Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

TRUCK STOPS (unedited /journal entry from 2007 )

TRUCK STOPS


Upon exiting ones truck,
Opening a window,
Or returning from the tstop from a shower or meal
Ones abruptly inundated by the insidious sensation of
Sensory saturation by the rank smell of urine laced with diesel
Eyes may tear or burn from this aroma of diesel fumes and putrid old dry urine, blending into a concoction that stifles the lungs from taking in full or extended breaths.
This combines to create a tstop miasma, and creates the sensation of being in a steam room. Although not always visible this truck stop steam is no less potent being sensed as if ammonia sticks were broken under the nostrils, and the sensation of cottonmouth on the tongue and soft palette were present.
Then the tongue develops the sensation of tasting, then swallowing this aerosolized diesel-urine concoction created by the ceaseless dumping of gallon milk jugs filled with days old urine.
Imagine the smell of a urine laden subway where diesel substitutes for stale air and the musky miasma of sweat, perfume, cologne, and homeless body funk.
It’s akin to the sensation of a humid pre Katrina New Orleans afternoon. Where while strolling through the French Quarter the heat and humidity cakes onto ones body like a second skin.
Afterward one burps and the ever so slight after burp up choke after taste, tastes as if tinged with these ingredients and one has the tactile sensation of having wet talcum powder on the back of the tongue and roof of the mouth. Clothing also gathers the tell tale effect of having been in a smokey lounge.
Your lungs want to cough out this carcinogenic cocktail like a kid having completely inhaled their first puff of a cigarette.

After awhile ones body adapts and the drivers rarely identify these effects as anything more than benign tumorish like side effects.
We become as elderly men and woman nursing enlarged prostates and breast cysts. We tolerate these organically produced foreign masses of sensation as growths we are reluctant to address or disturb since we have formed a symbiotic interaction that dysfunctional-ly serves our denial of the situation.
Even so the idling diesel engines fill the air with what is for a driver a lullaby of loosely melodic charging of turbos and stroking of pistons on their shaft walls that culminate as they reach the peak of their upward thrusts. As each driver pulls into his parking slot, once set to idle her engine falls slowly into the loose rhythm of the others.
All of this allows truckers and trucks alike to gear down into the idling tempo set by the diesels white noise and maintain the stasis of a tstop’s stasis.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Road Today

Below are images from a recent run from Oregon’s Rogue Valley to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. The run took me about 50 hours of driving time, from Saturday evening to Wednesday evening. Now the trip turned out to be 2,927 actual miles, yet I will be paid for the book miles. I get paid for only the miles it says in the book or zip code to zip code, which is the trucking industries very creative way of figuring miles or pay; which in this case comes out to be 2,650 miles, at $0.?0 per mile.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Across the street from the Costco Warehouse

Just north of the southbound scale

Irrigation ditch in Sumner, Washington

On The Road again

I've returned to life on the road once again. Here are some images from Sumner, Washington. I left Ashland, Oregon about 10:30pm on Tuesday 9/1/09, and ran the roughly 430miles to Sumner and my receiver at about 7:30am. What a blast!, what a drive! I ran up I-5 to about exit 124 Caught the 512 to the 167 and exited at the 24th street exit and ran into the Sumner industrial park. Which is right by the big Costco Distribution Center. I took a walk along a short bike path, and over a really really grey coloured river or stream. I made it back to Ashland by 2am on Thursday. It was bitter sweet returning to the road, but more on that later. Oh and for you drivers out there I was running in a Freight Shaker, a condo with a little over a half millon miles. It had a Eaton Fuller 13 speed, and no troley brake so it was a little awkward sliding my tandems in a dirt yard , but I managed. My truck was cut back to 65pmph.