I spent the entire day today parked at a truck stop, resetting my clock. (Drivers can only drive up to 70 hours in an 8-day period, but if you go off-duty for 34 hours, your clock resets.) I spent most of the day reading and listening to music, though I also did a little writing as well. I got to talk to my buddy Bradly, who is a trucker I went to driving school with. It was good catching up with him and seeing his progress. I also had a good chat with a few other friends who I hadn’t spoken with in a while.
While these 34-hour resets can be tedious, they are also a great opportunity to rest and recuperate after a long driving streak, and they give me an opportunity to catch up on my other interests. I’m grateful for the opportunity, though I hope to minimize the number of 34-hour resets I have to take by limiting my daily driving hours to avoid breaking the 70-hour rule.
Today I also learned of a potential solution to my mobile internet problem. As I’ve traveled around the country, I’ve found that my phone’s data reception is terrible in most sparsely-populated areas, and most truck stops don’t offer free wifi. Those that do tend to have slow connections, offering faster connections at a steep cost. So my access to the net is negligible in most areas. However, I learned that The Calyx Institute, an organization whose goal is to “educate the public about privacy in digital communications,” provides a mobile wifi hotspot that piggybacks the Sprint 4G LTE network to provide unlimited high-speed data across the United States. This device is provided as part of a membership package that helps fund the institute’s goals, and comes with a free year of service. However, to get the device and the free year of service, you have to first donate $500 to the institute. So really, I’d be paying $500 for the device and a year of service. This might sound steep, but it comes to around $45 per month, which is a lot less expensive than pretty much every other unlimited mobile data plan I’ve come across, and I can use it with my laptop as well as my phone and any other wifi-enabled device. And since it uses Sprint’s network, it has pretty good reception throughout the country.
So now I simply have to wait until I can save up $500, then I can have a better internet connection nationwide. That would enable me to use video chat to talk to friends and family, write my blog posts on my laptop instead of my phone, keep up to date with Facebook and social media better, watch my favorite shows on Netflix when I’m taking breaks and 34-hour resets at truck stops, and enjoy all the other benefits internet access has to offer. It’s definitely a goal I intend to reach as quickly as I can.
Tomorrow morning my trainer will return and we will head back out towards Dallas. Not sure when I’ll be arriving there, but I am excited (as always) for the opportunity to go back home and see my wife, sister, and cats.
I’m going to wrap up the night with a few more chapters from Mona Lisa Overdrive and maybe an episode of Castle before sleep.
Thanks for reading, and goodnight everyone.