Vegas, Baby

Looking at Buffalo Bill’s Hotel & Casino at Primm, NV.

Ok, now I remember why I stopped driving long-haul. I left for Vegas on the 27th about 17:00. Drove up, unloaded and made it back to Kingman before I took my break. Left Kingman yesterday about noon and drove back to Phoenix, reloaded and headed for Primm, NV (CA/NV state line on I-15) with a load for Chevron. Made it to Primm, unloaded and couldn’t get the brakes to release on one axle!

I ended up overnighting at one of the hotels in Primm. Road repair came out in the morning and adjusted the brakes on the truck and trailer. They were all 1/4 turn too tight, and the suspect axle was almost 1/2 turn over-adjusted. Made it back to Phoenix about 18:30 and I’m going to crash.

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Gringo Pass

They sent me to Mexico last night. Well, almost. If you drive from Phoenix to Gila Bend, you travel on Hwy 85. If you continue south on 85 from Gila Bend, eventually you come to Ajo, AZ. Further on and you pass through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and come to the town of Lukeville, AZ. Any farther south and you need a passport and currency exchange.

In the town (wide spot in the road is more like it) of Lukeville is the Gringo Pass Trading Post and RV park. This is the last gas in the US, on the road to Rocky Point. And I had a delivery for them. It’s always fun to drive until you see the “International Border 1/2 mile” sign and then keep going until you are staring at the Border Patrol agents and a line of barbed wire. This was across one end of the parking lot at the station! Pumped the gas off into above-ground tanks and headed back toward civilization. Past a USBP checkpoint and on through Ajo and Gila Bend and back to Phoenix. 8 hours round trip. 

Bullhead City

Went to Bullhead City last night. Just like Kingman only longer. Split load to two stations up there. The first station went smoothly, nice clerk, etc. The second station made up for it. The store clerk acted like he was doing me a big favor by just say “hi”. 

But, I came back through Lake Havasu City and Parker. Pretty drive, even in the dark. 

Oil Can City

Another trip to LA. This one isn’t at all like my first one. I left Phoenix at midnight on the 18th and drove straight through to be at the Wilmington rack by 09:00. Unfortunately there was a TON of traffic and I barely made it in time. Fun times in Oil City. 10w30 oil is not fun to play with. Not only does it lubricate the insides of engines, it does a wonderful job on stair treads and railings. Top loaded and guess who held the stinger so it didn’t shoot out of the tank? Yuck.

Finally finished after an hour and a half and back into traffic headed for Palm Springs and a motel room. Mid day traffic isn’t much better than morning traffic. It was never this bad when I lived here! Honest. 

Dragged myself to the motel and crashed out. Woke up and headed out after my 10 off. Made it back to Phoenix about 04:00 today. And I’m going back to work for a while tonight and then I have 3 days off.

Red Dye Express to Page

Took my first load of Red-Dye diesel last night. I had to go from the rack in Phoenix to the Navajo Generating Station in Page, AZ. 284 miles one-way.

Came in an hour late, after sleeping off the Kingman fiasco the night before. Loaded the truck at Kinder-Morgan and headed up the hill toward Flagstaff. Nice trip…lots of slow going though. Turned down Mercedes engines don’t like hills. Made it to Page and then to the power station. The escort took me right through the middle of the station. It was like driving down an alley with no walls…just steel beams and tubes and stuff on either side. LOUD! Kinda scary being in the belly of the beast. Cool though. Not many people get to see something like that.

The plant had a pump to get the fuel off. And it had four hoses so I could drain all 4 compartments at once. Sweet! Quick work and then back to Phoenix. What do you mean this truck will only go 400 miles on a tank of fuel…downhill with a good tailwind?! Limped back into Flagstaff on fumes and fueled at a CFN station. Left Phoenix at 18:50 and didn’t get back until 8:30 in the morning. But it was Saturday morning so there was not much traffic. Cool weather and nice scenery in the dawn light.

Tires & TAs

What a night. Rolled out of the yard at 17:15, loaded and headed for Kingman with a load of gas for the T/A up there. Made it to Wickenburg and picked up a nail in a drive tire. Had to wait 4 hours to get it fixed. They couldn’t get hold of the tire shop in Wickenburg so they sent a tire repair truck from Phoenix (90miles). I didn’t get back until after 6:00am! I’m going in late tonight! I need my sleep. 

Frustration

I hate TAs! Actually I hate WalMart DCs worse. Made one trip to the TA in Eloy last night. We have to scale in and out. Wouldn’t want them to miss out on a single ounce of fuel. 

And then off to the WalMart Distribution Center in Buckeye. This one is a beaut. After unloading, we have to sit and wait for 30 minutes before we can leave. This is to allow the fuel to settle. Never seen diesel need to settle. The readings before the 30 minute period and after have always been the same. Waste of time…and usually late at night (last load, etc).