It was a year ago this past week while on the first leg of my long anticipated Around the USA road trip. I was cruising along Interstate 40, eastbound at 80 miles an hour approaching Winslow, Arizona.
It was nearly 11:00 at night. I’d left Las Vegas 5 hours earlier and had a long trip ahead. Other than a few stops for naps I was determined to make it to Huntsville, Alabama, still 21 hours away, for my first layover to visit family.
Weeks earlier I’d researched the routing, and possible sightseeing stops. Now, nearing the first possibility at a spot in Winslow’s downtown corridor, I was having second thoughts. After all it was late and I found myself unsure I wanted to delay my momentum so early in the trip. Would it be worth the bother?
A check of my GPS indicated it was just a mile or so off the Interstate. Had it been five miles I probably wouldn’t have stopped. Turned out it was just too close to pass by.
You gotta love Texas and you gotta love Texans. At least I do. A lot of things set them apart through their iconic symbols. Be it the southern drawl, those gorgeous Texas belles, their legendary support for high school football, the Texas cowboy, and especially their famously independent nature.
It all comes from a long, storied history. From the Anahuac Disturbances to the battle for the Alamo through Civil War and Reconstruction and beyond. The Texas Rangers deserve recognition too. I don’t mean the baseball team but the ones who took out Bonnie and Clyde. Their stories are the stuff movies, heroes, legends and football stars are made of.
Then there’s those long, endless, deserted, dusty roads connecting notable cattle ranches, some encompassing hundreds-of-thousands of acres, with oceans of grass feeding huge herds. Have you noticed?
The oil strikes, even their cowboy hats… everything is big in Texas! It’s the largest state in the lower 48. If Texas were a country it’d be the 40th largest. Bigger than France and nearly twice as big as Germany or Japan. God blessed Texas.
NOTE: With the exception of this one, the previous blog entries prior to June 28, 2011 were written in 2007. They were hosted on my blog at Blogspot.com. They were imported into this newer blog on WordPress.com in August of 2011.
These older blog entries began on April 10, 2007 and were a chronicle from April to October of 2007 of my adventures traveling our nation’s highways and biways as a rookie long-haul trucker. During the eight months I was on the road I traveled 73,000 miles of the “lower 48.” Those days are over for now, but it was fun in telling those stories, while they lasted.
The adventure for now ends with this post but began with this first entry.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. Unfortunately I was forced by circumstances to put my efforts aside here. My days as a bloggist came to an abrupt halt in October of 2007, with the story left unfinished, and my readers no doubt wondering, “what happened?” My attentions were needed elsewhere and no allowances were given for writing. For that abrupt end I apologize. I remained on the road for another three months when my days as a long-haul trucker also came to an end.
I loved much of what I did in those days that began a little more than four years ago and especially of what I saw along the way. To say the least it was an eye-opening experience and a blessing to be able to travel around the country and to see all there was to be seen. From my vantage point, as I crisscrossed the continent from Seattle, Washington to Jacksonville, Florida; from Dexter Maine to Otay Mesa, California, and all-points between — it is indeed America the Beautiful — from sea to shining sea! Continue reading
WARNING! This is long!
Hard to believe that September has come and gone and we’re now well into October. Where has all the time gone? And hey! What about summer? Where’d that go? There’s so many stories I could tell, from my experiences of the last three months since going solo — and even a few before then, but so little time to write them all down and my access to the ‘net has been limited. I’ve gone through a month-long dry spell lately but hope to “catch up” … just a bit anyway with this latest entry that’s beyond overdue.
I’m back in Sparks, Nevada after an all-night trip Friday night from Fontana, Ca. to Reno. It was a long drive across the Mohave Desert and northward between the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and Death Valley to the east. Most of the 460 mile trip was along the two lanes of U.S. Highway 395. Only some phone calls, the occasional headlights of other cars, small-town lights in the distance, and a stop or two along the deserted road, to admire a very dark sky and it’s millions of stars, helped break up the monotony. Continue reading
Who can’t recall where they were and what they were doing six years ago today? It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long, and harder yet to believe that we’ve not experienced a similar attack since. Somebody must be doing something right! It’s one of those days we will always remember and one certainly never to be forgotten, especially in these days of political debate. Life can and does go on, BUT NEVER, NEVER forget! Our very culture and our way of life depend on it.
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph. ~~ Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 1776. Continue reading
My thanks as always to all those that visit here and for your words of praise.
I’m in Memphis, Tennessee tonight at a truck stop along Interstate 40 after running a load of footwear from Dexter, Maine to Mabelvale, Arkansas, a little community just southwest of Little Rock. I dropped my trailer early last night at a Dillard’s Department Store Distribution Center and then spent the night in nearby Benton. While here in Memphis I’d love to visit Elvis’ Graceland but there’s no time this trip to venture the less than ten mile distance. Where would I park anyway?
As I drove into Little Rock yesterday, along southbound I-30, I crossed the Arkansas River and could see a short distance to the east the Clinton Presidential Center. Set along the banks of the river within a park setting the building is a bit unique with a large section elevated above the ground. As much as I tried I really didn’t find the architecture all that impressive. But the huge and even dramatic First Pentecostal Church nearby more than made up for it. Continue reading
I’m sitting along an off-ramp at Dandridge, Tennessee about 30 miles or so east of Knoxville. There are no open spaces at the nearby truck stop, so I make my home here tonight on I-81. This is my second pass through the state in just ten days and among that growing number of states I had never visited before… until just recently. Tomorrow morning I pick up a load at Chestnut Hill and head to Chambersburg, PA. just a short distance from Gettysburg.
Since I last wrote I’ve been as far north as Skowhagen, Maine and down to Greer, South Carolina. Then it was back to Front Royal, Virginia, about a 90-minute drive from Washington, D.C. After my drop of Sterilite products in Front Royal at a Family Dollar Warehouse on the 18th I spent the next 8 days in the Washington D.C. area visiting with Mercedes. She treated me to a great time and chauffered me around to visit the sights and a few of the old neighborhoods where I lived as a young boy in nearby Maryland.