A humble truck driver cruisin the country....enjoying all the beauty this country has to offer.
MontanaMatt: Well that's a shocker. I get a notification from Facebook that there's a story that might interest me. I click on it and it's the obituary for my best buddy. I wasn't quite ready to see that. 😢
MontanaMatt: 653 miles is a pretty long day anyway.... but that was especially difficult today. I had trouble staying focused. Hopefully that improves in the next day or so. I am finally parked at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs Iowa for tonight..... and I'm going to run in and have a couple of drinks and maybe throw a $20 in a slot machine. And then crash really hard. 😴
MontanaMatt: Well in the ever-changing trucking industry..... once again things have changed! 😲
It looks as if the load to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has fallen through..... and my dispatcher is now working on a load to somewhere in South Carolina. And I'm okay with that. More miles is more money! 🤑
MontanaMatt: 2.....two....deuce. ✌.... that many. However you want to say it.... that's not enough degrees! Especially when you're in a truck stop just outside of Rawlins Wyoming on top of a hill and the wind is crankin! Gross! All of the gross!
BugHug: Brrrr. That is freakin' cold in farenheit for sure.Equivalent to -16C. We have been 2-5 celsius all week (35-41 farenheit) and numbers staying the same next week. So tired of the stereotypical "Canada is a frozen tundra wasteland".
MontanaMatt: I wanted to tell you all a story about what might have been the best day I ever spent with my buddy Dave. It's one of those memories that will help me get past his death.
This would have been in either 95 or 96.
I had way too much vacation time on the books and my boss told me one day to just go away for a couple of weeks. Use it or lose it type of thing.
Dave was living in Worland Wyoming at the time so I called him up and said I was headed his way for a week. Play some golf and do some fishing. He was all for it and I was there the next day. We were up very early the next morning and fly fishing in the Bighorn Mountains in the headwaters of the Tongue River pretty much at daybreak. Pretty much a very small creek at that point. Surrounded by heavy brush that was probably 10 or 12 feet tall in most places So we start right in and immediately start catching 10 and 12 inch brook trout. Lots of game trails running through the brush but the visibility was really quite limited. All of a sudden we hear a loud grunt. Both of us knew immediately that that was an angry moose. Oh shit! We both immediately pulled in our fly lines and started looking around and listening but it was really difficult to determine where exactly she was. Sound kind of bounces around that brush. After just a couple minutes the grunt was louder and obviously closer and seemed a little more intense. We were getting pretty nervous! And here she comes! Charging around some brush and she stopped about 15 feet short of us. I immediately got what guys call a piss shiver from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. Pretty sure Dave had the exact same feeling. She lowers her head and is continually grunting and snorting at us.... and pretty soon is blowing snot out of her nose and then she starts pawing at the ground. We both knew that was the last warning we were going to get from her. And we had nowhere to go. Dave looked over his shoulder and said..... this is going to suck but we have to jump in the creek and get to the other side. And it's really deep here. I said...FUCK.....I know. And Dave said let's go. So we turned and jumped. I had my fly rod in one hand and my cowboy hat in the other. And the creek was so deep there that I did not touch bottom. My waders were full really fast but thankfully it only took about three strong strokes to be to the other side. We crawled up onto the bank and turned around and she was standing exactly where we were when we jumped. She snorted and grunted a couple of times and finally turned around and disappeared into the brush. We exchanged a few....Holy shits.... and decided we better get out of there. We walked a very long ways upstream before we crossed the creek and hiked back to the truck. Not at all interested in running into her again. We stripped down to our underwear and jumped in the truck and headed back to his place. Nervous laughter all the way.
We decided we might have better luck on the golf course. So we got dressed for golf and headed for the Powell County Country Club. We played the front nine in a pretty steady downpour. Really pretty miserable. But I was hitting my tee shots very well. My irons weren't very good but I did a masterful job of scrambling and shot a 41 on the front nine. I was pretty happy with that but a little bummed out that I might have wasted all of those really good tee shots. We screwed around a little bit in the clubhouse and the rain finally stopped and we headed for the back nine. And it all worked on the back nine. I shot three under par on the back nine and posted a 74. My best 18-hole score by three shots. And Dave still beat me by two strokes. That square-headed little shit was really very good! If I hit a drive 285 yards down the middle.... he hit his 295. If I hit a 9-iron from 150 yards to within six feet of the pin.... he hit a pitching wedge from 135 yards to within 4 feet. But it was so much fun. We both got to be Tiger Woods for the day!
Dave was still regularly shooting in the low-to-mid 70s a month ago. Pretty damn good golf for a 63 year old man!
We had hundreds and hundreds of really great days hunting and fishing and playing golf but that was one of the best. I just need to hold those memories close to ease the pain of losing my buddy.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. It really does help.
MontanaMatt: I am a badly broken man this morning. We lost my friend Dave Gluyas overnight. I've known Dave for more than 45 years. We spent thousands of hours hunting and fishing together. Dave was the guy I was fishing with in Florida a few years ago when I caught a 110 lb tarpon. And caught a 120 pound black tip shark the next day. Dave and his wife Cari met me in Nashville for the CMT Awards show and Fanfest every year. We were roommates in our late teens and early twenties. Some of the very best times of my life. I played the best round of golf in my life with Dave in Wyoming. Dave and I jumped into a creek together to escape an angry moose while fishing in the mountains of Wyoming. I was skiing with Dave in Vail Colorado when I broke my leg.
I'm gonna miss you buddy. RIP my friend.😭
MontanaMatt: Well I'm back on the road and I very much welcome the distraction from my thoughts.
I'm on my way to Idaho Falls Idaho where I will be picking up a load of potatoes in the morning and probably headed for Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The destination isn't yet etched in stone but my dispatcher needs a truck in Pennsylvania so that's what he is hoping for. I'm just glad to be doing my thing again.
MontanaMatt: Here is my buddy Dave when we were walking down the beach in Naples Florida. Just so you can put a face on these stories.
pretty_as_a_peach: I have stood in that exact spot in Naples!! What a beautiful beach. I went to the zoo also. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend Dave. Its the memories we leave behind when we pass that mean the most! Memories is what will keep him with you every day.
MontanaMatt: It's still weird! I left Atlanta at 6 Monday evening. Did a delivery Wednesday morning in Chicago..... dropped an empty trailer and hooked to a loaded one..... and in Billings Montana at 9:30 this morning. Almost six and a half years doing this and that will never stop being weird.
And I've been granted a breather until Monday. And I've already done my grocery shopping....got a haircut....saw my chiropractor.... and I'm at the laundromat now.
MontanaMatt: And I don't feel like cooking. So I might head to the bar/restaurant for some dinner and a bunch of drinks! Spend the night in their parking lot and roll back to the company yard in the morning. I think that's a pretty good plan! 😎
MontanaMatt: I could do the mashed potatoes and gravy and I could do the cranberries. But I just can't cook a turkey in my truck. So tonight it was beef tips and gravy over pasta. And it was great! But I sure do miss those cranberries.
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MontanaMatt in reply to BugHug: I'm actually 140 miles from home base. Just didn't have enough available hours to get there today. And when I get there tomorrow morning I am taking myself off the road until Monday. These last few weeks have been hard on me and I am beat up. I need a couple of days to get my poop back in one pile. 😀
MontanaMatt: More and more states are installing these electronic reader boards over the highway. Most of the time the message is reasonably close to this stupid side of prose. But this morning's message at the Iowa South Dakota State Line made me laugh out loud.
Not Your Head
MontanaMatt: Well not too bad. Into Chicago for a delivery.... over to Romeoville and drop that trailer and grab a loaded one and I'm 50 miles out of town by 10. Maybe the road gods are trying to make up for the fiasco that was yesterday?
MontanaMatt: So when I left Louisville Kentucky my GPS told me I would be in Northlake Illinois by 5:20. At 5:20 I was still 190 miles away. The Indiana Department of Transportation can kiss my ass! And that's exactly what I told them when I called. Absolutely no fucking clue what they are doing! If I never have to visit that godforsaken place again in my life it will still be too soon!
MontanaMatt: So I get empty here in Atlanta and call my dispatcher. It turns out the usual flooring load headed back to Montana won't be ready until Friday. No problem. So I tell my dispatcher I'm more than willing to run around here in the Southeast for a few days until that load is ready. I'm kind of digging this weather. He says let me look at a couple of things and I'll get back to you in a minute. And he calls back and has booked a load from here in Atlanta to.....wait for it......Chicago! 😳 That wasn't exactly what I had in mind! I was thinking more shorts and t-shirt and sandals weather like maybe.....Florida? (Heavy sigh)
BugHug: Aww dang. Well Florida is a dung heep right now until the election is actually called, no? Great weather- not so great state to spend time in. I know I am painting the entire state with the same brush but gawd almighty- somebody educate them folks.
MontanaMatt: I love this roaster a little more every time I use it! This was six or seven different rubs mixed together on a little pork roast....and it was amazing! 🍽🔪🥄
MontanaMatt: Well I'm in Rapid City South Dakota tonight. I thought I was heading home for Thanksgiving but those plans have changed. I am meeting another driver here later tonight and doing the trailer swap and I am headed to Atlanta with another movie theater lobby. There's a company in Billings Montana that makes all the cabinets and candy counters and all of that business for Carmike Cinemas new movie theaters. I think this will be #7 that I have delivered around the country. It's not a bad trip. I just get it there on time and kick back while they unload it. And it's usually a five or six hour unload. They do quite the job building a framework around virtually every piece so it doesn't move at all. So it's lots of time with a screw gun taking it all apart. And it's been the same crew unloading every time I've done this delivery. Pretty nice bunch of guys! Once the trailer is empty they spend whatever time it takes to make sure it is spotless so I don't have to worry about finding a washout. I really do appreciate that!
And once I'm empty in Atlanta Monday I'll be picking up the usual flooring load in Dalton Georgia.....about an hour north of Atlanta...
and head back to Montana. If everything goes very well I might make it back Thanksgiving afternoon. I guess we will see! 🤷♂️
MontanaMatt: Well I think I love my new roaster! The boneless pork ribs are so easy and so spectacular! Eating really well and still down 14 lbs since I saw my doctor less than a month ago! Not exactly sure what has changed but I'll take it! And I'm sure not changing a damn thing now! If it ain't broke don't fix it? Yep!
MontanaMatt: Not sure if I showed you guys this before. I repurposed a shoe caddy to hold all my spices and rubs and cooking goodies in the truck. Pretty proud of myself for this idea! 😛
MontanaMatt: Well I made it to Tulsa and got my delivery done. By the time I got my trailer washed out and reloaded and found a parking place I was right on 31 hours on duty with only 4 hours of sleep. Absolutely trashed! So I was forced to call my little brother and cancel our Friday night plans.... but I took him and his daughter to breakfast this morning so we did get to hang for a couple of hours.
Thankfully a very relaxed schedule getting to Milwaukee. A little over seven hundred miles from Tulsa to Milwaukee and I knocked out a little more than half of that today. I'm about 30 miles past St Louis in a rest area for the night. The plan is to get up early in the morning and get parked very near my Monday morning delivery about time the football games start tomorrow. Still feeling that 31 hour shift a little bit but one more really good day of rest will put me back in order. 😴
MontanaMatt: Today is the day! The schedule has never allowed me to make a stop at the Uranus Fudge Factory in Uranus Missouri..... but it does today! I'm looking forward to some blueberry cheesecake fudge and probably a T-shirt and probably a new hoodie! Yay!
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ChexMix: We have a Russell Stover chocolate factory not very far from us and they have samples of everything if you ask and sometimes just sample trees all over so you could walk into their gift shop and just until John chocolate and I have to buy anything LOL. I would definitely be sampling the different fudges
MontanaMatt: So I was just on Facebook Messenger talking with an old high-school friend. She asked me to tell her about the strangest truck driver that I've met on the road. And I decided you guys should hear this as well.
When I first started driving for this company out of Dallas..... there was a guy around that had started just a few weeks before me. He called himself the Duckman..... and had a pretty sizable rubber ducky glued to the hood of his truck like a hood ornament. 😳
So I ran into the Duckman in a truck stop outside of Chicago a couple weeks of ago. And lucky me..... he recognized me. And insisted I come check out his truck. He had rubber ducks glued to the hood of his truck.... dozens of them.... just about covering every square inch of the hood. And he was wearing a duck hat..... complete with feathers. And of course the bill of the hat was a full-on beak. And of course because he recognized me all of a sudden we were long-lost buddies. Well I'm pretty careful about any amount of that kind of crazy rubbing off on me...... so I told him I had just tested positive for the virus so I could get away. 🤷♂️ Actually I'm pretty proud of myself for coming up with that as quickly as I did.
I've often wondered if this industry attracts really weird people or if it creates them. I think it's probably a bit of both.....but Duckman has the crown in my opinion. wtaf?