They start off small. Very small. They start off as thoughts. Often, they’re thoughts about previous road trips. They don’t last a long time. But, they grow. They happen more often. Pretty soon, you’re conscious of them. That’s when you know. A road trip is in the making. It’s just a matter of time. I reach a point where I start thinking about planning because that’s what I do. That’s who I am.
When I was a young man, I road-tripped often. As I got older, the road trips became less frequent until there was a time when I never left home without my wife or some of my children. Then, as the nest emptied, I started to wander a little more. And more. And more. Today, I take several months a year, on average, and I go somewhere. Sometimes it’s in the United States. Sometimes it’s in Europe or Asia or Africa or South America. Next year, in 2018, I think that it will be in the United States in the Spring and in Europe later in the year. This post is the first one for getting my material in order for the trip.
The image that you see on the right is from a Google Map. It’s located here. Actually, there is a whole websited dedicated to the subject. I originally thought it was created by the people who publish The Next Exit, but now I believe it’s put out by Roundabout Publications, a group which publishes material for people who live the RV lifestyle and like to move around a lot.
Medical: All commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate) (sic – no punctuation.) Medical Examiner’s Certificate – If the medical examiner finds that the person he/she examined is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), the medical examiner will complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate and give the original to the person who was examined. The medical examiner will keep a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate on file for at least 3 years. If a driver wishes the Certificate to be in card form, he/she may:
Purchase a separate “medical card” from an industry supplier of motor carrier forms (e.g., State trucking association) before the physical exam and ask the medical examiner to complete and sign it, in addition to the Medical Examination Report form; or
Print the Certificate on cardstock paper. It is permissible to reduce the size of the Certificate.
You need an FMCSA # if you weigh more than 10K pounds and haul hazmat or passengers or non-exempt freight. I’m not really clear at this point what non-exempt freight is. You only need a CDL if your total weight is over 26K pounds. Up to 26K pounds you do not need a CDL but you may need an FMCSA #. I would think an FMCSA # is a good thing and would help you get loads. It seems that there really is a viable market for people with small trucks hauling freight.
The key to making money is getting loads. I made money as a trucker not because I was a great driver. I made money because I had a computer next to me that I programmed to poll the load board I used every 15 seconds and processed what was on the board and then screamed at me if there was a load on the board that looked good. This enabled me to get a better shot at getting the load. All I had to do was to drive and wait for the computer to scream and then glance down at the number I needed to call. It would be even easier to do today. Plus today, I know how to send out emails and text messages from my PC to every broker I can get a phone number from.
Go here: https://www.uship.com/carriers/hot-shot-freight/ – this is a load board for people doing freight with small trucks. I got a login id and logged in. There were 73 loads going out within 100 miles of my house. 25 of them were “Cars & Light Trucks” that needed hauled. Some of them paid upwards of $2 a mile. 8 of them were in the “Horses” category and were local delivery. There were 499 loads going out within 200 miles of my house.
Go to: https://www.123loadboard.com/find-loads/oklahoma/all-cities/all-loads and click on hot-shot loads. Apparently, all load boards, and there are a bunch, have a hot-shot section as well as have loads that are less than 10K pounds.
Read: Small truck, big service;
$300 Reward for Recovery
THIS BICYCLE WAS STOLEN IN NORMAN, OK
This is a picture of a bicycle that is the same color and model of the bicycle that was stolen from my home on Thursday September 14, 2017 between 2-3 PM. I really like the bike. I prefer it to my carbon fiber road bike when I ride around town. If you can also drop off the person who stole it tied- up and unconscious with a sack over their head along with the bicycle there can be substantially more money involved.
Yes, it is a real lion and yes, I am taking it on an afternoon walk. It’s not a very common photo and I’m hoping that seeing a bike like the one above will trigger your memory into remembering this picture and thinking about my stolen bike. Memories and sights are like that. One triggers another.
TZ Costa Rica
Groupon Prague & Budapest
NEW YORK NY | (400)
NEW YORK NY | (400)
ATLANTA GA | (400)
DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX | (400)
OKLAHOMA CITY | (400)
HOUSTON TX | (400)
LOS ANGELES CA | (400)
BOSTON MA | (400)
DENVER CO | (400)
MIAMI FL | (400)
SAN FRANCISCO CA | (400)
SEATTLE WA | (400)
NEWARK NJ | (400)
BALTIMORE MD | (400)
CHARLOTTE NC | (400)
DETROIT MI | (400)
FORT LAUDERDALE | (400)
LAS VEGAS NV | (400)
MINNEAPOLIS MN | (400)
ORLANDO FL | (400)
PHILADELPHIA PA | (400)
PHOENIX AZ | (400)
SALT LAKE CITY UT | (400)
SAN DIEGO CA | (400)
TAMPA FL | (400)
SAN JOSE | (400)
I’ve been a few places. I’m scheduled to go to a few more. But there are some places that I would love to explore a bit. There are even some places I’d love to explore a bit more. There have been times in the past when I’ve been somewhere and I’ve not allocated enough time there. Some places are a lot more enchanting than their pictures can convey. But, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about those places that I have seen in an image somewhere and it strikes me as a destination that is quite possibly too good to miss.
Here’s the list. I started it because I saw a picture of a place and I couldn’t really recognize where it was. It’s a reference for the future.
Milford Sound is, at least theoretically, New Zealand’s #1 attraction. It is located towards the southern end of the country’s south island. Getting there isn’t a problem. There are lots of ways to do it. Finding a place to stay isn’t really a big deal either. However, if you think you can just waltz into Queenstown, New Zealand, the jumping off point for Milford Sound, in the summer months and find a cheap place to stay then you don’t really understand how popular the tourist attraction really is. I’m here now and I haven’t seen anything but No Vacancy signs up at all the local accommodations that have signs out front telling the public whether they have vacancies or not. I would say that someone without a reservation who is looking for a place to sleep during the high season should expect to pay a significant sum of money for their accommodations.
But that’s not what this post is about. What I’m looking at in this post is what I would have to pay to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown on a one day trip. I’m going to compare that to what I paid to get there using a rental car. I paid significantly more than someone who was taking a bus trip but there was a reason. I’ll get to that soon. Most of the trips to Milford Sound are tour buses that take you from either Queenstown or Te Anua and put you on a boat where you spend somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours riding around the sound, looking at one of Mother Nature’s better creations. The bare minimum price for the ride is $45 AUD with either Orange or Jucy. Both those cruises are first-thing-in-the-morning cruises. Mid afternoon cruises can cost twice that due to simple supply and demand. The $45 AUD does not include any transportation. If you want to throw in a bus ride from Queenstown the price goes up to $125 for Orange and $115 for Jucy. The trip from Queenstown will take 4+ hours to get there and 4+ hours to get back.
I rented a car at the Queenstown airport when I went to Milford Sound.. The car cost me $123 AUD for a 3 day rental. I didn’t have to pay the $12 AUD to get from the airport to Queenstown and the $12 AUD to get back to the airport. that the vast majority of people pay when they ride the public bus to and from the airport. My cruise wound up costing me $22.50 AUD as I rented a car from Jucy and got a 50% discount. I didn’t have to stay in Queenstown. I stayed in Te Anau, a small town located half way between Queenstown and Milford Sound. That means that my trip to Milford Sound wasn’t a 4+ hour drive there and back. It was a 2+ hour drive each way. While I would have liked to have had someone else drive me there and back, I didn’t want to sit on a bus for almost 10 hours. Plus, I would have had the cost of buying a lunch somewhere and it’s muyunderstanding that those bus lunches don’t come cheap. I went to the store and just grabbed a couple of cheap snacks for my trip. This saved a few AUD for food. Another thing I could do with the car was to go out sightseeing. I did a lot of that. I could stop the car anywhere and get out and take some photos. I couldn’t do that on the bus. One thing I did have to do was to buy fuel and that was what really shot the price up. I spent a total of $xxx AUD on fuel. That was the major cost difference as far as the rental car versus bus trip was concerned.
Was I glad I got the rental car? Absolutely. It was great. I could go wherever I wanted and I put a bunch of miles on the car wandering around places I would have never been able to go without the car. Yes, it wound up costing me some extra money but I feel the cost was worth it. There’s not a lot of public transportation when you get into rural New Zealand. A car is important if you want or need flexibility. Plus, I got to experience what it was like to drive around New Zealand.
This is the transportation breakdown for local transportation in the cities I visited. Some cities had no cost because they were small and I didn’t require local transportation. Often, I tried to get day passes when I though they were worth it and they were available. Other times I just paid by the ride. Continue reading