Sunday, August 31, 2008

8/28/08 10:30AM

Well, so much for leaving on Thursday or Friday. I got home from my last day at Footlocker, and my husband says, “OK, get your stuff loaded, let’s go.” So we pulled out a little ahead of schedule. But, then, I guess I should have expected it. Neither of us is much good at waiting. We got all the way to Clinton, Missouri, and stopped for the night.

As usual, he’s driving, and I’m navigating. He gets a little nervous about some of the routes I pick, ever since the trip we took to Branson where I routed us onto forest service trails for a shortcut through a state park, but we weren’t in a big truck and he wanted the shortest route. It’s a good thing we were in his little 4-wheel drive that trip, ‘cause some of those little dirt roads were pretty rough. We didn’t get lost then, and we’re doing pretty good on this trip, too.

We’re still in Missouri, somewhere east of Springfield on US-63 as I write this. It feels good to be back on the road, falling back into old patterns. I’m remembering things that I haven’t thought about in two years – like odd numbered highways run north and south, even numbers are east and west.

In our hurry to leave, we forgot some stuff, like our CB radio, my raincoat, a lot of little odds and ends that make life easier on the road, but nothing we can’t replace. The biggest headache I’m having right now is that I can’t get my broadband PC card to connect to the internet. We’ll probably have to stop in Memphis, where I know for certain that I’ll have Verizon coverage, and call tech support. Again. For the third time. I’m not quite at the ‘ready to pull my hair out and froth at the mouth’ stage, but if I can’t get it up and running by tonight I probably will be.

The number one reason internet access is so important right now – Hurricane Gustav. We’re heading down to Gulf Shores, Alabama to see my parents before we get back to trucking, and it looks like we might be getting there just in time to evacuate.

On the plus side, I ought to be able get some interesting photos out of the deal.

Oh, and for the record, gas out here in Middle of Nowhere, Missouri is $3.39 a gallon.

Friday, August 22, 2008
"Got no time for spreading roots, the time has come to be gone..." -- Led Zepplin - Ramble On

Take a deep breath and dive in.
Luckily, I've swam in these waters before. I mostly know what to expect, but its still a little terrifying to change jobs, leave home behind and set out on a new adventure.

I'm drowning in a sea of small details - What should I pack? There's only so much room in the cab of a semi, even with a condo roof sleeper berth. Clothes, socks, underwear, toiletries, my laptop, my camera, my cell phone, battery rechargers - do I have all my chargers and power cords? Should I take my tripod? My portable lightstand and strobes? Will I need them out there? Will I be wasting space, or risking missing some great photos? Are all the bills set up to pay online? Have I missed any? Do we have enough savings to cover them until we start getting paid? Who's picking up our mail while we're gone? Do I have everyone's e-mail adresses? Have I said goodbye to everyone, hugged all the people who need hugging before I leave them behind?
These questions, images of just how I will stow everything so it fits in the smallest number of bags, reminders and checklists all run circles in my head, competeing for time with the butterflies in my stomach.

But it's what I long for, to be out there in the world. Free. Driving a truck isn't perfect. We have deadlines to meet, strict rules about what roads we can travel, even when and for how long we have to sleep, but even so, we're outside the walls.
I've always dreamed of just tossing a pack over my shoulder, grabbing my camera and just going... walking, hitchhiking, exploring, learning, climbing mountains, hiding from rainstorms, no place to be, no schedules, no rules...
But that's not going to happen in a world where we have a mortgage to pay, food to buy, retirement to plan for. But Trucking gives me a chance to do a little of that from my corner office on wheels.

I've enjoyed the break from being on the road, I've learned a lot, and met some wonderful people whom I will never forget. I've gotten a taste of what it's like to just be still, and it was nice. But my heart will always belong to out there... to seeing what's around the next corner.

Trucking isn't always interesting, sometimes it's long waits and heavy traffic and bump the dock and go to sleep, but I'll try to update this blog about once a week or so. I want to share the interesting stuff, and I want to try to stay connected with all the folks I'm leaving behind. My whole life has been about moving around, one Navy base to another, one town to another, one truckstop to another, but I never forget the people I meet and the friends I make, and it always hurts to leave friends behind. But, maybe, this way you can come with me... just a little.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
-- J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit

About Me

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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.


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