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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Ontario CA - Denver CO

Monday 24th June. Today was a very hard one, unloaded in Ontario, loaded in Madera CA which is past Fresno CA and still managed to clock 624 miles. Of course I cannot book it, but unfortunately it had to be done. This job, which is to Fort Wayne IN is about 2290 miles and effectively I have only three full days to do it, as it is supposed to unload on Friday morning at 0900 hrs. It looks as though it is going to be another night shift. I am at the Flying J in Barstow again; there is a waiting list of about fifteen for the showers, so have decided not to wait, as it is late. I will have one in the morning after I fuel up.

Tuesday 25th June. I fuelled up, then had a shower and pulled out on what was going to be a very hard day. The first shock was the 16 mile long pull from Baker CA towards Las Vegas. What a killer for the freightliner, I was down four gears and barely making 25 miles per hour. It was a hot hectic day and when I finally pulled in for the night at Richfield UT I had had enough. Treated myself to a very nice steak at a local restaurant and also had my first glass of red wine this trip. It was fantastic.

Wednesday 26th June.Although yesterday was tough, I knew that today would be even tougher, as there were two more very steep and long climbs to be made. The first at Vail CO and the second up to the Eisenhower tunnel which is at an elevation of some 11000 feet and then drops sharply down to Denver CO which is known as the mile high city, and that is a mere 5500 feet above sea level. The truck did not like the climbs one bit and I had to feather the throttle, switch off the air conditioning and hope that the truck would not overheat up these very long grades. Thankfully I was OK and I pulled in for the night at Julesburg CO where I will fuel up in the morning.

As is usual I have booked off some 65 miles back down the road in order to make the logs look right. I had meat loaf for dinner, not too hungry, so I did not eat it all. Now time for an early night as I drove non-stop today for 12 hours and I am feeling a little tired. I have still got 1000 miles to go and it is going to be tough, as by the morning I will only have twenty-four hours to get there.

Thursday 27th June. As it turned out, it was quite an easy day, because the first five hours were spent on the cruise control at 75 mph and I certainly covered some ground. The speed limit in Iowa and Illinois is lower at 65 mph, but with a careful eye on the lookout for the Highway Patrol it was easy enough to push along at 70 mph. I heard today that the visas for the boys came through at last, so will be looking forward to seeing them all again. I have exactly 230 miles to Fort Wayne, so I will have an early start and should make it on time. Total for the day was 736 miles – pretty well pleased with that.

Friday 28th June. I started at a quarter to four this morning and it was a good thing I did, because it took four and a half hours to get to the destination in Fort Wayne.

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