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Living On Negative Pay: 50 Days, 18 States, 10 Trips, 7 Flight Segments

Living On Negative Pay: 50 Days, 18 States, 10 Trips, 7 Flight Segments

Old Jan 2, 20, 11:43 pm
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Living On Negative Pay: 50 Days, 18 States, 10 Trips, 7 Flight Segments

Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Jury Duty; The Flights and First Night Out
Part I: 31st October

I was home for a spell and had Jury Duty in Federal Court in Santa Ana, California. I learned that there are some differences in policies and procedures between State and Federal Court. I had to go three separate times in the space of one week and one day. The first day 16th of October the prospective jurors in two separate groups went up to the Courtroom on the 10th Floor and the Judge took at least an hour to read all the charges as this was to be a complex case involving multiple defendants and multiple charges including Mail Fraud connected with Telemarketing. The Judge estimated the trial would last six weeks. After that I went back downstairs and filled out an extensive questionnaire. There was the opportunity for prospective jurors to plead financial hardship but in light of what I was told would constitute financial hardship I did not think I would qualify so I did not even attempt to go that route. I was free to go home and was told to turn up on the 22nd of October. I turned up as directed and sat in the Jury Assembly Room while people were summoned alphabetically by last name in groups of 10 to go upstairs for voir dire. I one of a number of people who were allowed to go home early. On the 23rd of October turned up and it was in the afternoon when I heard my name called. I went upstairs with others in my group and we went into the Jury Deliberation Room which has a door from the outside and another door leading directly into the Courtroom. I was questioned based on my answers to the questionnaire first by the Judge then by the Prosecuting Attorneys then by the Defence Attorneys. To make a long story short I was able to segue the dialogue and I declared that I am a strong believer in Jury Nullification. The Judge asked me to explain what Jury Nullification was so I gave a brief answer saying that I believe that the Jury has the right to judge the law as well as the facts. I made it clear that I did not really expect that to be a factor in the case at hand but I made it clear that if there was any conflict between the law and my conscience, my conscience would win hands down. I went back into the Jury Deliberation Room and a few minutes later the clerk came in and told me I was excused. That ended that particular Jury Duty. As a result of Jury Duty I missed out on some good trips.

I learned of a trip and saw a fairly decent air ticket and I had the 100$ voucher on Southwest so I booked an itinerary to Tulsa and a rental car was set up to Independence, Kansas. Reformation Day (better known to many as Halloween) came and I was off to LAX. I arrived and checked in and my bags weighed 47.5 and 46.0lbs. I cleared security after a queue and opted out and was patted down. My briefcase got additional screening. The total time from beginning of check in to clear of security was 24 minutes.

Southwest #2672 LAX-HOU B-737-800 Boarding Pass B26
Seat 29F Cruising altitude 39,000 feet Estimated flying time 2:40, actual 2:41
Depart: Gate 17A Scheduled 12h25, actual 12h32 Taxi: 5 minutes
Arrive: Gate 23 Scheduled 17h50, actual 17h22 Taxi: 5 minutes

We boarded via jetway. The plane was not totally full with a load of 134/175. It was announced it was in the 50'sF at HOU. Pushback was 7 minutes late and takeoff was to the west and we went overwater within 29 seconds. I saw the Venice and Santa Monica Piers. We turned south then east and at 0:04 I saw Catalina Island. At 0:09 we made landfall over Newport Beac. I saw Interstate 5, San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point at 0:10. I also saw the junction between Interstate 5 and the California 5 San Joaquin Hills Toll Road. I also saw the coast all the way down to Point Loma. At 0:14 we crossed Interstate 15 and I saw the south split of Interstates 15 and 215 in Murrieta and I also saw Temecula. At 0:18 I saw Borrego Springs, CA as well as smoke from fires in San Diego County. We went over the Salton Sea at 0:22 and I saw the Imperial Valley.

At 0:24 I got pretzels and Ritz Bits. At 0:25 I saw the Algodones Dunes. At 0:30 we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona airspace and I saw Yuma, AZ and vicinity to the distance. I saw Interstate 8 and Gila Bend, AZ at 0:42. I saw Interstate 10 and Eloy, AZ as well as Picacho Peak at 0:47. At 0:50 I saw Tucson to the distance. I got cup of soda at 0:51. I saw Interstate 10 and Bowie, AZ at 1:01. I saw San Simon, AZ at 1:03. I saw Road Forks, NM at 1:05 and at 1:06 I got second cup of soda. At 1:19 I saw Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, TX and the Sun Bowl at UTEP. I saw Van Horn, TX at 1:32. I saw the Interstate 10/20 split at 1:34 and I saw Balmorhea, TX at 1:36. At 1:51 I saw the Pecos River and Lake Amistad to the distance. I saw what looked to be some of the Texas Hill Country at 2:01. At 2:09 I saw San Antonio, TX and SAT. At 2:10 I saw Live Oak, TX.

I felt descent begin at 2:13. The seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. I saw the Gulf Coast to the distance at 2:18. At 2:23 I saw what I thought to be US59/Interstate 69 and the Brazos River. Descent was announced at 2:27. I saw Thompson, TX and the Power Plant there at 2:28. At 2:37 I saw Interstate 45 and Galveston Island to the distance. We turned north and I saw the San Jacinto Monument at La Porte on final approach. We landed to the northwest and arrived at the gate 28 minutes early. We deplaned via jetway. During my layover I had evening rations at Wendys. I saw that Pappadeaux and Pappas Burgers were both very overpriced, in my opinion.

Southwest #960 HOU-TUL B-737-700 Boarding Pass A54
Seat 22A Cruising altitude 41,000 feet Estimated flying time 1:05, actual 1:05
Depart: Gate 41 Scheduled 20h05, actual 20h04 Taxi: 8 minutes
Arrive: Gate B1 Scheduled 21h35, actual 21h22 Taxi: 4 minutes
Reclaim checked bags 11-12 minutes after arrival

We boarded via jetway. The plane was not full with a load of 94/143 and I had an entire row to myself. Pushback was one minute early and we took off to the northwest and turned north. I saw the lights of downtown Houston. At 0:14 I got pretzels. At 0:22 I got cup of soda. At 0:25 I saw the lights of Dallas and the DFW Metroplex. I felt descent begin at 0:42. Descent was announced at 0:43 and it was announced it was 50F and clear skies at TUL. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. At 0:58 I saw the lights of downtown Tulsa. We made turn and landed north to south and arrived at gate 13 minutes early. We deplaned via jetway. I got my bags and due to a miscommunication the hotel shuttle van waited at the other end of the airport rather than come to where I was. I finally went to where the van was and got ride to hotel where I checked in and spent night in Tulsa, OK.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 11:55 pm
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WN2672 LAX-HOU 31st October 2019


Asiana Airbus A-380 at LAX

Landfall over Newport Beach

Southern California Coast

Salton Sea

Colorado River

Dervice

Sun Bowl at UTEP

El Paso, Texas

Pecos River and Lake Amistad

Lake Amistad to the distance

SAT San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio, Texas

Power Plant at Thompson, Texas

Brazos River

Part of the Houston area on approach to HOU

Final approach to HOU
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Old Jan 3, 20, 12:07 am
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Ritz bitz and pretzels, with no drink for 27 minutes. Thatís just criminal.
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Old Jan 3, 20, 12:36 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Ritz bitz and pretzels, with no drink for 27 minutes. Thatís just criminal.
Not to mention the seatbelt sign being on all 2 hours 41 minutes of the flight.
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Old Jan 4, 20, 2:26 am
  #5  
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Southern Sojourns; Fiery Skies over Alabama

Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part II: 1st November to 8th November

I awoke in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday the 1st of November. I got transport to the address where the shipper was located and saw a truck out front. The truck was unlocked with keys in the ignition and there were issues with missing lights but then I checked the VIN (serial number) and found it was not the truck I was assigned! I unloaded my gear and a guy came and took me to the correct truck and I loaded my gear and did the safety inspection and the VIN matched to my paperwork and I was good to go.

Trip: Tulsa, OK to Leeds, AL 651 paid miles
Make: 2020 Kenworth
Model: Vacuum Truck
Transmission: Standard straight 10-speed
Governed Speed: 75mph/120kph
Route: Interstate 44 to US169 to Oklahoma 51 to Oklahoma 351 to Interstate 40 to Interstate 55 to Mississippi 302 to Interstate 22 (US78) to Interstate 65 to local roads to Interstate 20
Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: 3.059$ per gallon at Pilot North Little Rock, AR
Lowest diesel price USA: 2.959$ per gallon at Flying J Birmingham, AL

I got started but stopped at a nearby QT for midday rations and some phone calls. I made another stop at Love's in Webbers Falls, OK and had evening rations at Burger King. I made it into Arkansas and spent the first night in Alma, AR.

Saturday I continued east and had midday rations in Blackwell, AR and evening rations in West Memphis, AR. I ended up spending the night in Horn Lake, MS.

Sunday I had a late start. I had midday rations at Arby's at the Pilot in New Albany, MS. Then I stopped at a truckstop near Tupelo, MS and was picked up and taken to Lakeview Baptist Church for the Sunday Evening service. The message was on Matthew 5:41. There was a bridal shower for a couple planning to get married after the service and I had some evening rations there as a result. Afterward I was taken back to the truck and I continued my trip east into Alabama and I spent the night in Jasper, AL.

Monday it was mostly cloudy and cool but not cold. I stopped in Birmingham to take on fuel. I accepted dispatch for next trip. I completed the delivery in Leeds, AL and saw some fall colours there. After I completed the delivery I booked a hotel room in Sylacauga, AL. I got transport to Sylacauga to hotel and I saw the aftermath of a sunset and it looked like the sky was on fire. I had evening rations in two places. First I had clam strips and butterfly shrimp at Captain D's then I had Chicken Fingers and Fries at Zaxby's. I spent the night in Sylacauga, AL.

Tuesday I got transport to the shipper and found out where to go and someone brought the truck so I did not have to hunt for it and I loaded the truck and did the safety inspection and found a marker light was out. The shipper fixed the problem and the trip commenced.

Trip: Sylacauga, AL to Bryan, TX 751 paid miles
Make: 2010 International
Model: Cab and Chassis
Transmission: Automatic
Governed Speed: 65mph/105kph
Route: US280 to Interstate 459 to Interstate 20 to Interstate 220 back to Interstate 20 to US271 to Loop 323 to Texas 155 to US79 to Interstate 45 to US190 to Texas 6
Maximum elevation: about 1,087 feet US280 between Birmingham, AL and Chelsea, AL
Diesel Price USA: 2.859$ per gallon at Pilot Jackson, MS

After I left the shipper I parked briefly in downtown Sylacauga and took some pictures of that city. Then I went to a BBQ place at a nearby filling station and was dismayed to find there was no BBQ Beef Brisket. I settled for a cheeseburger instead. Traffic was heavy on US280 approaching Birmingham. I made a pit stop at a filling station outside Birmingham and I did some research and made a phone call then headed to Vulcan Park and got a panoramic view of Birmingham at dusk and dark and I took some pictures of Birmingham from that vantage point. Then I got on the westbound 459 ring road around Birmingham which connected to Interstate 20 and 59 which ran concurrently at that point. I had evening rations at Popeyes in McCalla, AL. I made it into Mississippi and spent the night in Meridian, MS.

Wednesday I continued west and stopped in Brandon, MS and had late midday rations at Sonny's BBQ. I got the BBQ beef brisket I wanted though it was thinly sliced. I stopped in Jackson, MS to take on fuel and then continued west and across the Mississippi River into Louisiana. I had evening rations in Rayville, LA then continued a short way and spent the night in Monroe, LA.

Thursday I got into rain just west of Calhoun, LA and there was light to moderate rain to around Haughton, LA. I stoped for midday rations in Minden, LA. There was a traffic jam on Interstate 220 ring road around Shreveport but the 20 in Shreveport proper was also congested. The rain quit by the time I entered Texas. I had evening rations at Texas Best BBQ in Tyler, TX. I spent the night in Palestine, TX.

Friday I stopped for midday rations at McKenzie's BBQ in Madisonville, TX. I accepted a dispatch and got locked into my next trip and a rental car was set up. I continued to Bryan, TX where I completed delivery. It was cool and cloudy but no rain. I got picked up by the rental car company and got into rental car. I took some pictures of downtown Bryan, TX as this was my first time to that city. I had evening rations at C & J Barbeque. I stopped for rental car fuel and unleaded was 2.069$ per gallon at Bucee's in Waller, TX. Traffic in the greater Houston area was not bad. I took a different route to avoid some construction around Beaumont and Vidor and I ended up spending the night in Port Arthur, TX.

Leeds, Alabama Fall Colours 4th November 2019

Wooded area outside Leeds, Alabama

The Birmingham, Alabama area is where the Appalachians begin

Fiery Skies over Sylacauga, Alabama 4th November 2019

Birmingham, Alabama at dusk

Vulcan Statue at Vulcan Park Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama at night

Bryan, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Bryan, Texas
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Old Jan 4, 20, 5:17 am
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Climate Change; Corpus Christi Cold

Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part III: 9th November to 12th November

Saturday 9th November I awoke in Port Arthur, Texas. I took some pictures of that city and got some more fuel for the rental car in Orange, TX before exiting Texas. I stopped in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana and took some pictures of that city. I arrived at BTR Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and turned in the rental car. Then I got dropped off at the area where I could wait for an Uber. I got Uber to Geismar and I saw the truck waiting for me outside. I loaded my gear and did safety inspection as best as possible in the dark.

Trip: Geismar, LA to Corpus Christi, TX 496 paid miles
Make: 2019 Peterbilt
Model: Vacuum Truck Durasucker
Transmission: Standard straight 10-speed
Governed Speed: 75mph/120kph
Route: Louisiana 30 to Interstate 10 to Louisiana 415 to US190 to Interstate 49 to Interstate 10 to Intrstate 610 to Interstate 45 to US59 to US77 to Interstate 37
Maximum elevation: unknown but very low
Highest diesel price: 2.899$ per gallon at Flying J Baytown, TX
Lowest diesel price: 2.499$ per gallon at Race Trac Gonzales, LA

I got the truck and topped off the fuel in Gonzales, LA and got some late evening rations at the filling station. I made it only as far as Baton Rouge, LA where I spent the night.

Sunday morning I had a late start. I used an alternate route to avoid some construction on the Bridge across the Atchafalaya River and more construction between Breaux Bridge and Lafayette. I rejoined the 10 and stopped in Lake Charles and looked up churches. I chose Victory Baptist Church and parked there. I did not realise how long it would take to get from the Interstate to Church. I attended evening service at Victory Baptist Church. A missionary to Native Americans was speaking. Afterward I continued and there was road work in Beaumont and Vidor, TX. I ended up spending night in Houston, TX.

Monday I continued the trip and there was a lot of construction going on. especially on Interstate 59/US69. I made a pit stop in Ganado, TX where I saw the first drop of rain. The temperature was in the low 80'sF. I stopped in Sinton, TX where I had to take on fuel before delivery. Just after I left Sinton the winds picked up and there was blowing rain. The temperature dropped 20F in just a few minutes. Sustained winds were at least 32mph. The rain was going almost sideways. I made delivery in very unpleasant conditions. The temperature kept dropping; it was in the 50's F. I completed delivery and got transport to hotel room which I had booked online.

I made the mistake of not phoning in an order of pizza right away. The temperature kept dropping and it was 39F by midnight. I phoned in an order of pizza and was on hold with Dominos for at least 35 minutes and was unable to get through to an individual. I got a hold of someone at Pizza Hut real quick and made the order and was told it would be 30 to 40 minutes for the pizza to arrive. I waited an hour and no pizza and phoned back and was told there was no record of my order. I previously talked to a central office whereas later I talked to the local store which was closing. I finally got a hold of Pizza Hut and it was after 01h00 when the pizza finally arrived. I spent the night in Corpus Christi, TX.

Tuesday I laid over in Corpus Christi. It was windy and rainy in the morning and it got down to 36F and it stayed rain though snow, ice and mixed precipitation was not far away. There was some ice in the Texas Hill Country according to reports as well as ice in San Antonio. The rain stopped but the wind still blew and I walked to get late midday rations at Bill Miller BBQ. The wind chill was 25F so I was glad I had my winter coat and stocking cap to cover my ears. Later that evening I was picked up and taken to Tuesday evening service at Sovereign Grace Community Church. The message was on Galatians 6:6-10. I got dispatched on my next trip and an air ticket was booked. I spent the night in Corpus Christi, TX.

Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana


Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Grosse Tete, Louisiana sunset 9th November 2029

Gonzales, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Old Jan 4, 20, 4:31 pm
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New Airport; Police Encounter; From the Lone Star State to the Hoosier State


My first time to Corpus Christi International Airport

My ride from Humble, Texas to Ferdinand, Indiana

Atlanta, Texas

Osceola, Arkansas sunset 16th November 2019


Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part IV: 13th November to 18th November

I awoke to a very cool grey day on Wednesday the 13th of November in Corpus Christi, Texas. After I was ready I got transport to CRP Corpus Christi International Airport. This was my first time I ever used CRP. I checked in and checked bags which weighed 47.5 and 45.5lbs. I cleared security after a queue. I opted out and was patted down. There was no extra screening of carry on items. Total time from beginning of check in to clear of security was 21 minutes.

Southwest #40 CRP-HOU B-737-700 Boarding Pass A12 Business Select
Seat 5F Cruising altitude 25,000 feet Estimated flying time 0:30, actual 0:30
Depart: Gate 6 Scheduled 14h05, actual 14h06 Taxi: 9 minutes
Arrive: Gate 43 Scheduled 15h05, actual 14h48 taxi: 2 minutes
Reclaim checked bags 14-15 minutes after arrival

We boarded via jetway. Boarding started before I was able to get to gate 6 as passengers were instructed to wait at gate 2 until called.
The plane was not totally full. I don't know what the exact load was but there was an empty middle seat next to me. It was announced it was 44F and high overcast at HOU. Pushback was 1 minute late and takeoff was to the north. I saw Corpus Christi, the Bay and the Gulf Coast before we went into and over a cloud layer at 0:03. We went over another layer of clouds at 0:05. Drink orders were taken at 0:10. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. I felt descent begin at 0:12. Descent was announced at 0:16 and it was announced it was 46F at HOU. I got pretzels at 0:18 and I got cup of soda at 0:19. We went under clouds at 0:21. I saw the Gulf Coast to the distance at 0:25. At 0:27 we crossed Texas 288 the Nolan Ryan Expressway. We crossed the Sam Houston Toll Road at 0:29 and landed to the northeast. We arrived at the gate 17 minutes early and deplaned via jetway.

I got my bags at baggage reclaim and had to cross all the way to Island 5 to get Uber to the shipper in Humble, TX. I got transport to the shipper and checked in and and loaded my gear and did the safety inspection and once I got a signature I was good to go.

Trip: Humble, TX to Ferdinand, IN 898 paid miles
Make: 2014 Peterbilt
Model: Crane Truck
Transmission: Standard 13-speed
Governed Speed: 65mph/105kph
Route: US59 (future Interstate 69) to Interstate 369 to Interstate 30 to Interstate 440 to Interstate 40 to Interstate 55 to Interstate 57 to Interstate 64 to Indiana 162
Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: 3.099$ per gallon Pilot North Little Rock, AR
Lowest diesel price USA: 2.859$ per gallon at Flying J Mandeville, AR

This truck was a piece of work as it was back heavy and top heavy with a high centre of gravity. I encountered traffic on US59 as expected. I took a break in Livingston then continued on and encountered light rain around Lufkin. There was light rain when I shut down and spent the night in Nacogdoches, TX.

Thursday it was raining when I woke up and I spent some time in Nacogdoches. While parked at a truckstop I saw two squad cars pull up near the truck and an officer got out of one of the cars and approached the truck. I rolled the window down and asked the officer what he needed and he asked me why I had the rear licence plate taped. I told him the transporter plate was on the front of the truck and explained company policy regarding licence plate usage. I showed the officer the registration paper for the transporter plate, insurance paper and my driving licence. The officer was satisfied with the explanation but told me that a concerned citizen suspected the truck was stolen because of the taped up back plate and phoned in report to that effect. Then the officer left. I had late midday rations at Smokehouse then I got rolling and got out of the rain but encountered some fog. I spent the night in Atlanta, TX.

Friday it was clear and temperature got well into the 50'sF. I had midday rations at Texas Best BBQ in Nash, TX near Texarkana and fries from Steak & Shake. I took on fuel in Mandeville, AR and North Little Rock, AR. I spent a frosty night in Hazen, AR.

Saturday the weather was fair and I had midday rations in Earle, AR and evening rations in Matthews, MO before spending the night in Marion, IL.

Sunday morning I saw the rear outrigger was down enough to make it unsafe to drive. I reported that to the company and got a call from breakdown department of the company that actually owned the truck. The guy tried to walk me through some things to no avail so I was told to stay put and I got the room renewed for another night as I was told a person would be down to look at the problem late Monday morning. I got transport to Marion Independent Baptist Church for evening service and was taken back to hotel afterward and spent night in Marion, IL.

Monday a person came and after about an hour took care of the problem somehow and I was good to go. I proceeded to Ferdinand, IN and went to hotel and checked in and offloaded as much as I could then dropped off the truck at a yard nearby and completed delivery then I walked back to hotel. I had evening rations at McDonald's. I spent the night in Ferdinand, IN.

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Jan 4, 20 at 8:04 pm
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Old Jan 4, 20, 9:52 pm
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WN40 CRP-HOU 13th November 2019


Small terminal.

Interstate 37

Downtown Corpus Christi to the distance

View of the Bay with the Gulf to the distance

View of the Bay

Downtown Corpus Christi

View of the Bay and Gulf

View of the Bay and Gulf

View of the Bay and Gulf

Service!

Final Approach to HOU

Arrival at HOU
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Old Jan 4, 20, 10:24 pm
  #9  
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I do love airport codes sometimes.
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Old Jan 4, 20, 11:32 pm
  #10  
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Cancelled Trip; Extra Rental; Midnight Meeting


Jasper, Indiana

Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont, Texas
Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part V: 19th November to 25th November

I awoke in Ferdinand, Indiana on Tuesday 19th November. I had no trip but I checked out and while in the lobby I accepted a dispatch for a 498-mile trip from Wentzville, Missouri to Roseville, Minnesota and a rental car was set up out of Jasper, Indiana the closest location for rental cars. I booked an itinerary from MSP to MCI on Southwest Airlines for Saturday 23rd November in anticipation of either getting the next truck in the Kansas City area or going down to Independence, Kansas for the next truck. While waiting I got word from the rental car company there were no cars available and I asked where cars might be available was told to look at Owensboro, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana. I looked into transport options to those cities and there were no good options and I was expecting the cost would be at least 150$. Then I got another call from the rental car company saying a customer with a reservation cancelled and they would be able to accommodate me though there would be a considerable wait. Then I got a call from dispatch saying the trip out of Wentzville, Missouri cancelled. I opted to stay with the rental as that was my ticket out of an area that is very difficult to get out of.

The rental car people came and picked me up and took me to Jasper, Indiana where I got into the rental car. I stopped at a Walmart then got evening rations at a Long John Silver's then I took on fuel. I caught Interstate 64 and headed west and encountered fog after I entered Illinois. I ended up spending the night in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Wednesday I was not sure which direction to head so I burned up some time looking at trip options but nothing panned out. I headed west mindful of time constraints. I took on fuel in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri and continued west. I checked into hotel then dropped off car in Columbia, Missouri barely within the 24 hour time limit for the rental. I walked to Cheddar's restaurant for evening rations. I talked by phone with a friend of mine who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area but since relocated to central Missouri. He drives an airport shuttle between Columbia, Missouri and either MCI or STL. He was heading back from a run to MCI and was able to stop by the hotel I was staying and we had a brief visit at around midnight or a little after as it was raining lightly. I thought I might take that shuttle to MCI to get me to the Kansas City area if a trip was to originate out of there. I spent the night in Columbia, MO.

Thursday I ended up accepting a dispatch from Independence, KS to Houston, TX and a rental was set up and I ended up in the very same vehicle I dropped off the evening before. I took some pictures of downtown Columbia, MO before setting out. I had evening rations at Dempsey's BBQ in Concordia, MO. Unleaded was 2.209$ per gallon at Cenex in Concordia, MO. I ended up spending the night in Ottawa, KS.

Friday I made it the rest of the way to Independence, KS. There was a little snow but it did not stick. I made it to the shipper and loaded my gear into the truck and got a ride back to the truck then did the inspection and started the trip.

Trip: Independence, KS to Houston, TX 569 paid miles
Make: 2020 Hino
Model: Box Truck
Transmission: Automatic
Governed Speed: 66mph/106kph
Route: US75 to Oklahoma 11 to Interstate 244 to Interstate 44 to US75 to Interstate 45 to FM1960 to Texas 249
Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: 2.999$ per gallon at Pilot Buffalo, TX
Lowest diesel price USA: 2.799$ per gallon at Akas Independence, KS

One thing about this truck was there was a driver-facing camera. So if a driver used his mobile phone while driving the company who owned the truck would know it. I got started and took on fuel first in Independence then later in Tulsa. It was cloudy but dry. I spent the night in Henryetta, OK.

Saturday the weather was better. I had a routine day. I made it into Texas and traffic moved well through Dallas. I spent the night in Ennis, TX.

Sunday I drove to and attended morning service at Ambassador Baptist Church in Ennis, TX. The message was on Haggai 1. I did not stay for the communion service as that church practices closed communion which means you have to be a member in good standing to partake. I got on the southbound 45 and took on fuel in Buffalo, TX. I had some trouble locating the exact building but attended evening service at Faith Independent Baptist Church in Conroe, TX. There were only a total of six people there. The message was on Second Kings chapter 19. Afterward I had evening rations at Golden Corral in Conroe, TX. I spent the night in Houston, TX.

Monday I completed delivery in the Willowbrook section of northwest Houston. The place I delivered had very bad Internet reception so I was unable to order an uber. Finally I accepted a dispatch from Slidell, Louisiana to Yorktown, Virginia and a rental car to Slidell was set up and the rental car people came and picked me up. I fought traffic in the Houston area and had evening rations at Potbelly's in Humble, TX. Later I took pictures of downtown Beaumont, TX. I continued into Louisiana and spent the night in Lafayette, LA
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Old Jan 5, 20, 12:20 am
  #11  
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Truck Malfunction; Aborted Trip; Stuck over Thanksgiving


The ill-fated truck. Trip was to be Slidell, Louisiana to Yorktown, Virginia but the trip was aborted in Mobile, Alabama due to truck malfunction.

Gautier, Mississippi Fall Colours 27th November 2019

Gautier, Mississippi Fall Colours 27th November 2019
Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part VI: 26th November to 28th November

I awoke on Tuesday 26th November in Lafayette, Louisiana. I continued east in the rental car and encountered some rain. I learned of traffic problems in Baton Rouge so I took an alternate route to cut down on the delay. I took on rental car fuel in Hammond, LA. I arrived at the shipper which was actually a Freightliner Dealer and checked in and loaded my gear and did a quick inspection and found a marker light was out. I headed to turn in the rental car and got a ride back to the dealer and the marker light was fixed when I got back. I got signed off and was good to go.

Trip: Origin in Slidell, LA Intended destination Yorktown, VA 1,031 miles
Trip Aborted in Mobile, AL 116 actual miles
Make: 2013 Western Star
Model: Vacuum Truck
Transmission: Automatic
Route: Interstate 10 to Interstate 65
Maximum elevation: unknown but low
Diesel price USA: 2.999$ per gallon at Pilot Moss Point, MS

I got started and did not get far due to the stressful drive in the rental car and lateness of the hour. I stopped at the TA next door and parked there and walked over to Raising Cane's for evening rations. Then I got on the eastbound 10 and saw the scale was closed when I entered Mississippi. I spent the night in Gulfport, MS.

Wednesday I continued east. I made a brief stop at a rest area in Gautier, MS. Then I headed to Moss Point to take on fuel and when I pulled in I saw the yellow "Check Engine" light was on. I aborted my plan to fuel and went to truck parking and shut the motor off and restarted it in the hope that would clear the code. No such luck so I phoned up dispatch and was told to fill up on fuel and DEF fluid and then park and do what is known as a "forced regeneration." I took on fuel and DEF then parked and attempted the forced regeneration but nothing happened and the check engine light remained illuminated. I got a hold of dispatch and was told to divert to a Freightliner dealer in Mobile, Alabama. I got caught in some traffic in Alabama on the 10 but made it to the dealer. To make a long story short a technician hooked up a laptop to the ECM module and got some diagnostic codes. Though I was able to get the truck into the shop on its own power had I ignored the light and continued I was told the engine would have first derated to 55mph and later it would derate to 5mph and finally the truck would break down altogether. However no one knew how long it would have been before those things happened. Just before the shop was to close and it was to be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Holiday, dispatch made the decision to pull me off the trip and that stopped the downtime pay at that point. I got all my gear out of the truck and phoned up a hotel that had a free shuttle and took the shuttle to hotel in Saraland, AL and checked in for two nights. I had evening rations which consisted of catfish at Wintzell's Oyster House. I spent the night in Saraland, AL.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and I was stuck with no trip. I ended up having evening rations which was a burger as no Turkey was available at Ruby Tuesday. I spent the night in Saraland, AL.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:35 am
  #12  
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From the Palmetto State to the Keystone State; Another Cancelled Trip


Lavonia, Georgia

Lavonia, Georgia

Cowpens, South Carolina

Wytheville, Virginia view of Appalachian Mountains

Wytheville, West Virginia

Appalachians near Bastian, Virginia

Washington, Pennsylvania

Washington, Pennsylvania

Washington, Pennsylvania

Byesville, Ohio
Tour of Duty 31st October to 19th December 2019
Part VII: 29th November to 4th December

I awoke Friday 29th of November in Saraland, Alabama. I went online and looked at the Trip Board and the options were not great. There was a trip from Louisiana to Arkansas and another trip from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Washington, Pennsylvania. Though the place in Louisiana was closer to my location I did a little research and found the place where the truck was going in Arkansas was going to be difficult to get out of. So I accepted dispatch and got locked into the trip from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Washington, Pennsylvania and a rental car was set up. I got the shuttle to the Freightliner Dealer and was picked up there and got into the rental car. I headed north on Interstate 65 and stopped in Evergreen, AL for late midday rations. I switched to the 85 north in Montgomery and took on some fuel in La Grange, GA. I should have taken on fuel before leaving Alabama. I headed through Atlanta around midnight and made it to the far side of the Atlanta area and was going to be caught in a traffic jam due to a wreck but was able to exit in time and my GPS navigated me to where I spent the night in Norcross, GA.

Saturday I fought off a bug. I stopped and took some pictures of downtown Lavonia, Georgia. Then I entered South Carolina and noticed that the speed limits on Interstate 85 in South Carolina were at least 5mph lower than I thought they should be. I got fuel and turned in the rental car in Spartanburg. I got ride to the hotel. I had evening rations at Burger King and there was some light rain. I spent the night in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Sunday morning arrangements were made and I was picked up and taken to Mountain View Baptist Church in Cowpens, SC. The message was on Titus 2:10 "Adorning the Doctrine of God." Afterwards I was able to take some pictures of Cowpens, SC before being taken back to the hotel. I did some much needed laundry in the afternoon then got a message that my ride was unable to get me but another church Trinity Baptist in Spartanburg was recommended. Arrangements were made and I was picked up and I was able to attend the evening service at Trinity Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC and the message was on Second Timothy 4:6-8. Afterward I was taken to Cracker Barrel for evening rations. I was then taken back to hotel and spent a second night in Spartanburg, SC.

Monday was cool but mostly clear and I got transport to the shipper and I picked up the truck and loaded my gear and did the inspection and there were no issues so I was back in business.

Trip: Spartanburg, SC to Washington, PA 488 paid miles
Make: 2020 Western Star
Model: Tank Truck
Transmission: Automatic
Governed Speed: At least 70mph/112kph
Route: South Carolina 56 to US221 to Interstate 85 to Interstate 485 to Interstate 77 to US19 to Interstate 79 to Interstate 70
Maximum elevation: 3,252 feet Flat Top Interstate 77 2 miles south of Ghent, WV
Highest diesel price 3.259$ per gallon at Pilot Sutton, WV
Lowest diesel price 2.859$ per gallon at Pilot Gaffney, SC

I got started and it took a little while to get on the Interstate. There was construction from Spartanburg all the way to the North Carolina state line. I stopped to take on fuel and to eat in Gaffney, SC. I made a pit stop at the rest area just inside North Carolina and after going through Gastonia I took the 485 ring road around Charlotte. I stopped in Troutman, NC and had evening rations at Sheetz. I continued north and after entering Virginia I saw signs saying there was a high wind warning. The winds were not bad but there were some snow flurries but the snow did not stick. I spent the night in the Appalachians in Wytheville, VA

Tuesday I had a late start. I missed a turn due to being in wrong lane so I ended up in downtown Wytheville, VA. I was able to safely park and took some pictures of that city. Then I was able to get on the Interstate and I made a pit stop at rest area near Bastian,VA. After I got on the Interstate traffic was backed up before the tunnel leading to West Virginia due to some wrecks on Interstate 77 on the West Virginia side. The traffic started moving as the delay went from 51 minutes to no delay. I stopped at service plaza to eat then there was some more traffic delays near Beckley due at least in part to construction. There were some snow flurries at times of various intensity in West Virginia. I exited the Interstate and started run north on US19 north of Beckley. I stopped and had late evening rations at Sheetz in Clarksburg, WV. Snow showers started in Fairmont and continued off and on to Morgantown. I spent the night in Morgantown, WV.

Wednesday there was some light snow. I phoned up the receiver to get clarity on directions and it was a good thing I did as I learned my GPS would have taken me into a "no truck" area and if caught I would have likely gotten a fine at a minimum. I was dispatched on a trip from Marietta, Ohio to Kansas City, Missouri and a rental car was set up for me. I made it to the receiver and completed delivery and was picked up and taken to the rental car place and got in the rental car. I took some pictures of downtown Washington, PA then got on westbound Interstate 70. While still in Pennsylvania I saw dispatch was trying to contact me so I pulled off at the rest area/welcome centre near Wheeling, West Virginia. I got a hold of dispatch and heard the dreaded words "The trip is cancelled." I had a discussion and looked at options and ended up accepting a dispatch for a trip from Dalton, Ohio to Charlotte, NC at less than half the pay of the trip that cancelled. Ouch! I accepted that trip with the understanding that if something better came up that I could get to I could switch trips. I ended up going to Bible Baptist Church in Byesville, OH for Wednesday evening service. Afterward I headed to Cambridge, OH and spent the night there.

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Jan 5, 20 at 3:52 am
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Old Jan 6, 20, 1:45 am
  #13  
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From Amish Country over the Appalachians to the Piedmont; Stuck in Charlotte

Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part VIII: 5th December to 10th December

I awoke Thursday 5th December in Cambridge, Ohio. I was hoping for a better trip to become available but that did not happen so I made my way toward the shipper. I was delayed by horse and buggy traffic as I was in Amish Country. I reached the shipper and was confused so I phoned the number given and a man came and told me where to go and what to do. I went to a nearby yard, located the truck and loaded my gear then headed to Massillon, Ohio where I turned in the rental car and had to get an Uber to take me back to the truck as the distance was too great for the rental car company to give me a ride. I saw more horse and buggy traffic on my way back to the truck. I completed the inspection and put the paperwork in the proper location then I was good to go.

Trip: Dalton (Kidron), OH to Charlotte, NC 455 paid miles
Make: 2020 Hino
Model: Box Truck
Transmission: Automatic
Governed Speed: 65mph/105kph
Route: US30 to Interstate 77 to Interstate 85
Maximum elevation: 3,252 feet Flat Top Interstate 77 2 miles south of Ghent, WV
Highest diesel price USA: 3.299$ per gallon at Pilot Canton, OH
Lowest diesel price USA: 2.959$ per gallon at Flying J Wytheville, VA

I was concerned about running out of fuel as the low fuel light came on immediately so I headed to the nearest filling station that had diesel. I made it and took on enough fuel to ensure that I was able to get to major truckstop to get more fuel. I learned that I accidentally double booked my hotel reservation where I stayed the previous night in Cambridge, OH. I somehow booked two nights in a row by accident. As it was late and I was far from sure that I would be able to get a refund if I tried to cancel I opted to keep the reservation since it was a valid reservation. I took on fuel in Canton, OH and then proceeded to New Philadelphia, OH where I had late evening rations at Sheetz. Then I proceeded to where I stayed the night before and made use of the valid reservation and spent the night in Cambridge, OH.

Friday I continued south on Interstate 77 and encountered light to moderate rain starting around Caldwell, OH. The rain continued to about Charleston, WV. I stopped for midday rations at Sheetz in Ripley, WV. I did not have many issues with traffic in Beckley and points south on the 77. I took on fuel in Wytheville, VA then I spent the night in Fancy Gap, VA.

Saturday I continued south and I reached Charlotte and delivered the truck shortly before the receiver was to close for the rest of the weekend. Then I got transport to hotel and I had evening rations at Cracker Barrel which was across the street. I spent the night in Charlotte, NC.

Sunday I was unable to go to a traditional morning church service as I was not able to reach anyone in time but there was a church that had a rather unusual schedule of afternoon and early evening services. Arrangements were made and I was picked up and taken to services at Every Nation Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. The message during the first service was on Malachi 1:6-14 "Accepting the Unacceptable." There was an intermission between services with some snacks then the second service where the message was on Revelation 2:8-17. After the services I had a discussion with the pastor about my situation. One of the people furnished me with a gift card to Cracker Barrel and I much appreciated that gesture. After I was taken back to the hotel I went to Cracker Barrel for evening rations. I spent the night in Charlotte, NC.

Monday no trip became available. Cracker Barrel was closed for a company holiday party so I had evening rations at a Hibachi place within walking distance. I spent the night in Charlotte, NC.

Tuesday I accepted a dispatch and was locked into a trip from Whitestown, Indiana to La Porte, Texas and an itinerary was booked on Southwest from CLT to IND with a connection at BWI. I got transport to a laundromat where I did some much needed laundry and there were some rain showers. Then I headed back to another hotel near to where I stayed and I was able to walk to Cracker Barrel where I had evening rations for the last evening of my layover. The service was not as good that time as opposed to my previous visits as I sent the steak back after it was overcooked and they tried to charge me for an extra steak. I brought that to the attention of the manager when I paid and the total bill was cut in half. I spent the night in Charlotte, NC.


I was in Amish Country. Horse and Buggy near Kidron, Ohio

Kidron, Ohio sunset 5th December 2019

My ride from Dalton (Kidron), Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina

Holiday Decorations in Kidron, Ohio

Charlotte, North Carolina

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Jan 6, 20 at 1:51 am
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Old Jan 6, 20, 2:51 am
  #14  
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Over the Top For A-List; The Mouse Truck to Texas

Tour of Duty 31st October 2019 to 19th December 2019
Part IX: 11th December to 16th December

I awoke Wednesday 11th December in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was colder than the past several days but the weather was clearing. I got the shuttle to CLT and after arrival I moved some items from one bag to another. I checked in and my bags weighed 50.0 and 46.0lbs. I cleared security after a queue and opted out and was patted down. There was no additional screening of my carry on items. I figured that the points earned with this air ticket would put me on the top for A-List though that would not actually kick in until the next itinerary.

Southwest #868 CLT-BWI B-737-700 Boarding Pass B8
Seat 23A Cruising altitude 29,000 feet Estimated flying time 0:50, actual 0:52
Depart: Gate A24 Scheduled 10h10, actual 10h10 Taxi/hold: 21 minutes
Arrive: Gate B4 Scheduled 11h45, actual 11h27 Taxi: 3 minutes

We boarded via jetway. I had entire row to myself as the plane was mostly but not totally full with a load of 112/143. It was announced that a bumpy flight was expected and it was 35F at BWI. Pushback was right on time and I saw downtown Charlotte during taxi. Takeoff was to the north and I saw CLT, the North Carolina Piedmont and the Appalachian Mountains to the distance. I saw Interstate 77, 85 and the Interstate 485 ring road. I saw a speedway just outside the Interstate 485 ring road. At 0:10 I saw what may have been the Winston Salem and Greensboro areas to the distance. At 0:13 cruise was announced but it was going to be too bumpy for any drink service and the ETA to BWI was 20 minutes early. At 0:25 I saw clouds increase. At 0:27 I felt descent begin and I saw Richmond, VA and vicinity and the James River. I also saw Interstates 95 and 295. At 0:36 descent was announced and it was 38F at BWI with scattered clouds. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. At 0:39 I saw the Potomac River and Washington, DC and what may have been Andrews AFB. We went over Chesapeake Bay at 0:44 and we landed to the northwest and arrived at gate 18 minutes early. We deplaned via jetway. During my layover in excess of three hours I had midday rations at BGR The Burger Joint and the burger was quite tasty and not terribly overpriced.

Southwest #291 BWI-IND B-737-700 Boarding Pass B10
Seat 23F Cruising altitude 40,000 feet Estimated flying time 1:35, actual 1:26
Depart: Gate B2 Scheduled 15h20, actual 15h16 Taxi: 10 minutes
Arrive: Gate B21 Scheduled 17h05, actual 16h57 Taxi: 4 minutes
Reclaim checked bags 23 minutes after arrival

We boarded via jetway. The plane was full with load of 143/143. It was announced there were scattered clouds and it was 30F at IND. Pushback was 4 minutes early. Takeoff was to the west and at 0:14 I saw Winchester, VA and at 0:15 I saw the Interchange between Interstates 81 and 66. I got pretzels at 0:20. I saw some of the Appalachians probably over northern West Virginia. At 0:32 we crossed Interstate 79 and I saw the Bridgeport/Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV area to the north. I got cup of soda at 0:33. At 0:41 I got second cup of soda and clouds blocked view below. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:44 after I asked one of the Flight Attendants if there was an oversight regarding the seatbelt sign. I felt descent begin at 0:55 and clouds still blocked the view below. Seatbelt sign went on and announcement was made it was 30F at IND. We went into the clouds at 1:20 and under the clouds less than a minute later and at 1:24 I saw the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on final approach. We landed to the southwest and arrived at gate 8 minutes early and we deplaned via jetway.

I got my bags and I headed to where the hotel shuttles do pickups and after a wait I got shuttle to hotel. After I checked in I took a walk and had evening rations at Jimmy John's. I saw some unhappy travellers as a nearby Ramada was being remodeled yet rooms were being sold online though the place was closed resulting in unhappy travellers. I spent the night in Indianapolis, IN.

Thursday I awoke in Indianapolis, IN and I got transport to the shipper. I checked in and was told the location of the truck and alas I discovered there was a dead mouse in the truck! The dead mouse was in a mousetrap that was a box type as opposed to the spring and cheese type of trap. At least the dead mouse was enclosed. I reported it to the shipper and was told they were looking for that trap as there was an issue with mice. Once that was out of the truck I loaded the truck with my gear and did the inspection and got signed off and was good to go.

Trip: Whitestown, IN to La Porte, TX 1,044 paid miles
Make: 2016 Western Star
Model: Vacuum Truck
Transmission: Standard 18-speed
Governed Speed: 65mph/105kph
Route: Indiana 267 to Interstate 65 to Interstate 465 to Interstate 70 to Interstate 57 to Interstate 55 to Interstate 40 to US70 to Interstate 440 to Interstate 30 to Interstate 49 to US59 to Interstate 610 to Texas 225
Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: 3.159$ per gallon Flying J Mt. Vernon, IL
Lowest diesel price USA: 2.799$ per gallon Love's Domino, TX

This truck had a metric odometer and speedometer. I headed to the TA where I took on fuel and had late afternoon rations at Popeyes. I saw the sunset then got rolling. I made it to Effingham, IL where I spent the night.

Friday I made a lengthy stop in Mt. Vernon, IL where I took on fuel, went to Walmart to get some items then for the first time ever I visited a barber and had a haircut while on the road as my hair was getting shaggy. Then I had late afternoon/early evening rations at Burger King before heading south. I encountered some dense fog in far southern Illinois and also after I entered Missouri. I took on fuel in Matthews, MO then due to fog I opted to shut down and spent the night in Marston, MO.

Saturday it was cloudy to start but there was partial clearing. I had midday rations at Arby's in Hayti, MO and eveining rations at Nick's BBQ in Carlisle, AR. I got into a little fog later on and spent the night in Arkadelphia, AR.

Sunday I did not make it to church. There was some smoke, fog and light drizzle. I stopped in Domino, TX for fuel and I spent the night in Lufkin, TX.

Monday morning some major rain came through while I was still in hotel room in Lufkin, TX. The rain quit by the time I left but I encountered some light rain showers at times on my trip south. I stopped at Love's in Cleveland, TX for DEF Fluid. I arrived at the receiver during a rain shower and completed delivery. The rain quit and I got transport to hotel. I had evening rations at Mambo's Seafood. I spent the night in Houston, TX.


IND Indianapolis International Airport

Whitestown, Indiana sunset 12th December 2019

Carlisle, Arkansas

Atlanta, Texas sunset 15th December 2019

The Mouse Truck: My ride from Whitestown, Indiana to La Porte, Texas

Houston, Texas

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Jan 6, 20 at 2:56 am
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Old Jan 6, 20, 3:03 am
  #15  
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WN868 CLT-BWI 11th December 2019

Some pictures from Southwest Airlines flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Baltimore/Washington International Airport


Last look at Charlotte, North Carolina

CLT Charlotte Douglas International Airport immediately after takeoff

Lakes north of Charlotte

Speedway just outside the Interstate 485 ring road around Charlotte

James River and Richmond,Virginia

James River and Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Potomac River

Potomac River and Washington, DC area

Bridge across the Potomac River

Andrews AFB

Over Chesapeake Bay

Over Chesapeake Bay

At the gate after arrival into BWI
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