My apologies for the long hiatus! It has been a busy time since last we spoke. After spending some time in Fort Worth, we were bounced to Illinois, then to Arkansas, then to Kansas, then to Indiana, then back to Illinois, before being routed to San Antonio, Texas. And that’s When the real fun began. After picking up a load in San Antonio, we were routed to deliver in Oxnard, California, passing through Las Vegas along the way.
We had been driving as trainer and trainee for quite some time, so it made sense to finally start driving as a team. Christina had demonstrated that she was a skilled and capable driver, and the only help she needed was during backing. With a long-haul load to California, there was no way we could get to our delivery on time without swapping shifts as team drivers. So that’s what we did. From that point forward, we drove as a team, and I woke up every time Christina needed to back the truck.
We were headed to California, but as I said, we had to stop in Las Vegas along the way. We were delivering forklifts to a couple businesses there before continuing our journey to Cali. Now, it’s important to know the timeline here. We arrived in Las Vegas on October 5th. On October 1st, only four days prior, a gunman murdered 59 people and injured 527 more, shooting automatic assault rifles from his Mandalay Bay hotel window.
We drove through the city, right by the hotel where it happened. Now, I’m not a religious man; I don’t believe in ghosts, disembodied spirits with unfinished business. But I do believe that people and places can be haunted, plagued by the tragedies, regrets and missed opportunities that simply refuse to be forgotten. These are the ghosts which affect each of us throughout our lives. And let me tell you, the air was thick with ghosts in Las Vegas. It was heavy and oppressive. Even just driving by the hotel made me want to weep. Las Vegas is a haunted city.
I don’t want to use this blog as a political soap-box. That’s not what this blog is about. But I will say this: supporting the second amendment doesn’t require opposing rational gun control policies. We may not have been able to stop this from happening, but it would have been a lot harder for the shooter, and there would have been a lot fewer casualties, if he didn’t have fully-automatic assault rifles. If he’d been limited to hunting rifles and handguns, he still could have killed people, but the numbers wouldn’t have been nearly as high. There’s no good reason to keep fighting rational gun control policies.
We left Las Vegas feeling low, but looking forward to being in California the following day. Once we arrived and made our delivery, we took a moment to restock at the local Walmart before heading to our next pickup location. We were being assigned a small shipment that was heading for New Jersey, just miles from New York City. 2,900 miles in three days. Yep, we’re definitely driving as a team now.
It’s been a long week, but we’ve been making good money and racking up the miles. Christina is getting better and better, and I’m certain that she’ll be fully prepared to pass her phase 2 upgrade test when we get back to Kentucky after training. We’re just now crossing through Missouri as I write this post. Christina’s at the wheel, burning up the highway to the Northeast. I look forward to making this delivery and, if we have time, taking a nap with the truck parked. But for now, I’ve got to get sleep when I can. So this is where I’ll leave you for today.
Love you all. Hug your loved ones and be grateful that you still can. And if you’ve experienced a great loss recently, my heart is with you. Remember, friends: only love can conquer hate.