Friday, September 25, 2009

Loading in New Orleans.

I got up this morning about five. Dot always calls to wake me up and this morning was no different except earlier than normal. After having several cups of coffee and reading what a disaster this Democratic administration is I figured it was time to take off.

Me and the other driver, whose trailer I was going to load, and his escort toodled on down the interstate before dawn. Busy, busy. Lots and lots of early birds in New Orleans.

We got to the port about daylight and met our first "issue". We were expecting some kind of parking (at least a wide spot?) so that the other driver could wait. Due to our Omniscient all knowing all caring government mandate one must have a TWIC card to roam freely about Maritime Ports (and other places). I have one and he didn't. He wasn't allowed past the first gate.

They made him turn around in a space where I feared for the integrity of his trailer and KNOW that many, many miles of normal wear were scuffed off his tires. He proceeded to go find a place to hide and wait.

I proceeded on in and had my second "issue". The dispatch clerk was an anal orifice in human form. He was one of those types, a petty tyrant, who MUST display his superiority. If he was a dog he'd be pissing on fire hydrants....or your leg.

After dealing with Mr. Master I swung around behind and onto the River Dock where the piece was. A couple of hours later we got it loaded. I noticed that my air gauges weren't showing what I anticipated. It didn't seem near as heavy as it was supposed to be.
At any rate I threw some chains on it, drug the trailer over to a laydown area, dropped it and bobtailed in search of the other driver.

I found him behind a WalMart. NOT in Walmarts parking lot. Heavens no...it was pack full of minivans and suv's. Mommies just a shopping up a storm.

His trailer was unhooked, all I had to do was swing around, back under it, hook up my lines and go.

Which I did and headed back to load his trailer.

I got there, had to endure mr macho sphincter again and swung around back to load.

And waited. And waited. And waited. I started waiting ....oh.....say eleven oclock (being charitable...it was probably 9:30...but I'm being Kind).

It was after two before they got me loaded. We supposedly has AM appointments.

Now I'm strapped for time. Curfew. If were not outa there by three thirty or so we run afoul of the four to six curfew.

So I threw some chains on (not easy...it was an awkward load. Sixteen foot wide, two pieces). and headed out. I called the other driver and he was to meet me at the agreed upon location. Right outside the gate at an outbound widespot. (a road was closed, I figured we could use it temporarily).

I got to where he was and he wasn't. No where in sight. Now you must understand....from that point on I'm in "old new orleans". Right down on the river front. Heavy, heavy traffic, narrow streets, twisty, sidewalks and streetlamps. Also something I call a "starfish" intersection. Three (as opposed to two) streets run together into one intersection. Very confusing and difficult to maneuver for an eighteen wheeler. Much more so for one that's taking up two lanes.

I finally, (after some "testy" language) located his whereabouts and got to where he was. He was basically along side the street. No wide spot. Just stopped. No other choice.

The port police had run him off from where we had decided. We had a nice, safe, out of the way place...but nooooo. Couldn't do it.
So we played in traffic.

Oh....did I mention it started to rain. Heavily? VERY heavily? The rain killed my bluetooth headset for my phone. Now I'm pretty much incommunicado. Definitely NOT hands free.

The rain also caused me to miss my turn going back to my trailer.

Three times.

The rain was COMING down. I Could NOT see.

Finally it let up and I found the trailer, hooked up. Dot called the police escorts. I headed back. Found the other driver , taking up a lane and a half ,and causing horrible traffic jam, where I'd left him.

Cops showed up. He left.

I was going a different route so I couldn't go with him. Only had one cop too. Needed two.

Wait. Thankfully it's not raining any more.
However....curfew has arrived.

Curfew? We don't need no stinkin curfew!!! Or red lights, or...or....not with COPS!!!!

I followed the red and blue cop lights on back of the motorcycles. Magically, like moses and the red sea, the traffic parted.
Since there was a broke down truck on the ramp getting up onto the interstate we took the scenic route.
Thru the French Quarter, down town....really, really, down town...New Orleans.

More cops. There were a swarm. I just toodled along.

Finally came to a on ramp for the interstate. The interstate was a "parking lot". Traffic was stopped. The motorcycle cops, driving BETWEEN lanes, got up on the interstate...stopped three lanes of traffic...I got in the left lane....and rolled.
Looking in my rear view mirror there was a tsunami of automobiles and trucks....held at bay by the motorcycle cops blue lights.

We rolled.

I got back to the truck stop where I'd started twelve hours earlier and weighed the wagon.

Sure enough. We were expecting a gross weight of about 120. Turns out to be about 90.(thousand).

Tomorrow's another day. Glad this one is over.

Didn't kill anyone, or break nuthin....guess it was a good day.
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