Old May 22, 19, 2:44 am
Loose Cannon
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Let me check my Logbook
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards; AAdvantage; Alaska Mileage Plan; Wyndham Rewards; Choice Hotels
Posts: 1,757
Southwest Sojourn: Valley of the Sun to the Permian Basin; Texas Layover

Tour of Duty 29th April 2019 to 13th May 2019
Part II: 30th April to 5th May

I awoke Tuesday morning and got ready and got transport to the address the shipper gave me and located the truck. I loaded my gear and did the safety inspection and alas I found that a top front marker light toward the passenger side was burned out or otherwise inoperable. I had to wait for instructions from dispatch on what to do/where to go regarding getting the light fixed and I also had to wait while my Arizona Trip Permit was ordered. The Trip Permit was ordered and sent to my Smartphone. I was told to go to a truckstop to get it fixed but there were no truckstops with repair shops in the Phoenix area.

Trip: Phoenix, AZ to Midland, TX 756 actual miles
Make: 2019 Mack
Model: Vacuum Truck
Transmission: Automatic
Maximum Governed Speed: 66mph
Route: Interstate 10 to US54 to Texas 601 to Loop 375 back to Interstate 10 to Interstate 20 to Texas 349
Highest elevation: 4,974 feet at Texas Canyon Interstate 10 14 miles east of Benson, AZ and 20 miles west of Willcox, AZ
Highest diesel price USA: 3.299$ per gallon at Pilot Lordsburg, NM
Lowest diesel price USA: 3.159$ per gallon at Pilot Midland, TX
Permits required: AZ and NM Trip Permits

I hopped on Interstate 10 and headed to the Petro in Eloy, AZ. I checked in at the shop and explained the situation with the light. The person at the desk said there was a choice: They could replace the light with one that looks different but will work perfectly fine or they could send a runner to Phoenix to get the exact same light and there would be considerable additional expense as well as considerable time involved. I phoned dispatch and was told to go with the first option but save the bad light for the customer. I was rolling again in a short time. I ate at the TA in Eloy, AZ then I stopped in Tucson, AZ for a pit stop and then I spent the night in Willcox, AZ.

Wednesday I continued east. I took on fuel and had late midday rations in Lordsburg, NM. I stopped at Walmart in Deming, NM for some supplies. I took another rest break near Las Cruces, NM and saw the sunset and learned about a major traffic delay in El Paso, TX. I researched the situation with my smartphone and found that a section of Interstate 10 was totally closed due to construction. I made another quick pit stop at the rest area just inside Texas and saw the delay was smaller but still existed. One alternate would take me very close to the border with Mexico and one wrong turn would land me in Mexico so I opted to take US54 to Texas 601 to the Loop 375 back to the eastbound 10. Traffic moved well almost all the way on that detour and I stopped at truckstop on the east side of El Paso and phoned up hotel in Sierra Blanca to inquire about parking and availability. The delay with the flight, the delay with getting the light replaced and the delay with the construction detour in El Paso cost me my opportunity to make delivery on Thursday. After getting a favourable response I continued east and spent the night in Sierra Blanca, TX.

Thursday the weather was fair to start but clouds increased as I headed east. I phoned the receiver and it was confirmed I would not be able to deliver until Friday. I stopped to take on fuel in Van Horn and had midday rations there as well. I took some pictures of Van Horn before continuing east and starting my run on Interstate 20. I stopped in Pecos and took numerous pictures of that city then had evening rations at Old Mill BBQ & Burritos in Pecos, TX. I had a BBQ Brisket sandwich. I spent the night in Odessa, TX.

Friday I headed to the Pilot where I took on fuel as I was instructed to deliver the truck full of fuel. A couple of trip possibilities fell through. I made delivery and the receiver took a long time in checking in the truck. Finally delivery was complete and no trip was available. I got transport to MAF and still no trip so I used some points and got a room at hotel where a shuttle was available. The hotel was near a shopping centre that had a supermarket as well as some eating options. I got settled in and there apparently was some rain though no storms and I saw a rainbow outside. I walked to the shopping centre and split my evening rations. I had an Italian Sandwich at Potbelly's. I was surprised to see a Potbelly's that far from Chicago. Then I went to the H-E-B Supermarket and had a BBQ Brisket Sandwich. I spent the night in Midland, TX.

Saturday morning I got up earlier than usual and took advantage of the free morning rations that the hotel provided. I used more points and extended my stay another night. I phoned up a church and talked to the pastor and made arrangements to be picked up for Sunday School and the Sunday Morning Church Service and then to be taken to the airport to catch a flight. I booked a nonstop on WN from MAF to DAL. I checked in online at T-24hrs and got A45. I also booked a room in Dallas at a hotel that had an airport shuttle for Sunday evening. I opted to fly to Dallas to get in better position because I thought that there was a better chance of getting a trip either out of the DFW Metroplex or somewhere else within rental car range of Dallas as opposed to Midland. I did laundry and relaxed some then I walked to the shopping centre and I saw the sunset. I went to Potbelly's where I had a Roast Beef Sandwich and I saved the receipt from the previous evening and got a discount. I spent the night in Midland, TX.

Sunday morning I got up early and took advantage of the free morning rations that the hotel provided. Then I got ready and checked out and was picked up and taken to Temple Baptist Church for Sunday School and Church. The subject for Sunday School was the Fear of God with Proverbs 2:1-9, Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10 the main texts. One of the parishioners was a fellow "Benedict Arnold" and had a chat with him. Later when he took his coat off I saw he was carrying a firearm. The sermon for the main church service was entitled "Three Questions" and those three questions were as follows: A Question of Salvation; A Question of Lordship and A Question of Love. After the service I was taken to MAF where I was dropped off.

I checked in and checked my bags which weighed 45.0 and 45.5lbs. I cleared security after a short queue. I opted out and was patted down and there was no additional screening of my carry on items. Total time from beginning of check in to clear of security was 22 minutes. I saw a couple of other Hatwearers while I was waiting for my flight. MAF reminded me of LGB as far as the size of the airport goes though the major difference is that people board planes at MAF via jetway and people board planes at LGB the old fashioned way.

Southwest #3294 MAF-DAL B-737-700 Boarding Pass A45
Seat 23A Cruising altitude 41,000 feet Estimated flying time 0:48, actual 0:55
Depart: Gate 3 Scheduled 13h55, actual 13h59 Taxi: 9 minutes
Arrive: Gate 4 Scheduled 15h10, actual 15h07 Taxi: 4 minutes
Reclaim checked bags 20-21 minutes after arrival

We boarded via jetway. The plane was not totally full with a load of 89/143 and I had an entire row to myself. Pushback was 4 minutes late and takeoff was to the south. Almost immediately we crossed Interstate 20 and I saw downtown Midland in the distant haze. At 0:06 I saw what looked to be Big Spring, TX to the distance. Then clouds started to increase. At 0:19 I got cup of soda. At 0:20 I got pretzels. Clouds blocked the view below. At 0:22 it was announced we are starting descent to DAL and it was 79F/26C at DAL. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. I actually felt descent begin at 0:27 and clouds blocked the view though the clouds broke later. We went over Alvarado, TX at 0:38. At 0:40 I saw US287 then US67. At 0:42 we crossed Interstate 35E. At 0:43 I got glimpse of downtown Dallas to the distance. At 0:44 we crossed Interstate 45 over Hutchins, TX. At 0:45 I saw the junction of Interstate 20/US175/Interstate 635. We made turns over the Dallas area and landed north to south and we arrived at gate 3 minutes early. We deplaned via jetway. After I reclaimed my checked bags I went to the area to be picked up by hotel shuttles and had a LONG somewhat uncomfortable wait for the hotel shuttle.

The hotel shuttle finally came and picked me up. I checked in and got my items in my hotel room and got settled in. I was concerned that the air conditioning for the room might not be working well and I mentioned that to the front desk but I decided to allow it more time to cool the room while I was away for evening rations. The shuttle took me to Dunston's Steakhouse where I had evening rations. I had a 9 ounce bacon-wrapped filet mignon, rolls, salad, french fries and black eyed peas. I also had blue cheese dressing for dip for the french fries. The quality of the food was superior and the price was very very reasonable. I was very pleased with the service. I walked back to the hotel and when I got back to my room I saw the temperature dropped several degrees to pretty much what I wanted it for overnight. I was glad that I did not have to change rooms though the front desk offered to allow me to change if I felt it was necessary. I spent the night in Dallas, TX.
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