I had route 2 on Wednesday, a mail route I was trained on over a year ago as a back up sub. I had done it three times and not since so although I remember some of it I still asked for a route description just in case I got turned around somewhere. You know how it is. If you don't have it you will need it. As it turned out I didn't really need it but that is because I had it.
That route is a bear. 112 miles of washboard roads, a good hour of it in the forest down tiny dirt tracks that weave between the old tornado destruction and through swamps. It is nothing to travel 3 miles between mail boxes and the worst of it is some people STILL don't have their name or number on the box so if I guessed wrong it was a LONG trip back to correct the mistake. Of course that is partially the regular carrier's fault. She should be insisting those boxes have numbers and if they don't, writing them herself inside or outside the boxes. She knows them like the back of her hand but when someone is newly trained (like her now new sub replacing her old one) or someone such as myself who only does it once a year it is confusing and maddening and frustrating. Not what you want in a sub!
I did get to see some deer. One leaped over a six foot fence which is always quite a sight to see. It was a cold -2 day with 30 mph winds so nothing much was moving. My heating blower stopped working for almost two hours so that was a cold bit of run. But it kicked in again on the last hour. No heat for the 1/2 hour drive home though.
I ended up bringing back some mail because I was not sure on one stretch of road who was who. So too bad. Rather than make a mistake it came back with me.
That run surely made me appreciate my route! Mine may be lots heavier in mail volume but I know it well. Additionally, the roads are much better, not so many that are washboards or potted with potholes that one cannot avoid despite trying to weave through them.
Saturday I am back to my original route out of my old PO as my neighbor the carrier has a funeral. Her nephew passed away and so I am glad to do it. It is a smaller one, they call it an H route. I will be done by one and then can go to the tack swap in the city and still make it before they shut it down. I like doing my old route. Last Saturday I did it and it had been a year since I have done it last but I know that one by the back of my hand too. Plus I live here so I know most of the people. Aside a few change of names and additional hardships and two dismounts, easy as pie.
4 years ago