Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Several things still nag at me now that I've been off the road for a bit: The plastic bag, on the side of the road, that was carefully covered with several large stones along I-82 South outside of Umatilla, Oregon. The weird thing about that bag is that it only contains what looks like paper towels or rags that are stuffed in a Little Debbie nutty bar box.

Go figure.

(I ended up in Umatilla because I was tired on leaving Portland and fell asleep in an elderly couple's van outside of Hood River, Oregon. Those kind folks let me sleep until they reached Umatilla and remembered that I was headed for Indiana and not Washington State. So they woke me up. Thank God.)

Then there was that strange truck driver. Let me tell you about him!!!

I got to Laramie, Wyoming and stayed there for most of the day. I ate, re-hydrated, showered and rested up before walking back onto the ramp to I-80 East.

Just as I walked onto the ramp and stuck my thumb out, a big rig slammed on its brakes on the interstate. I was astounded. The driver had pulled the truck across two lanes and onto the breakdown lane just a few feet beyond the end of the on-ramp.

As I made my way up to the rig, I noticed that the driver was operating a company truck. It was a bright red one that belongs to a company named CRETE.

When I opened the passenger door, the driver smiled at me. But something about him felt weird.

He is an older man (about sixty or so, I would say) and he has some kind of problem with his right eye. His hair is dark, he is average height and carries the stereotypical "truckers gut" around his middle.

He likes to listen to classic radio broadcasts from the 40's and 50's on his XM satellite radio.

He told me that the company had just given him that tractor a few months ago. He said that the tractor is a 2006 model. It looked and smelled pretty new.

And he has an affinity for Flying J truckstops. That's not all he has an interest in.

He suggested that I massage his back and tried to get in my comfort zone. I discouraged him.

I noticed a big stuffed TAZ doll hanging above his sleeper bed. He said that his grandson gave it to him. I didn't believe him.

I spent that night perched in the front seat of his truck. I refused to venture beyond that point.

The next day the driver brought back a box of Little Debby nutty bars. He handed a package to me.

"Want some?" he asked.

"Yeah, I really love these things" he said.


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