I helped my "friend" move her stuff back home after 3 years with that ass I mentioned in a previous post. What a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng 2 days. I got up at 4am on Saturday morning and headed for St. Louis for what would be a turn & burn trip.
I want to start off by pointing out what a truck driver's wife I am. The smaller the trailer, the harder it is to back as a general rule. This one is no exception. But I rocked it out :)
This is what 4:30 am looked like to me. A little shaky, a little blurry, a LOT of Mt. Dew and this damn GPS that my husband insisted I take with me. Here's the thing about GPS...while it's totally dope to have that map in your face...I HATE that every time I look up at it I end up saying "DAMN IT! I've only gone 2 more miles since the last time I looked!"
I'm a huge fan of looking at a map, knowing my route, and just going. I was amazed how late it stayed dark. The following morning was the day we set the clocks back, so timing was just right for me to have a 3 hour ride in the dark. I do have to admit that the photographer in me loves the velvety blue color that everything gets just before sunrise during the fall and winter.
Once I had consumed 3 Mt. Dews and a bottle of tea, it was time for a pit stop. I was thrilled to see that some truck stops keep their restaurants open 24 hours a day! Did I get Subway at 6am? No, but it's good to know that I have that option in the future. Never know when you will need Subway at 6am!
I also got a kick out of the pole cars. What's a pole car? Well obviously you guys don't work in the trucking industry! A pole car (as seen below) is a car with a giant pole attached to it. Yes, I'm serious. They drive before and or after wide and oversized loads (in Illinois, any load wider than 14'1" or taller than 14'6" require an escort vehicle such as a pole car). The pole is only attached if they are escorting a very tall load, they set the height to the height of the load the truck is hauling and if their pole hits a bridge, they know the load won't make it under that bridge at which point they're all pretty much screwed. Since oversize loads are not allowed to haul at night unless they have a very specialized and very expensive permit, I would assume these guys were heading toward a job. Also, they had cartoon drawings of windmills on them, which leads me to believe they work exclusively with the wind farms out here. I know, I'm a freakin genius!
I did not take my camera so forgive the crappy nature of my Blackberry photos. As I continued along, the sun finally came up. This was somewhere into CD #5 I believe...Tool. Funny watching a sunrise and hearing "I'm praying for mayhem, I'm praying for tidal waves...". I couldn't have asked for a prettier sunrise or for better timing, the dark was getting to me and making me wish I was back in bed; which would essentially be my sentiments the rest of the day.
I like the blurry one below. It's not blurry, it's 'soft focus'.
Truck in the sunrise for my husband :)
Just as the sun crested I came into Springfield. Springfield, Where? I can't tell you what state it is! But what I can tell you is that Springfield is a dirty icky polluting town and it sucks. We should put a dome over it.
It's ok, because apparently there is little if any brains being used in the town of Springfield which I realized as I came upon this guy below. It's 28 freakin degrees out and he's on...well a Vespa. Brain dead sign #1. Brain dead sign #2 was that he was doing 65mph on a Vespa with no helmet. Now, I'm not someone who believes helmets should be required. I actually do not and will not wear a helmet when riding horses, motorcycles or other such things, but a Vespa? At those speeds? I didn't even know the gerbils running the wheels in the motor could go that fast! Something about this just screamed DANGER! Then him weaving in and out of traffic turned that to, "DANGER, IDIOT!"
I'm not entirely sure that it's healthy to drink something that is radioactive blue in color, but by this point in the trip I was on at least bottle #5.
Ah St. Louis. I hate you. Land of psychotic drivers, the most ridiculous road system ever, horrible traffic, insane lane shut downs and of course, East St. Louis which is essentially one of the 5 armpits of the United States. Yes. We have 5. The entirety of the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas are some of the others.
The 'Gateway to the West'. A giant arch in the sky. Too bad it wasn't 2 arches, and golden rather than steel. I was starving by this point.
A little known fact about Missouri is, that it is so fucked up as a state...that it even confuses alien visitors. Here you can see that in a state of utter chaos and confusion, ET accidentally left his crop circle on the side of a building!
I had to throw this next one in because...well because.
Upon arrival I found that there were 3 issues.
1. My friend as a basket case and purt-near worthless in the packing and hauling field.
2. The furniture was filthy and too big to fit easily down the stairs.
3. There was no one else there to help except the guy she was breaking up with...I had to move big heavy furniture.
By the time we got stuff downstairs and to the trailer I was so aggravated that I said F it and just started stuffing things in. This was not a professional moving job, I was losing my ability to give a shit very rapidly. Everything made it in one piece without being damaged so apparently it worked.
On the way home I was stoked to see my pink elephant! The 1st trip my mom made with me to Mississip we stopped in Hayti, MO at a gas station that had 2 huge pink elephants. Upon our next trip we were sad to see they were no longer there. They had been moved to an antique shop further north in MO. Sure as shit, I found them along with a giant man (standing behind the giant ice cream cone) and a ton of other wicked shit. I HAVE TO go back to this place and check out all they have some day!
It was also around this point in the trip when the cats I was transporting decided it was potty time...or their owner did. We hit a gas station and I went in to use the facilities. When I returned to my car, the cats were being moved to a larger cat carrier one at a time so they could use a box. The box, had litter that I would bet was at least a month old and smelled worse than anything I had smelled in my life. The funny thing was, my friend who was sitting in the car with all the windows down begging the cats to pee, was doing something like this:
"Kitty, would you *BLEHHH* please please go *BLEHHH* potty! Please *BLEHHH* go potty!"
Yeah, she was borderline horking when I returned to the car. Me being smarter and less concerned for her cat's urinary tract health than she was, stood outside of the car while this gross display of obsessive pet ownership went on. The more she made horking noises, the harder I laughed. The harder I laughed the more she yelled "It's not funny!" which again, only made me laugh harder. The people fueling up next to our car were looking at us like we were on drugs which like the former and latter, only resulted in my maniacal laughter getting worse as tears began to roll down my face. To make matters even worse, she was now done with the cat peeing, and had attempted to back into the front seat and in the process had gotten her leg completely stuck, fallen backwards, and had the litter box resting on her chest right in her face. She was yelling "Abby! Help me! I'm stuck! Take the litter box!"
Which was met with me saying (while laughing), "Fuck you! You take the litter box! I'm not touching that thing!" By the time she got out of the car, tossed the entire box in the garbage and walked into the gas station, still making horking noises, I had calmed down and the smell in the car had gone mostly back to normal. I don't think I've laughed that hard since right after I had my baby boy.
After what seemed like the longest 5 hour drive of my life...make that 6 hours after all the stops we had to make...the sun started to set and I was almost home. That didn't mean my job was over.
The next day I had to take the trailer and junk enclosed in it another hour east to drop it off. After offloading, I decided to make use of the trailer to get my stuff that was still housed at my parents house. The long weekend was winding down. I worked my way back to the sticks staring into some sun dogs and once home had some fun digging through old treasures.
I will save my treasures for another day. I just figured I would share with you all my journey which kept me from family and blogging for 2 days. Fear not, I have returned!