Make sure you have a warm cup of coffee as you read today’s blog post. This is probably the longest ever! Haha. I am going to try to start sharing more of my thoughts rather than just making each post say we arrived, we are napping, etc. Here we go! Take your first sip of coffee, lean back in your chair, and let your thoughts run wild:)
Morning Road Crew! We made our short run yesterday into Rigby, Idaho and completed our delivery. We were not able to broadcast yesterday’s trip due to circumstances beyond my control….. This morning we will load here in Idaho Falls, Idaho, but I am not exactly sure of when just yet. Hopefully I get an answer soon about our loading time. This will be an exciting trip for me because the first 250 miles will be brand new to us and looking at the map, it will take us on some winding and mountainous two lane roads as we follow alongside the Snake River, turn left at Alpine Junction, Wyoming, come kinda close to the Grand Tetons, and roam through sections of the Gros Ventre Wilderness!! I am willing to bet we will not have signal in most of the areas. Instead of constant buffering and signal loss, I am not even going to try to broadcast anything until we reach Rock Springs, Wyoming. So that all may enjoy this fantastic ride, I will be making a hard video recording in HD and will upload it so that we all can enjoy it without interruption. I will, however, let snowman work and upload the still images whenever he can. Get ready to right click on any image to save it! I am sure there will be numerous occasions to make some fantastic wallpaper for your computer! I know tou folks will miss the live broadcasts, but I feel making a few hard recordings is a much better option!
So now we talk about Dad’s. When I first started trucking, I was learning the different truckstops across the country, both the national chains and the mom and pop operations. I always loved the mom and pop places because they were each unique and different in their layout, design, merchandise offerings, and most had free internet. Dad’s truckstop in Idaho Falls, Idaho was one of my favorites. Plenty of parking available and when you walked inside you felt at home and welcomed. They offered lots of local and regional arts and crafts and they had a great trucker lounge with plenty of soft seating. The place had a very good restaurant and everybody that worked there was nice. The whole truckstop pretty much made you feel like you were in your living room at home!
As we passed by the truckstop, I noticed the Dad’s signs were all gone and replaced with Flying J signage. After delivery, we came to spend the night here. No more free internet. A quarter of the parking lot is now pay to park. The interior has been totally gutted and the walls rebuilt and moved. Gone is the nice carpeting, homey decor, and cool souvenirs. Everything has been replaced with super bright lighting, ceramic tiles, and the walls are covered in the generic Flying J advertisements. The truckers lounge has moved and is now about 1/3 the size it used to be with cold standard chairs and stools, jammed with people so it was pretty much standing room only – definitely not conducive to a home living room feeling! The once warm and welcoming truckstop has been transformed into the standard corporate feel and the same old stuff you can find at any Flying J truckstop in the country. I really do hate how the mom and pop businesses are disappearing along with what once made America great and being bought up by corporate giants that remove any hint of local or regional feelings and offer nothing but the standard garbage from China. Oh, and the restaurant that had great food and servers? Its gone. Totally. Replaced by guess what? A Subway. Again, just like every other truckstop in America. How about offering something different to eat besides a dang Subway or corndogs that have been sitting under a heat lamp for who knows how many hours?
It seems as though more and more national chain truckstops are converting to pay-to-park. Greed is all it is. Let’s do some simple math shall we? A driver comes in for the night. Assuming he pays for everything, he spends $14 to park. Then he takes a shower at a cost of another $12-14. Then whatever he spends for food. It can come to $40 a stay easily. Just how rich do they think truckers are?
In my ten years of trucking, I have seen lots of changes. Some for the better, most of them not so much. I can only imagine what the days of trucking were like 20 or 30 years ago, and what those truckers think now as they watch us travel some of the same routes that they once traveled…..
As we get closer to finally reaching a million miles, I am planning on some ways to celebrate that milestone. “A Million Miles of America” will be the new motto. Please take a minute to check out the poll questions below. Feel free to add your comments about any of today’s ramblings or Million Mile celebration ideas you may have.