Multi-stop last mile from an Oregon National Forest

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multiple stop loadWe finally got to the fifth stop on the ever so screwed-up multi-stop cabinet load. When you look the word clusterscrew up in the dictionary, there’s a picture of a bill of lading with multiple stops listed on it.

The final was icing on the cake, as it turned out to be at someone’s house. Yep, you read that right – someone’s house. Because when I think, “home delivery,” I think, “Rent a 53-foot dry van to come down my driveway (that just happens to be on top of a mountain in a National Forest in Oregon) to deliver 25 cabinets.” As it turned out, the guy owned a cabinet shop and had a nice little turnaround on his property. He’d had loads delivered before in a big truck, and had plenty of room for us, but going in it looked like we were totally screwed.

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“Are you effin kidding me? This is a private driveway to someone’s house! We can’t be in the right place.”

“I called ahead, babe. The guy owns a shop on the property. He says I won’t have a problem getting out.”

“Probably because he has no idea how hard it is to back a 53-foot trailer down a narrow gravel driveway for a half mile.”

“I won’t have to back out. He said he has a turnaround. Calm down.”

So it worked out, but with all the delays and odd delivery places, we came out of the last stop with exactly one hour left on his 70. During rush hour in the Portland area. Of course, I was freaking out. Of course, George wasn’t, which usually makes me even more agitated. We had booked a hotel room close to the airport, so we could have a couple days to explore Portland while he did a reset.

“We’re never going to make it. You’re going to be fined and tarred and feathered for going over your hours. Oh my God, your career is over.”

“I’m kind of busy concentrating, babe. Please stop worrying. I’m going to make it.”

“We’re not moving.”

“I realize that.”

“The minutes are ticking away.”

“I would like for you to be quiet now, please. We’re going to make it.”

“I’m going to lie down. Wake me up when they’re done caning you for going over your drive time.”

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Needless to say, we did make it. He had exactly one minute left on his clock when he completed the blind side back off a busy Portland street during rush-hour traffic and shut the truck down. He really does amaze me sometimes. I would have been in the fetal position, sobbing. Actually, I think I was and I wasn’t even driving.

Every time we have an experience like this, I think of all the drivers out there having the same kind of experiences every day and I’m once again extremely thankful for the people who do this job, because I’m pretty sure I’d have a stroke about the middle of a blind side back off a busy street into a narrow alley. Hats off to you, drivers, and thank you for what you do.