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A Helpful Trucker

To the Wal-mart truck driver I followed yesterday;  May 1, 2006.

I wanted to give you a sincere THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the careful driving you did while I was following you. My drive home from my camp trip was a trip from Hades.

My dad had always told me when you get into a bad weather situation get behind a truck and stay with them. I fell behind this guy coming up the Vantage grade and stayed with him until he turned off about 10 miles before my exit from I90.

It was very weird weather; while I was riding yesterday it was 75°+ where I was, just after my husband and boys took off at 3, it started clouding up and thunder and lightning. I had already decided I was leaving by 5 rather than stay another day so I told them I should be home by 8, not to wait dinner for me. About 12 miles into my haul I had to go up this 10 mile grade after crossing the Columbia river. This grade is pretty darn steep and has put more than one car/truck on the side of the road overheated. I was being buffeted by a huge headwind trying to go up that grade. My big ol' F250 crewcab diesel and 15 foot horse trailer were all over the road. First time I have ever been sucked along when a semi truck went past me. About 20 miles later we came to a dead stop westbound. We were being pounded from the side by 50+ mph winds and stopped for almost an hour before we finally got started again. My truck and trailer were rocking and rolling while we were stopped. I was behind this truck and stayed there because he was doing 50-60 mph and that was fine by me. Every time he changed lanes, I changed lanes with him. I think it became very obvious I was following him and he was so wonderful. At one point we came up on a herd of about 40 elk on the side of the road and he started flashing his lights in warning to me, you name it, he did it to take care of me.

To add insult to injury for this miserable haul home, when I finally got into the mountains and lost the wind; we hit a snow storm going through the pass, April 29th and snow in the pass, about 3000 foot elevation, unbelievable. It was snowing so hard, it wasn't sticking on the ground but it sure was on the hillsides.

I truly wish I could give that driver a sincere thank you, so Amber if you could tell your husband that there are drivers out there who truly appreciate a quality semi truck driver, may be that will be the next best thing.

Oh and if anyone has any doubt about the size of a towing vehicle making or breaking a trip. Let me tell you, if I had been hauling with a SUV or 1/2 ton truck, I would have had to get off the road and wait out the wind. There is no way that a smaller vehicle would not have been blown off the road because I was white knuckling it with my huge-o truck. I even had a guy from the pickup beside me when we were at a dead stop come over and ask me if I was going to be okay when he saw how we were rocking and rolling, thought that was kind of nice.

© 2006 Denise



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