Goodnight New York

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Another Holiday, Another Rest Area

I’m sitting in a rest area in Williston Vermont tonight. I will deliver the first stop of this load tomorrow in Burlington, then continue to Martinsburg West Virginia. I have worked almost every holiday my entire working career, but I’m getting very tired of it. As I drove over US route 2 from Rumford Maine through northern New Hampshire and into Vermont I realized just how much time I have lost trying to follow a dream that was not my own.

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Driving in the mountains almost brought me to tears when I thought about the missed days camping in the meadows, swimming in the ice cold streams, all the photographs never taken. I thought about the time camping with my folks, my sister and my wife in the field below this mountain so many years ago. That was a snapshot in time I will never forget. I never lost my sense of wonder and the feeling of complete joy being out in nature, even if only driving through like today.

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So many places I have lived, each holds a special place in my memory. Many days spent as a young boy sitting on the rocks beside this lighthouse dreaming of high adventure. A fertile imagination unbounded and alive even now, I have the power to make it real. Today validated all my plans, assured me my path was the right one. When I grow up I want to be a nature photographer, and that time is now.

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But how do I compete, there are so many others? There is more nature than all the worlds photographers combined could ever capture, and each brings their own vision to the lens. Each has their own story to tell. I wanted to stop so many times today to pull into the lens the beauty I felt through my eyes. But like all of my adult life to date, I am at the mercy of my employer. Not much longer.

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Every sunrise brings another opportunity to share the feelings only seen by one, create the same experience if only in a picture. This morning was spent paddling in a canoe, the only sounds were the splash of the water and the cry of the Loons. A perfect morning.

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Even a dusty field behind a truck stop holds wonders of nature to those with patience and a steady hand. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to see. And soon I will add the aspect of the water view to the mix. The coast of Maine is truly one of the greatest spots on earth.

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The Gauntlet

Whenever I hear those words I think of 3 things..

v1.bTsxMTM3MjY4MjtqOzE3NDExOzEyMDA7MTUzNjsyMDQ4#1 The 1977 movie staring Clint Eastwood and Sandra Locke. IMDB describes the movie as, “A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won’t make it into town alive.” Like most men, I have always been a fan of Clint Eastwood and his style of brash, no nonsense bravado in all his films.



#2 To me he epitomizes the stereotypical hard assed, blood and guts male that many a young boy of my era aspired to be, if only in our dreams. Unfortunately I for one could not attain the level of machismo needed to shelter me from all the bullies of my youth. Suffered I did through school and more, all the while dreaming of a time when I would be the one in control. I feel that time has come to pass in my life, and I relish it.

#3 The section of I95 that runs along coastal New Jersey north through New York City and into Connecticut. Ask any truck driver in the northeast and he will agree, this section of highway is “The Gauntlet.” Many drivers from the Midwest refuse to drive here because of the traffic and the vast confusion of roads. Many times I have been intimidated by the mad rush of those familiar with the area, dissuaded and confused with the many interchanges to be negotiated to arrive at a said delivery. This is not for the faint of heart in a car never mind a truck 70 feet long!

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Crossing George Washington Bridge Into New York City

In my years of driving I think this one area has helped me to overcome more than just a fear of getting lost or other such misgivings. I think by driving under this pressure I have found an inner strength and calmness in the face of adversity that will help guide me as I go forward into my chosen future, as I face uncertainty in unprotected waters. I don’t “Rattle” easy and stay calm even in the worst situations, a blessing to help make better decisions in the face of fear.

One learns many things in simple, daily experiences if you are willing to pay attention and see the lessons in life. Never should you feel content in all things lest you fall before the hard reality that you are never in complete control of your life. Never do you amass such a wealth of knowledge that nothing more can be added. The day you think that is the day you fail completely.


My Name’s The Teacher

Well the dawn was coming,
Heard him ringing on my bell.
He said, “My name’s the teacher,
That is what I call myself.
And I have a lesson
That I must impart to you.
It’s an old expression
But I must insist it’s true.

Jump up, look around,
Find yourself some fun,
No sense in sitting there hating everyone.
No man’s an island and his castle isn’t home,
The nest is for nothing when the bird has flown.”

So I took a journey,
Threw my world into the sea.
With me went the teacher
Who found fun instead of me.

Hey man, what’s the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed.
I try to socialize but I can’t seem to find
What I was looking for, got something on my mind.

Then the teacher told me
It had been a lot of fun.
Thanked me for his ticket
And all that I had done.

Hey man, what’s the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed.
I try to socialize but I can’t seem to find
What I was looking for, got something on my mind.

Teacher – Jethro Tull

I have had many different jobs in my life. From landscaping to carpentry, foundations to computer repairs, trucking to equipment operating. I have had many bosses, some good, many bad. There have been some jobs where I gave it my all, just to find I was being used and they didn’t really care. Some that care but there’s no future. But the currant company has given me hope that I have found something special.

Through all the trials of my life over the last few years they have been very accommodating, considerate and understanding, more than any company I have ever worked for. Now that my life has settled down some, I want to give something back. That opportunity has presented itself to me.

There is a tremendous shortage of qualified truck drivers in this country. Many people don’t like the idea of being away from home, the long hours, the mental strain and so forth. Many drivers have such a bad driving record most companies can’t hire them. And still more are ready to retire. Now what? Why in house training, that’s what!

This company, like many others, has decided to start a driver training program. Students that have graduated from a CDL school here in Maine will spend 6 to 8 weeks in a truck with a mentor, to help hone their skills in the safe handling of the largest vehicles on the road. All manor of driving conditions, backing situations, traffic conditions and other difficult problems will be addressed during training.

So how do I fit in? Myself and 3 other drivers volunteered to be trainers, and I should get my first student at the end of this month. When I first started driving I had gone to a school and had a mentor also. He was very thorough, patient and fun. I still remember the most important things he taught me, and I think I can pass them along to others and give them the same chance given to me so many years ago.

I hope to inspire them to give it a real chance, show them how it feels to be independent and in charge of your income. How each day, if you pay attention, you can find at least one moment that makes it all worthwhile, one moment that makes you smile, one image burned into your memory.

Like this one…


Or this one…

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I really look forward to giving back to a company that has given me so much more than a job, they gave me a home, and I say Thank You!

This Way And That

I spent the night at the TA truck stop in Southington Connecticut last night. I try to frequent the TA chain more than others as they have better shower facilities, they are generally cleaner, (at least on the inside!) and I receive points for every gallon of diesel. Most chains give points but I’m not setting foot in their showers! Eww! As I walk Vinny this morning I am treated to a brilliant view.

First the truck stop looking west…You can just see the nose of my truck on the left.

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Now east!

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Enjoy your day and stay safe!

Reset In Maybrook New York

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Like most every reset I like to take a walk with Vinny my dog. Today we are at the TA in Maybrook NY. I was told by someone who works here of an old farm that used to be in the area, so we went to take a look.

Here’s the stone entrance he spoke of.

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Whats that smell? The smell of death is never mistaken for anything else. Here is the carcass of a dear and other trash dumped by someone.

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A little further up the road and one would think they arrived at the town dump.

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Even more around the next corner. Many people have no respect.

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Some of the trash has been here a long time. When was the last time you saw one of these?

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A little farther in I found the old farm well and what looked like a large stone BBQ.

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Here’s the remnants of a cement block barn, and even more trash!

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Past this point I come into an area that looks like it was open pasture some time ago.


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As we are walking back to the truck I notice something shiny in the crotch of a tree. What in the world is that doing there? You never know just what you will find at old homesteads.

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As we walk back into the truck stop, I thought it fitting that this truck came out hauling hay.

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Well Vinny, time to kick back, pluck all the ticks out of my socks and your fur and take a nap. Goodnight all!


New Years Day In Maine

I left Bangor Maine this morning with my next load heading for Georgia. I will deliver it on the 4th and pick up another to come back by friday to start my vacation! It snowed alot over the last few days and it makes for a beautiful ride early in the morning. Maine has some incredible beauty in all 4 seasons. Here’s some pics of the first 100 miles of my day.

Plan, What Plan?

Nothing ever go’s as planned. I started off yesterday morning with the hope of finishing early in the day, maybe doing a little laundry, having a good meal at a clean truck stop and taking Vinny for a walk. My drive took me through Virginia, a state I love driving in because of the beautiful countryside. The mountains here seem to just erupt from the earth like giant anthills.



So much for a day full of plans! About 2 hours into my drive, guess what!



Great, just great! I turn on my CB and hear there is a crash ahead and the left lane is blocked. Well, no sense getting upset, I’ve been here before, relax and make the best of it. I get out my camera and look around for something interesting. Here’s some weird looking grass.


Some cows beside an old barn in this field.


More cows up on this ridge.


An old abandoned farm being used as a barn now. Such a shame to squander history.


More cows that Vinny spotted! Bark bark!


Cant you see yourself playing as a child on this grassy ridge? Riding a horse or chasing your dog in the summer sun? I can.


Here comes the sign saying whats up with the traffic.


That’s not very helpful, what else?


Sigh…I’m at mile marker 22. This is going to take awhile, like 3 hours!!!  I take a deep breath, pull over to the side real quick and grab a snack. Pull back in line and go with the slow flow. It’s all I can do. I thought of you Miriam when I took this picture! It’s a chain of convenience stores in the US.


When traffic starts to pick up we move further up the mountain into the heavy fog. These mountains separate the moisture laden air from the Atlantic and the drier air coming from the west. When the temps are right you get dense fog.



It’s now 6 pm, I’m still 2 hours from my stop, and by the time I get there I’ll be to tired for anything but dinner and sleep. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!


Forward, Ever Forward….Never Give Up

If I made a list of the 10 worst places I have had to reset, this place would make the list. But let’s back up a little, the trip here was OK…here’s a sample.






I delivered the load yesterday and today I did some shopping and sleeping! I ran really hard the last few days and I needed this day off. There’s not many truck stops in this area and I think I found the worst one! Everywhere you look it’s trash, junk and more trash. The building was run down and even the sign was dirty!





But if you frame your shot just right, there’s still some interesting pictures to be found.





I could look at this day as a disappointment, a day spent in a dirty place. I could resent the fact I’m not where I want to be, out of my comfort zone. But that would be pointless. Today is just another test, another moment in my life that will make my future plans seem all the better. Each time I complete a day like this, the days on my future sailboat will be all the sweeter, the reward deeper and more meaningful. I will pay the price, continue doing things I really don’t like.

The road to fulfillment is paved with disappointments, rewards are shadowed by trials of life. Only through perseverance can we attain the best things in life, only by the sweat of our brow will our dreams come true. Forward, ever forward….never give up.