I live in 80 square feet. Think about that. That’s 8 feet by 10 feet, with cabinets, seats and my bunk all in that area. The only floor area is 3 feet by 4 feet, and I can only stand up in half of that! Not much room. So why do I do it?
“What are you willing to give up to get what you want?” That’s my motto, and my focus for the next 2 or 3 years. Because I have cut my expenses I am able to save a significant amount of money. I have no house or apartment, no real address, no yard, no kitchen, and no bathroom. Just about every convenience we have come to know and take for granted, will not fit in my truck. It’s a very minimalist lifestyle that I have learned to live with, but I’m OK with it.
Free showers with fuel purchase at truck stops, bathrooms at every rest area, overnight parking and food shopping at Walmart, and occasionally some good food at some truck stops. I travel the same routes quite often so I have a list of favorite places for each need, and today I stopped at one.
The New Smithville Diner is located next door to one of our drop yards in Kutztown Pa, exit 45 off interstate 78. It’s your regular “Mom & Pop” type diner that I grew up with. Just simple, filling and quality food like mom used to make. No fancy dishes, no expensive decor, just friendly servers and a clean building.
I had to stay here today for some repairs to my truck so I went over for dinner. Like most days I try to eat before the dinner rush, usually around 3:30 or 4 and today was no exception. I ordered the Chicken Cacciatore and found it quite good. They served it with a nice Tomato and Basil soup which was also excellent.
When you live on the road, certain things make the cramped quarters and inconvenient lifestyle a little more tolerable. Clean bathrooms and showers, a safe and quiet place to sleep, as many comforts as possible in your truck, but most importantly, as Pan at “On The Road Cooking” would agree with, is good food.
Nothing is more soothing after a hard day of driving than a good meal. It sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Cap it off with a nice shower and a great movie (tonight’s movie is “Casablanca”) and the lifestyle is not so bad.
The next time your food shopping, buying a new car, sitting in a restaurant or just slumming it at home, think of a truck driver. Every vegetable, every sedan, every dish, every couch and TV, was once on a truck. We are the people delivering everything you use on a daily basis. Many of us have wives and children just like you, we just don’t get to see them everyday.
We drive in crazy traffic for hours at a time, deal with obnoxious shippers and receivers, suffer through breakdowns in 105 degree heat, and drive all hours of the day or night in any kind of weather. There is nothing easy about this job.
We do it because it pays well in today’s world, and we have the freedom of the open road with all the beautiful sights in this country. The vast open stretches of America’s highway system give you a feeling of just how small we all are, how much there is to see. I feel humbled every day that I spend behind the wheel, soaking in what is all around us, and best of all, it’s free.