A Long Drive In A Big Truck

☆ August 19, 2013


This year, I decided to deliver Star Brand Beef myself. I wanted to do this for a few reasons. On the technical and business end, I wanted to experience the delivery/pickup process first hand so that I would know what it entails and could therefore speak with real knowledge when I hire drivers in the future, and to see what should or could be improved about the process.

And on the pure pleasure end, I was way overdue for a road trip. I was thrilled to have the chance to finally meet customers and readers face to face. And my delivery route landed me at my grandmother’s house in the Bay Area for a most wonderful visit with Svensto.


I drove 3500 miles in a rented reefer truck. I drove that truck into LA and across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the desert and through the night. It was SO MUCH FUN. And the best part was getting to hang out with people whose comment handles I recognized or who I’ve known only through email. Digital is never as real as real life.


Windmills and Joshua trees in Mojave, CA, where I spent an afternoon in a rocketship hangar and touched something that’s going into space.


Driving into LA. I figured traffic would be mellowest early on a Sunday morning, and it was, hooray! The roads down there are terrible though. Sections of the 405 made the washboard gravel roads around here seem downright luxurious.


Leaving LA, Sunday midday. I took this photo for Mike. He’s more comfortable spending the night alone in the wilderness in a blizzard than driving for five minutes in the light traffic of Billings. He’s never even seen traffic like this.


The ocean. Part of me will forever be a California girl.


Pretty wood at China Camp in Marin, which is where the photo of the boat house and dock from my last post is also from.


Door handle of the Boxster convertible I got to ride around in for a few days after my deliveries were done. Pure art.


Driving home, the Utah salt flats. This photo is way better bigger, click it to see it large. I was like a barn spoiled horse headed home ~ I could not wait to see the Farmily. Mike took great care of everyone while I was away; I couldn’t have made this trip without him holding down the fort and making sure everyone had food and love. He even carried his cell phone around so that I could talk to the animals every few days via speakerphone while I was gone.


42 Responses to “A Long Drive In A Big Truck”

  1. Assana
    August 19th, 2013 @ 10:21 am


  2. Amy
    August 19th, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    Glad you were able to get away for a bit! Road trips are my favorite, especially alone. That means I can sing at the top of my lungs to any song I want and not torture any other living being in the process.

    I’m a (former) California girl myself, and I miss driving through the Bay Area and Central Valley. So nice!

  3. Barbara R
    August 19th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    With the exception of LA, covet covet covet! I am so ready for a road trip.

    Welcome back, traveler. Congrats on a successful run with Star Brand and the chance to get your ya-ya’s out along the way!

  4. Pam
    August 19th, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    I cannot wait for you to deliver beef in the Midwest! Would love to meet you after all the emails .

  5. mj
    August 19th, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Thanks for the photo journey and the traffic reminder of why I don’t like big city driving:)

  6. wright1
    August 19th, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

    Sounds like the best kind of travel: relaxing, stimulating, informative; enjoyable on many levels. Thanks for those lovely images.

  7. Rose
    August 19th, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    Everyone needs a road trip occasionally. I enjoy the wide open spaces all over the west, I.40 I.70, I.80 and I.90, with occasional detours to the back roads. It’s an amazing country!

  8. Maggie
    August 19th, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    Love this post. Ahh LA (all of SoCal really) traffic. Amazing Mike has never seen traffic like it! Lucky him.

  9. Creekhiker / HollysFolly
    August 19th, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    OMG OMG OMG!!!! I have worked on all kinds of films with all kinds of famous people. But I have NEVER been more star struck than the time I got to touch the space shuttle! Color me green with envy….

  10. Calico
    August 19th, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    Loved the pic of LA traffic jam ! Mike will hardly believe it! I live outside of the city of Toronto in Canada. One major highway through the city is called the 401, and it is busy day and night. Sometimes at 4pm, you are one of 14 lanes (in one direction), and all of those 14 lanes are stopped. Just from volume, not an accident. People who haven’t experienced it just can’t believe it ! (I live in a mid size city of 500,000)

  11. dani
    August 19th, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

    Oh Shreve, you are amazing! Reading this gave me chills, I can only imagine what living it must feel like!

  12. Karyn
    August 19th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    I am always up for a road trip, so glad you got to get out an experience that for awhile! Sorry I did not have the opportunity to meet up with you while you were here in SoCal. It always makes us appreciate home more, tho doesn’t it?

  13. Judy
    August 19th, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    Yes, I also “call” my dogs and speak to them on the speakerphone when I’m away. So glad to know there are others who do this!
    Wish I could be on your delivery route!

  14. shreve
    August 19th, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    Sorry about the comment weirdness – they’re all going to spam. Will work on it…. in the meantime, now I know where to find and approve them.

  15. Eileen
    August 19th, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    You are an unbelievably brave and adventurous person! I so enjoyed reading about your trip…kinda like doing it with you!

  16. Jenny C
    August 19th, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    Trip sounds divine – perfect that you got to see your grandmother. My favorite thing of all is a road trip, preferably on my own, so vicariously enjoyed your narrative and pics – thanks! LOVE Hwy 1 (& 101) route S.F. to LA. Every time I drive it I think of you as I pass cattle grazing on acres and acres of uninhabited prime coastal property just south of S.F. Busy, busy S.F., then suddenly nothing but ocean, cattle and sky. Yum.
    So fun to touch something heading to space! You might have been w/my nephew in rocketship hangar (at Edwards, right?) – he’s working on huge new space project and loves seeing everything all the companies are preparing for orbit. I gotta’ tell ya’, though, the Mojave in early August… I’m w/Smashmouth: might as well be walkin’ on the sun, man. …And LA traffic is its own living, breathing beast, isn’t it? So much fun to travel, though, it’s bearable. Ha.

  17. taffy
    August 19th, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    Your trip was fulfilling and fun!
    And Mike is a gem.

  18. Jackie/Montana
    August 19th, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    Your just a AMAZING woman

    Got teary eyed you talking to the Farmly on
    speaker. Reminded me of myself.

    Glad your home

  19. Heatherface
    August 19th, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

    The idea of never having sat in traffic like what we have in L.A is just mindblowing to me. Part of me is like “What do you mean they don’t have gridlock everywhere??”

  20. Torre
    August 19th, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

    Ugg the traffic – we have bad traffic hear in MD. Mike is lucky on that front!

    Sounds like a great trip!

  21. Katbalu
    August 20th, 2013 @ 7:11 am

    Shreve, Thank you so much for sharing your trip with your email buddies! I am definitely living vicariously through you and the Farmily(Mike too)! I am glad you were able to take a mini vacation…

  22. hello haha harf
    August 20th, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    amazing how we can love the adventure and yet be wildly excited to return home. love that feeling. thrilled you got to experience this journey…and hug svensto along the way!

  23. LJ
    August 20th, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    Awesome, just awesome.

  24. Ericka
    August 20th, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    OK… You are awesome!! That is all :)

  25. Meg
    August 20th, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

    Amazing photos! I so wish I could purchase some of your beef, but I don’t think Manitoba, Canada would be in your route! haha

  26. Nancy D
    August 20th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Hi Shreve, your trip sounded great! Nice that you were able to see your grandmother. You say a big truck, was it a tractor trailer truck? Do you have your Class A lisence? Or possibly you were driving a box truck, either way, very adventurous!

  27. Jaznme
    August 20th, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    Hi Shreve…I really enjoyed meeting and talking with you in Torrance, along with the others in my beef group (Divine Bovine). You are so sweet and gracious. The beef is delicious and I’m glad to have been able to get it again. I hope for a repeat next summer!!

    I’m glad you had a safe, fun trip and I know how good it feels to be back home. It’s always like that for me…love the trip and time away but always nice to be home again.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Someone posted the following on my facebook wall and since it touched me with truth I thought I’d share it with you as well.

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory that no one can steal.

    Sending you a hug…take care ~ Melissa

  28. Po
    August 21st, 2013 @ 6:51 am

    We just returned from the Republic of Georgia, and the roads there made us appreciate even the worst roads here (plus there are cows all over their roads.)

    We on the East coast hope you’ll be doing this for us next year, and you can experience a different road trip.

    Thanks as always for sharing.

  29. Taryn
    August 21st, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

    You never cease to amaze me!

  30. Yvonne
    August 21st, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Sounds like an awesome adventure. That picture of LA traffic is sadly very similar to what I see everyday driving home from Seattle. Ugh! Great road trip pictures!

  31. Rachael
    August 21st, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

    It was so lovely meeting you at the LA drop. I’ve only had one taste of Star Brand Beef so far (too hot here to eat a bunch of beef) and I am documenting it. Thanks again for all of your hard work to bring us amazing beef!

  32. Joanna
    August 21st, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    It was super fun to meat (ha) you. Sorry LA’s parting gift was miles of traffic.

    I hope you will make the rounds again next year and I’ll hoard a whole quarter for myself.

  33. leah in Indiana
    August 22nd, 2013 @ 1:36 am

    Wonderful adventure venture! Congrats and so sorry for the loss of your friend.

  34. Aleta
    August 22nd, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    Ah, you did get a good photo of the windmills. :-) All of us in Mojave really enjoyed meeting you, hope you can come back this way again. Next time we’ll fly you around a bit. :-)

  35. ChristineV
    August 23rd, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    Glad you had a good trip. I was part of the last delivery. Hope I get to meet you one day. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

    Mike is a keeper.

  36. Lindsay
    August 23rd, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Beautiful picture :)

  37. Karla
    August 29th, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Glad to hear you had a safe trip, which is the most important, and the fact the farmily survived your absence.

  38. ChrisH
    August 30th, 2013 @ 12:48 am

    I so want to see the Utah flats for myself, and that picture just amazes me! Looks like a great roadtrip!

  39. Jen
    August 31st, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Glad to hear you got to stretch your legs a bit! Welcome back to the Farmily.

  40. goddess
    August 31st, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    Please put Chicago on next years route. Glad you had an awesome trip.

  41. kellig
    September 4th, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    ah, LA traffic… I do NOT miss thee. the 5pm traffic jam consists of about 30 cars and last all of 11 minutes. And people don’t believe me when I tell them traffic is why I left LA… great photos.

  42. Tracy
    January 8th, 2014 @ 7:27 am

    I love your photos, but stopped visiting after you killed your cows to sell for meat. I decided to check back in, but am so sad to see that you’re still killing and making a profit from your beautiful animals. Have you witnessed the killing yet? Do you know that it’s not necessary to eat animals? So you’re killing them for no good reason. It could be different, you could open a sanctuary instead.

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