I left High Point today about noon. Was going to leave tomorrow, but the prospect of driving through a lot of freezing rain was less than appealing, so I got an early start. I also was getting cabin fever, and had to leave my rec room lair.
Stopped at one of those state-maintained Rest Areas along I-40 in North Carolina. By the way, those Rest Areas are a lot nicer than they used to be. They’re clean, they have vending machines, and are generally well-kept. If memory serves, I think they used to be a lot seedier. And smellier.
A few months back, at a Rest Area in Montana, as I was washing my hands, someone exited the stall… and it was Ronald McDonald in full clown regalia. The surprise must have shown on my face, but I walked out anyway. Then, I felt compelled to go back in and say, “I have to tell you — I really didn’t expect to meet a clown in the Men’s Room at a Rest Area in Montana.” He said, “The only reason I’m using this one is that they don’t seem to have a Clowns’ restroom here.”
Today, at the I-40 Rest Stop in North Carolina, though, I was stretching my legs and was joined on the sidewalk by a trucker. A fellow denizen of the road. He said, “So… you’re not haulin’ any young ‘uns in that bus today?” I said, no… I’m delivering it from the manufacturer in High Point to a dealership in Seattle. He paused for a second. “Seattle? Seattle, Washington?” I confirmed that he had zeroed in on the correct Seattle. “Well… be careful,” he said.
Then, out in the parking lot, as I was just about to pull out, a man with a worried expression and a little boy holding his hand, knocked on the door of the bus. He told me that he was supposed to get to Statesville, and that his alternator had gone out, and he asked for cash. I, truthfully, told him that I had no cash. He sighed, and the little boy with him said, “I like your bus, mister.” He was one of those guys that I would have helped if I’d had a few bucks in cash. There but for the grace, etc.
Made it as far as Newport, Tennessee today. Since I’m taking an extra day because of weather in the Midwest, it looks as though I won’t be making my usual overnight stops. It’s usually Paducah, Kentucky; Percival, Iowa; Laramie, Wyoming; Bliss, Idaho; and finally somewhere near Yakima, Washington. So at least on this trip, there may be overnight stops in places I have not yet stopped overnight up to now.
More adventures coming… as I go to work soon for a second company and will likely have trips to other areas.