2014: Rolling thru Amerika on 18 Wheels. Volume XII Virginia to West Virginia.
Once again, the Welcome Center/Rest Area (Virginia this time) is a
beautiful space with immaculate restrooms, free maps of everything to
see,do, etc. in the state, and a maize of outdoor picnic tables shaded
by Cottonwood, White Pine, White Oak, Crepe Myrtle and Flowering Dogwood
We are headed up our first steep pass in a while: Fancy Gap. The view
down to the coastal plains/lowlands is gorgeous. We are chugging along
in a convoy of semi-trucks going over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
At a Flying J Truck Stop somewhere across the Virginia border. The
weather is cool enough to not need air con again tonight. We just
watched a pretty decent Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action movie. We have a
lot of miles to cover tomorrow, plus a drop and pick-up in Pennsylvania.
It looks like I'm getting dumped off in Chicago and will catch a
flight to K.I. Sawyer (airport) in Marquette, Michigan. Never a dull
moment on the 2024 Truck Tour- many reflective moments though. This is
seriously fun shit. I hope you all see this through my writing. I feel
pretty privileged to be doing this, and actually having the ability and
resources to do this.
Yea, Mr. J.S. Is one cool dude. Phamily. There are a few shocking debts
though that I can't believe about his gig: first, he doesn't have one of
those hanging bathroom kits- like when you're camping and can just hang
your stuff on something instead of needing a counter for all your crap.
This, to me, is organization 101 and I am surprised someone as
seasoned, and organized, as he doesn't know the wonders of this handy
invention yet. He doesn't have a DVD cleaner. He somehow has this
"Fonzie" touch though. When the DVD froze for the kazillinenth time, he
slapped the tv a few times and it somehow unstuck.
I think I'm tired now.
Friday 6:15 am
I think we've been on the road (I-81 North) a few hours. I just woke up
and am in a daze still. I woke up to this incredible Virginia a Blue
Ridge Mountains sunrise. It's like I heard the sunrise, which looked
like a Tequila Sunrise splashed up against the sky (thank you Tom
Robbins For that one :)
Now that I'm properly coffeed, I'm slowly coming out of my food-induced
haze from last night. I didn't realize that Virginia was so rural- at
least in the western portion. There is just so much about this country
that I don't even know. I want to know more. The history of America is
spilling over on the side of the road here on the East Coast. There are
brown signs (historic sites and places of interest) all over: Stonewall
Jackson this, Woodrow Wilson that, battlefield sites, parks, ski areas,
caverns, caves, grottos, trails, etc. I forget that America was
re-discovered from the East Coast...
Even the truck stops here are beautiful, picturesque settings nestled I
between mountains and grasslands with large manors strung about. The
architectural style is so colonial with huge pillars, columns and
staircases cascading down from large lanais (porches or decks). It's as
if these people had nothing better to do than watch the landscape back
in those days, so they built their dwellings accordingly and making what
matters a priority- like huge decks... Most are 2-story with an upper
deck as well. They are so tall as well. Old growth trees hide the
houses, as they recede shyly into their shadows. Every place I observed
have this moment where I think, "What would I do if I lived here?" I
don't have any answers yet, but lots of pondering.
Harrisonburg- a small town in the mountains we are passing through now.
It is built up somewhat, for the area. You can see the new development
here- the condos or housing tracts that look awkwardly out of place, yet
likely much needed. These new, gentrified areas are an ugly contrast to
what has been previously built into the environment with more
thoughtful consideration. A slap-in-the-face to what is happening
globally due to population controls tipping the balance. Not that there
isn't enough space to move outward here, but maybe it just isn't
supposed to be happening- in an organic sense...
Here is another interesting story from the road: last night at the diner
I decided I wants a good old-fashioned American hamburger. It's one of
my last nights on the Truck Tour so I just wants some comfort food. Now,
I never buy or cook meat myself as I don't like to. I generally just
like to live a vegetarian diet, but when I dine out (which you have to
do living in a semi-truck), this is when I to to order beef. I said
"medium-rare" when asked how I wanted it cooked. The waitress looked up
at me and said that the cook wouldn't be able to cook it any tapers true
below medium-well. She said he might be able to do medium. Okay,
whatever I thought to myself.
Now this has happened before in America last summer, but I didn't really
think about it much as I guess I didn't eat a lot of meat then either.
When I asked oracle (Mr. J. S.), he mentioned stuff like Ecoli and other
things you can get now from uncooked/undercooked beef, chicken, eggs,
etc. It just is another 'thing' that makes me wonder just what the fuck
Homo Sapiens are doing to ourselves. I mean, we use so many herbicides,
pesticides and antibiotics with all our food/animal crops (which is
disgusting enough in itself), but WTF, I thought the purpose of all that
cancer-causing shit was to kill off bacterias, etc. So it's like this
double-whammy of dis-ease we are giving ourselves as a species. We are
doing ourselves in- slowly.
Shenandoah National Parka d the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. So
much US nation building here on top of Native American heritage. This
area is the watershed for Chesapeake Bay. The area is so lush. It
doesn't seem like there is a water deficiency here.