30 July 2011

Running the roads

I began "A Travelers Thoughts" in 2009 as a way to share my experiences with a variety of people, not just those in trucking, but those who are in my everyday life. I wanted the opportunity to meet and share experiences with new people outside my comfort zone via a different sort of media, blogging. It's still a work in progress.

This week, I scanned old pictures from my years on the road, posting them here so others can enjoy the fabulous scenery across the nation as seen through the camera lens at the end of my fingers. I've been reliving those memories through these old photos.

The camera didn't always capture what I saw (or the way I thought I saw whatever I was focused at)... and in many cases I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the results.  I am not a professional photographer not will I ever claim to be. There was no luxury of immediately being able to review what I had pointed the camera at. There were times when I headed home, after being out nearly a month, with ten rolls of film to have processed. It might be weeks before I would see the results of my efforts.

Some years ago, the loneliness and an aging parent drove me home again. It was a choice made out of necessity. I missed the animals (there were horses, dogs, and cats) waiting patiently for my return. I missed being home (at the kitchen table) chatting with family and friends.

I've crisscrossed the United States more than once, albeit in a big rig with access to fuel and services routed for me; with someone on the other end of a 'Qualcomm' (a kind of GPS tracking and communications device); with an 800 number memorized to call for help or just to talk to someone friendly, and/or to call home to someone I know is missed, misses and loves me, too.

A lot of someones always knew where I was within 1/2 mile of my actual location even if I was uncertain where I was. I was never quite alone even though I was by myself in the rig. I used to quip ... "I'm a paid professional tourist. I get paid to drive the truck, deliver the freight, and see snippets of the country at the same time."

Seeing these old photos again has made me want to head out again, like some friends have done just recently. I envy their journeys. I loved seeing the United States. I enjoyed my time as an over the road driver, too, in spite of the loneliness. It's likely I'll have the opportunity to 'run the roads' again very soon.