We stayed the night at a little cafe out in the middle of nowhere that had truck parking. It was a nice little place, and seemed fairly unknown, which meant there was plenty of parking even at 11pm. After a great night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast, I was ready to hit the road.
I drove most of the day without issue. We made a few stops for fuel and breaks, but made our delivery location by 10pm. We had to wait a while for the consignee to accept the load and unload us, but while we were waiting, they sent us a new pre-plan for our next load heading to Georgia, an 1,122 mile run.
Once all was said and done, we spent the night at a Pilot truck stop, then departed the next morning for Georgia.
The loneliness of the road began to unsettle me. I mean, I recognize that I’m driving with a teammate, but we are still practically strangers. We don’t see eye-to-eye on very much, and the primary thing we share in common is our desire to finish this second phase of training so we can go solo. It often feels I’m stranded on a desert island with a stranger. I long for loved ones, friendly faces, a loving embrace. I can chat with people on my phone now and then, but only sporadically. And with the distinct lack of internet, I’m isolated from the majority of my social connections. Even in big cities my phone hasn’t been getting any signal! So it’s been a long and lonely few weeks, and we’ve only just begun. I know this will pass, but until it does, it still presents a distinct challenge.
With the lack of internet comes a lack of entertainment as well. I’ve got books for when I’m not driving, but behind the wheel I’ve been listening to the same 100 songs over and over because I can’t download any different playlists. And I recognize that audiobooks are an option available at truck stops nationwide, but at $15 a pop for five hours of story, I’d be spending $30 a day. I’ll need to visit a Half Price Books when I get the chance and stick up.
So it’s been a challenge, for sure. But I will persevere.
Sunday morning I drove through the darkness on toward Georgia, eager for the next delivery. One step closer to solo. I’ve been getting much better sleep lately. Last night I dreamt that I was at a fancy party and met a beautiful woman. I was trying to impress her with conversation and wit, but the world kept shaking like a persistent earthquake. Hard to impress someone when you can’t keep your balance and stay on your feet! When I woke, I recognized the cause of the earthquakes in my dream: the jerky, jumpy motion of the truck. And yet, despite all that motion, I managed to get plenty of rest.
My partner, on the other hand, hasn’t slept well at all. Either the truck’s too rough or he’s had too much caffeine or he’s eaten truck stop food again and got his stomach all messed up. The result being that he’s sleepy and cranky all day during his shift. Fortunately, when he’s driving, I’m sleeping, so the only people that have to deal with his complaints are the poor women he’s met on dating sites that he calls while he drives. I’ve suggested that he not eat truck-stop food and that he take melatonin to help him get to sleep, but he hasn’t taken my advice. Tonight, rather than sleep, he’s chatting with another woman at 3am, telling her all about how he can’t sleep.
Speaking of calling, I’ve finally gotten the go-ahead from my wife to purchase a Bluetooth headset so we can talk on the road. It was pricey, but should help lessen the loneliness. I’m looking forward to being more in touch now!
Well, I’d better get back to the road. More tomorrow.