2014: rolling thru Amerika on 18 wheels

2014: rolling thru Amerika on 18 wheels

Volume I: California

Sitting here in "Cafe 50's" ('cash only')  in Venice Beach with Mr. Johnny Stack, independent trucker.  Our 2014 semi-truck tour begins here. It all started at LAX on Monday morning, July 7th. I haven't cruised LA in a few years (last was with EdV when en route to snowboard in South America).  Additionally, I haven't been in Venice Beach in eons. Wow. Nothing has changed. Staying with phamily of Johnny's (and now mine :) and I'm in awe. I mean, Venice Beach has not changed. All the old time signage is still up. Houses are quaint and nestled into each other in different architectural styles reminiscent of Santa Cruz back in the day when I was living in various beach bungalows there.

I guess I thought this area would be all glitzed up, but much to my surprise, no! The place is still so charming and livable. Driving around yesterday, eating at diners and an awesome Mexican food joint for dinner... I'm a happy camper. I've my eye on this vintage clothing store (American Replay) right across the street from the diner we are in right now. I can totally see me getting my shop on faster breakfast.

Speaking of shopping... Somehow I managed to forget to take my underwear that I had packed back on Maui. I was a bit surprised this morning upon excavating my backpack and not seeing my care package! My first thought was that the airlines went through my bag and somehow that package didn't get put back in... As I sift through my internal hard drive (brain) though, it's likely that I left them back on Maui. I generally don't do absent-minded things as such, but I was in a heightened state of consciousness back on Maui so... Oh well, I imagine there is a Target so ethereal nearby.

Our hosts here are Claire-bear (the 2nd, as the 1st resides in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan with her husband and adorable twins), Robert, and super-daughter Johnene. What a cool beach bungalow they have. It's like a museum of California life and lore from the past up to the present. I mean every moment ...

Time to eat...

Wednesday morning in Colton, California at the truck stop watching Johnny eat a heartily breakfast full of meat (protein). Talked to Simone on the phone as she is in Cali says well (San Diego).  Feels good to be back in America...

One way this 'feel goodness' is being manifested by me: wearing Daisy Dukes and tank tops and not caring about what is showing, knowing that no one else cares what is showing, and just feeling good about being nonchalant and normal in general. This is what I miss most about America perhaps: the ability to realize that my body is just my body. It is not something that needs to be covered up, and is not considered to be 'sexualized' in such a way that needs to be hidden. I'm not making any judgments, but it just feels good to not wonder on a daily basis if I'm exposing too much skin- above elbow, or above knee, or cleavage.  I am, of course, respectful when living abroad, but not a day goes by when I think, and re-think, my attire. Here I am inside a truck-stop diner just letting it hang naturally, and no one pays attention in any overt way :) That's all.

9 am
Hanging out in my (top) bunk catching up on some news while Johnny figures out logistics of our route, etc. Heading to get Truck washed and then to pick up the trailer and onward to pick up our load by noon.

10 pm
Just back to truck from Quechan (Native American) casino on the California/Arizona border at Yuma.  Ended up coming back with $50 & played the slots for a good, long time so definitely got entertainment value.  Mr. J. S. was playing poker (update: he won- as always). Seriously, every slot machine he touched, he cashed in on. I got myself a new player card from a new casino, so all is well from my camp as far as I am concerned. My slot machine names generally consisted of Greek gods or Egyptian pharaohs. I consider these my 'lady luck' slots...

Our run today was from Colton to Yuma (Cali/Arizona border). We followed the Mexico/USA border for the last hour of the journey, which consisted of a massive, rusty, solid-looking fence following the path of low sand dunes intertwined with scrub brush. So that is about a 250 mile run on a 1250 mile run to dump off the Baby Kale in Texas that Truck is carrying. An easy day today and wins at the casino, not to mention a steak dinner. Heh heh.

We are parked in the casino parking lot for semi-trucks so no amenities, which means getting creative when needing to pee, which means I'm considering the parking lot fair game until sunrise... Fortunately it's the middle of the week and not many other trucks here.

Time to kick it and chill on my top bunk and check out "Burn Notice" season 2. In summary, it's nice to be back on the road again rolling on through Amerika on 18 wheels and watching the moving picture show go by. I'm stoked beyond measure that these simple things make me so happy and grateful.