of the garage will be operational again soon as the police and investigators have finished with their enquiries which should be by mid week but the fuel side of the business will not be operational for up to 2 months! The petrol/diesel underground tanks are undamaged and the controls shutting down escaping fuel all worked but there is quite a mess to clear up and get sorted.
        Mike, the young lad, had an operation to repair his punctured lung and is now having skin grafts on his face where he was damaged as he was dragged along the ground and over broken glass face down.

        I am going to be a typical Brit and moan about the heat 🙂 We have had hot sunny weather for over a week now but it is too hot for me to be outdoors working so I do indoor work during the morning early part of the afternoon and then gardening during the late afternoon. It is supposed to be cooling down a little during this week before warming up again towards the weekend.

        Love and hugs
        Lynn xx

      • Message In A Fold

        That poor young man. What a harrowing experience he had, heart goes out to him. Poor guy must have thought his life was totally over and it had only just started. Once he recovers and heals, physically and emotionally, from this accident he will have one heck of a story to tell.

        The owners of the petrol station must be wringing their hands. The loss of income over the next couple of months is going to be a burden on them. Between the costs of clean up and installation of the new pumps they have to purchase are expenses they never, in their wildest dreams, considered to be part of doing business.

        Do businesses have loss insurance for things like this that will cover this kind of thing? What about auto insurance to take care of property damage and medical procedures of the young man hurt so badly and the woman trapped in the wreckage of her car?

        I know your country has free medical services. I was just wondering how the petrol station owners are going to cope with the looming expenses they face, and what – if any – insurance coverage you guys have over there. Here we have insurance for everything except a hang nail!

        Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Well Leslie it looks as though the County Council will be hit sideways by compensation claims in this case because it seems the road surface was to blame. The garage does have a huge insurance but they won’t want to claim for this against it. Most of the claims will initially go to the woman driver’s insurers who will then fight with the County Council who will also fight with their contractors who did the initial road work. Mike and Emma will also be entitled to compensation so this will be either the woman’s insurers or the County Council. There are also three vehicles that have been written off plus damage to Ruth’s VW Beetle which was on the forecourt of the garage for sale. It is all going to take months to settle. There will be no charge for the fire service needed to cut out Emma and the poor dead woman from their cars and medical treatment is free at point of service. Medical Treatment isn’t actually free as everyone that works pays into the system.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Holy Cow! I didn’t realize the extent of the damage done. Did Emma get hurt while trapped in her car awaiting rescue? Poor woman must have been in a panic!

      Plus Ruth’s VW being destroyed. That, plus her Mother-In-Law being involved in the wreckage must have laid Ruth’s heart down near her feet 😦

      I’m glad to hear everything is working itself out, financially, for everyone. Time will be the longest part of this mess to deal with. I hope the young man hurt so badly will recover from it all and the grafts heal well.

      Such a tragedy there and lots of trauma. My heart goes out to all of them.

      Love you – Leslie

  • Ned Towns

    I’m Ned Towns from Loveland on 287. Maybe some monfort drivers did use drugs but that was not the biggest problem. He was the only company who
    insured his own trucks back then. Larry and Dale did not use drugs neither did most of the others that I knew. The other meat suppliers were his his problem and the union. Things happen. driver : Jesus is Lord.

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you, Mr. Towns, for leaving a comment on my blog. I so appreciate your candid input on my wanderings down memory lane. Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and living in Colorado the largest trucking company, that I was aware of, was Monfort. My first husband used to haul cattle during that time to the feed lots in Colorado and Texas. My information was gleaned by listening to the other truck drivers as they speculated and embellished stories of their travels.

      If my post offended you I apologize for any discomfort I may have caused. Thank you, once again, for leaving your comment. Please forgive the delay in answering. My days run into each other and they seem to get lost in the shuffle at times.


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