Donner’s Pass

There are some mountain passes that most truck drivers treat carefully. One called Cabbage in Oregon along I-84 east of Portland. Monteagle or Lookout Mountain in Tennessee along I-24. The Grapevine along I-5 in California. And Donner’s Pass in California along I-80.

I have never been over that pass before, and if my luck holds I will avoid that sum’bitch for the rest of my life. Steep, curvy, terrible pavement and lots of road workers running around. Narrow lanes. Did I mention steep? I fueled just across the border in Nevada and I reset my fuel monitor when I did. By the time I hit Sacramento I was registering a bone-chilling 4.1 MPG. My jakes were acting up a bit, making a weird sound when they first engaged after being put under heavy strain for the better part of two hours.

This morning I finished the rest of the run in to the Safeway distribution center in Tracy, California and got unloaded. Food warehouse, lumpers, slow unload. The usual drill in such places.

I alerted my dispatcher that I only had about three hours to run for the rest of the day and it took a solid eight hours to work out my next load. I’m to head south then out to the coast to pick up in San Luis Obispo, California then run further south to the Los Angeles area for a few more pallets then take the whole thing out to Ottawa, Illinois.

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