Life On The Road

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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24 thoughts on “Life On The Road

  1. I love your landscape photos. If you stop and think about it, what you are doing is no different then this new “tiny houses” fad. But yours is a better deal cause your “tiny house” is mobile. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Mister…Were you in my neck of the woods, because it sure looks like you were in some of the pictures in this post! If you were and you didn’t let me know..Shame on you! We would have provided you a semi-comfy couch to crash on, a yard for Vinny to poop in, a Ziggy for Vinny to play with, a hot shower AND even a delicious home cooked meal! If you were not in my neck of the woods, I apologize for shaming you…but if you do ever find yourself in Northern Nevada, the offer stands! Have a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Guy, I suspect strongly that I and Stewie are getting over food poisoning from, get this, a rotisserie turkey breast from a mid level supermarket chain, I got last week.. It tasted alright but since it’s the only thing Stewie and I ate in common and the timing, there was something wrong with it.. So yes, food is a huge concern out on the road.. Which is one reason I utilize a major part of my space for my tiny kitchen..
    The traffic this summer has been bizarre.. construction zones that make no sense and senseless drivers creating an obstacle course to avoid them.. and the VOLUME.. crazy..
    But I love my career.. I’ve had some interesting careers but this is my fun one.. Thru the downsides, like you, I find the silver linings outweigh the bad.. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You and Pan and all the other truck drivers out there, not just in this vast land but across the globe, in some way define my notion that we should assess what we need not what we want. Of course you both have goals and dreams you are working towards and I am privileged to know a little of both but the point is that you get on with what is a tough life in order to work towards your own dreams. You deliver what people need and want in order to smooth and enhance their own lives and I can only imagine what how deflating and downright disheartening a poor stop with substandard or downright disgusting food must be. You have my respect and I don’t give it lightly because respect above all things can only be hard earned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ya know, you’d think my biggest disappointments would be my own cooking fails.. They’re not.. I’m always liable to fail in any meal.. So I’m okay with that and my fail will be in taste, that doesn’t threaten my health, just my tastebuds 😂.. But when I decide to trust a restaurant or grocery, in a hot entrée, and it makes me sick, that’s disappoint and it will take me a long time to trust that particular store again, in anything they offer made in store..
      Osyth, 💛 I think probably your best virtue is empathy.. And you my friend are full of it.. It leaks out in your comments and floods your blog..

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      1. Thank you, dear Pan … That is a most wonderful compliment which I will protect and treasure 💖 Food poisoning is bad at the best of times …. But I think in your situation, working long taxing hours on the road, needing to be fully functioning because you never know what’s going to throw itself in your weighty moving path at any moment with no warning, it is dreadful. Trust is hard earned and easily blown. I imagine this place will be on your blacklist for the foreseeable and beyond 😪

        Liked by 2 people

  5. And how much better is the journey with a good friend (who doesn’t ‘speak’..)? This post brought a bit of mist to my eyes (Smoke got in ’em) because it reminded me so strongly of hubby (may he rest in peace). He loved the road, loved his job (35+ years truckin’) and saw the USA through the windshield. I know that it would have been my dream job, had I been born a bit later and had proper encouragement. Kudos my friend, on a life well lived!!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Stewie gets in trouble when he barks on the fuel island 😁
        He’s much better than he used to be, but some ppl just set him off.. I noticed that the more disheveled someone appears, makes it harder for him not to bark 😕

        Liked by 1 person

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