Anyway, I was eventually offered a few choices. The first choice was to stay put and continue with this load, though the rest might not be loaded until 2300 hours or later. The second choice was a short 250ish mile run in the Texas area. The third choice was one of those live load runs from Irving, Texas to Springfield, Missouri that loaded at 1500.
After careful thought I decided to stay put on the current load. I thought it likely I could get worked in before 2300 and the other loads would require me to first drag my partially-loaded trailer to the far side of Dallas to our yard, then find an empty, then go run one of the other loads. Sounded like a lot less work my way, was the thinking.
Before I could even get on the "work in" list I had to pony up a $60
By late morning I was backed into a door and after about an hour's wait the six (yes, six) pallets that this load was missing were hoisted aboard and I got a call to come to the office for the paperwork. Right at high noon I departed, heading east towards Little Rock, Arkansas. Aside from a couple quick stops to take the Browns to the Superbowl and drop off some trip packs I didn't stop driving until I got to Tennessee.
My first attempt to find a place to park was at the oddly-designed Pilot at exit 47. There were a set of three parking spaces, all blind backs that I considered briefly then discarded. I know I could make it into one of them just fine but the problem would come in a few hours when two other tired drivers would attempt the same feat only with less space and a better chance of my truck being hit.
I continued down the road, missing an opportunity to park at a Huddle House at exit 56 (I didn't see if the lot had any free space until I was past the turnoff). My next chance would be around mile marker 73, so I thought, at the first rest area but suddenly a sign for a T/A truck stop popped up at an exit marked "Providence Road."
Feeling providential, I took the exit and moved slowly into the parking area and saw three parking spots open along the back row. BAM! Now there are just two left.