It’s me, Christina, Truck Stop Writer’s partner—in crime, matrimony, (mis)adventure, and yes, OTR trucking. I’ve finally come to add some entries to Christopher’s blog, writing from my own rookie perspective. Though I’ve been in the truck with him before as his ride-a-long, it’s been about a month and a half now since I’ve joined him as a freshly minted CDL-holder and his trainee, and what a wild ride it’s been. In that time, I’ve seen more of the country than I have in my whole life—which, in my case, wasn’t a lot—and already become intimately familiar with the nuances, niches, and sensations that comprise the trucking lifestyle that we’ve sought for ourselves.
Though I still have much to learn and experience, my impressions thus far have given me a pretty good idea about how to navigate the next few years of our lives in this career, and enjoy the ride. Whether it’s the good, the bad, or that which wholly denies value-based judgements, our chosen field is teeming with novelty and a freedom that suits us both.
You might be a friend or family member that’s watched our progress from the sidelines, curious about our travels or circumventing our habit of infrequent communication; you might be a stranger, subscribing to such blogs as a traveler or writer yourself, or a reader vicariously living our tales of whimsy and woe; you might even be a trucker or trucking student, at a stage in your career when such ramblings are entertaining or useful for you, and if so, I will do my best to relay certain aspects of the lifestyle with as much accuracy as possible.
In whichever case, I hope you’ll join the both of us as we sail the asphalt sea and voyage across time and space. (To warn you, I can’t quite make up my mind on which metaphor I like more—seafaring or space exploration, so bear with me as I switch between the two as one or the other is more applicable.) You’ll find us often making port at the nearest roadside watering hole—a human oasis of convenience foods, rest and respite, indoor plumbing, and a nexus of haphazard encounters—where we get really silly with each other, maintain our metal machine and our biological ones, make friends with the local wildlife, and prepare for the journey ahead.
But almost always, we are moving. Rarely are we stopped in the same place for long, especially when our deliveries demand we drive as a team and one sleeps while the other is at the wheel. Though we may travel on familiar routes or visit a fuel stop we’ve been to before, nothing ever stays the same. As they say, you can’t step in the same river twice. Time is moving, we are changing, and there are always miles we need to put behind us. So I’ll do my best to put together this nomad’s atlas, a thing forever shifting, so that other travelers, in body or spirit, may find their ways as well.
I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all!)
My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooking you round the waist,
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road.
Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,
You must travel it for yourself.
– “A Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman