State of Freight – Year to Date, It Sucks

Augusta, Ga.

Our year began with a 2,599 mile deadhead, driving from Quebec to Washington state, burning fuel on our own dime, because we couldn’t find a westbound load.

Normally, we’d wait. Or we’d follow the freight. But last January, we couldn’t. A plane was waiting. Not any plane, the Dreamliner. And not just any seats. Champagne-swilling, Business Class points rides to India, through Shanghai and Bangkok.

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We try to fly through Shanghai to Asia because during the layover MacGyver likes to ride the 431 kph MagLev into the city for Dim Sum. This time we were foiled by a mysterious Shanghai rule. Unlike traveling through Beijing, where bags are checked to the final destination, in Shanghai, we were forced to not only clear customs but collect our bags and check in again, closing the MagLev time window.

That was the harbinger of freight. Or more accurately, fright.

Looking back six months, we can see that freight fell off the cliff on January 2, the day we delivered a diesel engine to Rifle, Colorado.

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New & Improved

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

We’ve rested. We’re refreshed. Life with No Fixed Address is reborn.

Naw! The shitstorm that is 2015 has subsided a little. And well, I want, even need, to talk about it.

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Trying to stuff 2015 down the infamous Fargo, N.D. woodchipper. We’ve been passing the Visitor Center, home of the woodchipper, made famous in the movie Fargo, for years. We stopped in July for some anxiety management.

You may recall, there has been one post so far in 2015. Our pre-India post. We went, we saw, we returned. To chaos. But we have stories to tell, tips to pass along and photos to share. And we’ll bring you up to date on our year so far.

Since the blog was on the shelf so long, and Belledog complained, MacGyver decided we should have a new look. We have switched from a Squarespace format to WordPress. And we need an easier-to-use format so we can post in a timely manner. The format will showcase the photos with the stories.

This WordPress template allows readers to receive an email message when a new post has been uploaded.  Click on “follow” and add your email address.

Of course, in keeping with the theme of 2015 — one step forward, one-and-a-half-back — the switch has been aggravating for MacGyver. First there’s a problem sorting out the pages. Then the text from the previous posts has been imported, but there’s an issue with some of the photos. Realistically that may or may not happen. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. If not, oh well.

We will try to add the older posts and photos to this new site, but until then the old posts can be found here.

In the meantime, Life with No Fixed Address has been resuscitated.

India Separates Weak from Worthy

North Bend, Wash.

The Indian visa application was a test. We passed, barely.

Known around the world for its British-designed, stultifying bureaucracy, the visa process was riddled with inconsistencies, incongruencies, mis- and dis-information. That it was a test of wits and that we survived, is the only way to think about the three-day battle with the on-line application form and the eight-day battle on the phone with the Cox and Kings call center in Mumbai when my passport disappeared in the paper shuffle.

Black Beauty is driven hard — as hard as we can at 58 mph — and put away wet. One last early morning wash in North Bend, WA to remove the winter road salt before she’s stabled. We’ll be riding tuk tuks, taxis and rickshaws for the next few weeks.

 

India has been promising Visa-On-Arrival for its tourism visitors for years. Visa -on-Arrival means a traveler, bearing a passport granted by her home country presents herself and her passport to an Immigration Officer. Because her home-country has given her a passport, and with a payment of no money or a small amount of money, $50 to $150, the country she wants to visit her grants entry for a tourism visit.

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