Friday, May 15, 2009

Travel Day

This was an idea suggested by a customer, who wanted to know what a day on the road in that big truck was like. So I started snapping pictures Thursday morning. Some of them turned out well, and some are truly awful (but as you'll see, I guess they're proof that I was keeping my eye on the road instead of the viewfinder -- I just pointed and shot).

A little background -- I always get out later than I plan. Something always gets in the way. This time, it was Mother Nature -- the electricity at home was out for five hours on Wednesday evening. So I had to finish the load of laundry I had in when the power went out, reset the clocks, finish my computer work, etc. But I did better than usual -- I was only about an hour off!

8:40 a.m. -- Zoe and I arrive at the kennel (she's staying -- I'm not). We learned early on that Carla and Ryan can't sleep when I'm out of town and Zoe is at home -- she cries all night long. Thankfully, this is a small third-generation family-run kennel, and Zoe absolutely loves it. She gets excited as soon as she sees me start to gather her food and toys.

9:00 a.m. -- Next stop is the Countryside YMCA, where I work out five days a week. I'll bet you thought we get our exercise setting up that big booth -- I exercise SO I can set up that big booth.

This is the Cardio Strength Center at the Y. The Nautilus machines and I are good friends . . .

10:15 a.m. -- Arrive at the mail center, where the truck is loaded and ready to leave for Ocean City. The rain has stopped for the time being, but the Weather Channel says the windshield wipers could be on most of the day.

Luggage in the cab, satellite radio in the cradle, and after a stop at the store, ready to roll . . .

12:30 p.m. -- Rolling through downtown Columbus on I-70.

1:40 p.m. -- The truck is hungry, and so am I. When I make stops, I try to do several things at the same time. And I have a coupon for a free Roastburger . . .

Have to use truck stops as much as possible since our truck has tanks on both sides.

Update the stop in my log book. Have to keep the log book up-to-date at all times . . .

2:10 p.m. -- Because if the Weigh Station sign says "Open", it might be checked to make sure I'm following all the rules.

Most of the time, a trip through the Weigh Station is just a weight check, but once in a while the truck and paperwork get checked, too. This time, a USDA crew was checking contents in random trucks (including mine -- I had to get out and open the back door to give them a peek at the booth). The truck above was behind me in the line.

3:10 p.m. -- Headed down the hill toward Wheeling, getting ready to cross the Ohio River. Almost missed the "Welcome to West Virginia" sign.

3:25 p.m. -- Only in West Virginia for about 15 minutes -- then it's on to Pennsylvania.
4:20 p.m. -- Going onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike at New Stanton.

5:00 p.m. -- Rest Areas on the Turnpike have a little bit of everything -- gas, food, souvenirs, and lots of people.

5:15 p.m. -- I have always enjoyed tunnels . . .

5:50 p.m. -- Off the Turnpike at Breezewood.
6:20 p.m. -- If it had been in focus, this would have been the "Welcome to Maryland" sign.

6:50 p.m. -- Stops along the way require nice big spots to park the truck. Outlet malls are always a good choice, and give me a chance for a brisk walk. This one didn't get any of my money, though . . .

7:50 p.m. -- The signs ahead announce the split ahead. To the right is I-270 headed to Washington, to the left I-70 continues to Baltimore. I used to go the right, but a few years ago a friend showed me a shortcut that avoids the Beltway around Washington, so left it is.

Two things curtailed most of the picture show at this point -- it got dark, and it started POURING rain.

9:15 p.m. -- Still raining at the entrance to the Bay Bridge across Chesapeake Bay. Really nice view when it's not pitch dark . . .

11:20 p.m. -- The rain has stopped, but the dark hasn't. The truck will soon stop for the night, as this is the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City. You can go right out the back door onto the beach, but I won't be able to see that until morning.

These two shots weren't taken until the next morning, but it just didn't seem fair for you to come all this way with me and not get a look at the view from behind the hotel . . .


  1. That was a fun trip, thanks for sharing, raining
    in Alabama too.......

  2. Marco's paper was missed at the St. Paul S & S Expo. You are like an anchor store at a mall.