July 4, 2004 -- I've been off work since last Monday. I'm leaving late this evening to pick a load up early tomorrow morning at Monett, Missouri going to Seattle, Washington. It's only around 90 miles from here to Monett, but I would have to get up very early in the morning to be able to get up to the yard, load my stuff in the truck, hook onto a trailer, fill the truck up with fuel, and still get to Monett by 7:00 AM. It's easier just to do all that stuff tonight.

I went on a nice motorcycle  ride today down to Devil's Den State park, which is only about 16 miles or so from my house. We've had a lot of rain this year. One of the big rains caused flood damage to the dam at Devil's Den. It was a WPA project dam built during the Great Depression.

There was a "swinging bridge" down past the dam, however it got washed out completely. The only thing that remains of the bridge is the stone steps on each side of the banks.

The stone steps are barely visible in the distance.

"Swinging bridges" are supported with ropes and therefore swing as people walk across. Some people cannot handle the bridge moving under them and become sick.

This is a photo of the back side of the small WPA dam. At the moment they are simply allowing the water to go through the small lock at the base.

I've been experimenting with different ways of keeping my beard tied up while I'm riding.

Even with it tied up, this is what it looks like after riding. I'm still looking for a more effective method of beard control !!!

My motorcycle...

My time off is pretty much over. Now it's time to go back to work!

It's now a bit later in the evening. I got to my truck and discovered a large red shop tag affixed to the steering wheel stating that it had not been released by the shop for use. I suppose I should have called the shop before I called my fleet manager Friday afternoon. There's been a long-standing problem with the shop and the dispatch department failing to communicate. Even if they don't want to communicate with each other you would think they could come up with something in the computer system that would put a "hold" on a truck that the shop hasn't released, preventing what is essentially a broke down truck from being dispatched on a load.

So, I turned around and came back home. I'll call them in the morning to see what they say. Tomorrow is a big Monday holiday so I'm not expecting much...