Day -209 – Adventures in Truck Driving

yes.quoteWe got denied today – big time!  The folks at the Ohio Turnpike Toll Plaza wouldn’t let us enter.  It was something I didn’t really understand at first, but we figured it out.  After pulling two u-turns (in a semi-truck, in the middle of toll plaza traffic) we tried it again. DENIED!  Turns out we were too heavy on our single axle on the truck.

Their solution, take Hwy 20 across Ohio – that’s roughly 240 miles on a stop and go highway.  Our solution, unload the Jeep and drive it separately.  We were about 3000 pounds overweight – what’s an XJ weigh?  A bit more than that, so we pulled off the road (after another u-turn) and unloaded.  It seemed far easier than trying to take the back road and ending up having to drive through Cleveland and Toledo.  Josh met us at the Pennsylvania border and we re-loaded.

Now here were the thoughts going through my head…the Turnpike is a limited access road, fewer people because it costs money to drive it, if our rig was unsafe – I’m assuming that was their conclusion since it was an overweight issue – why would they want to send us on a road where there were more people?  Isn’t that more “unsafe” and the potential for danger larger?

Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out rule makers, I wish they had to put in their rule books, the why behind the rule.  Wouldn’t that make us all a little more compliant and interested in meeting the rule?  It’s like using “because I said so” as your answer to all kid questions, if you don’t have a reason to say no…trying saying yes, it feels better and is a happy answer.

Photo credit to my friend, Joel Moranton..check out his page



Day -206 People Helping People

Smile Alert!

Smile Alert!

When I take a broad view on the world, I see lots of folks just going about their day, without concern or regard for others.  In fact, I sometimes fall in to that trap myself, forgetting that people who work with the public don’t owe me anything, if I can’t be nice, why should they. I lose a little faith in humanity when I am faced with tyrant little men yelling at the world, service workers who wish they were anywhere else but at their jobs, tourists who think they own the place.

And then, along comes a humanitarian act or three that restores your faith….

It started last week, we held an event in Moab on Saturday, as part of that, I shared with the group what I was doing on Sunday – raising funds for my favorite charity.  At the end of the day, two of our trophy winners – a father and son team – donated their purse to my charity.  Made me cry, this wasn’t just a small amount, this was almost $1,000.  Another champion peeled off a couple hundred dollar bills and added to the total.

Then this week, we were fortunate enough to be around some awesome folks.  They gave up their weekend and their resources to help us have a great event.  It was more than what we generally see, we have a lot of volunteers in our industry, but no one compares to this group of people who saw it through to the end. My faith meter is moving up.

And then the kicker…another champion from our event walked up and said “Shelley, I don’t know how much I won this weekend, it doesn’t matter, I want you and Rich to keep it.  Put it to good use, you have a long trip ahead, you never know what can happen.”  When I protested, he just smiled and said, “I prayed about it, this is what I want to do.”  There is no refutation to a statement like that.

I am forever grateful and doubly blessed by the people we are surrounded by.  Each day, I strive to do the right thing, to be appreciative and understanding.  Most days I fail, I am human.  I admire so many around me for their generosity and compassion, thank you for reminding me that there is more good in our world than bad.


Day -185 All Terrain Hero


(I wrote this a couple weeks ago…time to share)


I didn’t sleep last night, in fact I was up before 5 a.m. thinking I was gonna puke.  I had spent the previous six hours going over what was going to happen this morning and kicking myself for dreaming too big.  The truth of the matter was that I was scared to death.  My first ever All Terrain Hero was to begin at 6:30 a.m.

For years I have written business plans…for others, I never really get around to implementation for myself.  My daughter wanted a pizza truck, no problem, I wrote the plan…but it was up to her to implement.  My husband wanted to expand our racing series, no problem, I know what it takes, but he’s the face, he’s the one that has to do the real work, I’m just in the background.

But, All Terrain Hero is mine.  My husband has been an awesome supporter, but he left it entirely up to me to design and implement.  This is the show that should be called Fear Factor, because that’s how I felt.  What if it fails? What if no one comes out? What if those that do, think it’s lame?  I’m not worried about the financial success yet, I just wanted to have an event that people walked away happy from.

So, here is the concept…we already design and mark a race course for our motorsports events, when that event is over, we tear down the course and move on to the next location.  Why not use the same course the next morning for people to run on, or walk if that is what makes them more comfortable.  I selected a charity partner with The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation to help raise money for them, (check them out, they are awesome.)  Would there be any interest?  I’ve always enjoyed hiking our courses, maybe others would too.

There are lots of steps when building a business, or at least starting one, most of them are administrative…that part I understand.  I hired an awesome designer in Armchair Crisis Designs to help with the logo, I ordered t-shirts from The Sickline, I got banners from Biltrite Signs, business cards from Premier Digital Printing.  All of these people are important because they are small business owners like me.  Each of these puts food on the table for their families, no corporate highbrow here, just real folks doing real jobs for real people…my favorite kind.  It doesn’t matter that they are scattered all over the west, each of them came through for me.

On January 1, I launched our website, two days later I had my first entry and then it got quiet.  For the last several months I have been sweating this, not much action, plenty of lookers, but no takers.  Maybe I really am out of my mind.  My husband tells me a week ago, when I am on the verge of tears and telling him my fears, “It’s not failure unless you quit.”  He’s right, and I am not a quitter.

Back to Sunday morning, my phone rings at 5 a.m., someone needs directions to the park.  By 5:30, my first racer, Adam is on site.  “You’re a little early” I apologize for not being quite ready.  He was concerned that there would be a bunch of people and he didn’t want to be late.  Well, there isn’t a bunch of people, it is a small intimate group that take the start line at 7:30.

My first racer, the early one, is back in 33 minutes; he ran the 4.5 mile course in just over a seven minute mile.  As he crossed the finish line, he said “That was the best course I’ve raced in years, a true cross country course, thank you.”  My heart swelled.  Next across the line was a runner at 48 minutes, she told me that she runs a 10 minute mile on pavement, she couldn’t believe her trail run was at the same pace.  The rest of the group came in before an hour and a half had gone by.  Everyone smiled, everyone enjoyed it.  I’m counting this as a win.  Was it as big as I wanted?  No.  Will it grow?  Absolutely.  Thanks everyone for believing in me, if you get a chance, and we are in a community near you, check us out.