September 10, 2016
Pilot Truck Stop, New Caney, Texas
I have been a bit disappointed in my photography efforts, lately – both in quantity and quality. I will endeavor to make amends in this post.
After the last of the frozen catfish are delivered, the trailer is empty and I am at loose ends until I get another load assignment. Returning to the nearby truck stop, I catch a shower and then decide to go grocery shopping. For me that requires some advance planning. The internet provides a location of a nearby Wal Mart. I call customer service and say that I would like to go shopping there and I am driving a really big truck, which I will park out on the edge of the lot. Fortunately, it is Sunday morning at 7 AM and there is no problem.
The load assignment comes while I shop. The shipper is in La Port, Texas, about an hour and a half away. It was a now routine live load and I need not go into detail. This load is destined for another Wal Mart Distribution Center in Waldron, Arkansas
September 10, 2016 – Polk County Roadside Park off US 59
It may be the impending promotion of US-59 to an Interstate that causes Polk County to make such a nice, new rest area. And, it may be shale gas royalties that provide the financial wherewithal. But, it is a nice looking place. You might not take much notice of these places when you interrupt your travels for 20 minutes, but I, having spent 10 hours here, noticed a few more details.
Above: The Polk County Rest Area building.
The truck parking was spacious and pleasantly vacant in the early afternoon, as you see in the next photo:
Above: No trouble parking.
I put lots of Spam aboard the truck for situations like this over-nighter at the Rest Area or at the Ad Hoc Truck Stop. I did not really appreciate the SPiced hAM that makes up the non-perishable ready-to-eat product until I read this recipe for authentic American Indian Sofkee.
Above: I’ll have Spam instead, please.
September 11, 2016 – Pilot Truck Stop, Russellville, Arkansas 5:50 PM
The title is a song by Harry Chapin who had a truly unique career as a singer/songwriter. He was a quintessential artist of the 60’s and 70’s. His songs all told stories with complicated, interesting and very imperfectly human characters. You may remember W-O-L-D (A “Lost” Disc Jockey), Taxi (Broken Dreams Collide) or Cats in the Cradle (Generational Regrets), all of which evoke strong emotions – in me, at least.
But Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas is a light-hearted and comical song about a truck wreck. Harry’s songs frequently don’t have happy endings. I take this one rather personally these days. Having no listing of lyrics, I will listen to the album a few dozen times to memorize them. I have lots of listening opportunities, as you might imagine.
I bring this up because I am currently carrying thirty eight thousand pounds of Guatemalan bananas, which I will deliver tomorrow morning at 3:10 AM.
September 12, 2016 Wal Mart DC #6082, Clarksville, Arkansas
We arrived without incident and on time. This is a back-it-in-and-disconnect operation where I move the tractor to a parking area. This presents a unique photo opportunity:
Above: Trailer 15820 in door #205, as seen from the Captain’s Chair. One hopes not to have a similar view of the trailer while on the road.
Let’s not forget the cargo – Organic Bananas.
Above: My cargo. The entire trailer, less about 6 feet is filled.
I am thinking of taking a nap now. Not primarily because I am sleepy, but mostly that I notice when I attempt to nap during an unloading, not ten minutes will pass before the empty call comes from Shipping & Receiving. Sure enough, about exactly two hours from my appointment, my trailer is empty and I can drive on to a truck stop and await a new load assignment.
This was a short trip and not particularly lucrative or interesting. The next one is more exciting.