Truckin’ with Dad

By: Cam Grubic

Early in the summer of 2015, I hit the open road with my dad in his semi, covering about 6,000 miles in slightly less than two weeks. I enjoyed the open road and time spent with my dad, as he is normally gone somewhere between two and 10 weeks at one time.

At first I enjoyed the road, seeing new things in all sorts of new places; nothing to do but bounce like a ragdoll on the air ride seats and look at the back of the same bumper labeled “I love my chihuahuas,” as our coon dog kept his nose and ears in the wind for hundreds of miles.

After the first two days I became bored with the trip; nothing exciting happens over the road. The constant fuzz of the FM radio picking up different signals and the rocking back and forth of the rig loaded with 46,000 pounds of liquid latex. I have traveled the Midwest before, so nothing was new, but the East Coast seemed to be promising when it came to new sights and visiting family in Maryland. The days became longer and longer, and so did the miles on the odometer.

Beginning in Iowa, then heading in order to South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland on our way east near the Cumberland Gap, we actually ran into a family friend and trucker on the highway and were able to carry out conversation over the CB radio; amazing how many people you actually see and meet from your own state halfway across the country.

We stayed at my aunt’s house in Maryland for a nice family get together and catching up with relatives over the past 10 or more years, which had gone by with minimal contact, and the next morning we hit the road again. I was exhausted; nothing much to do for a passenger except sleep and stare at that bumper ahead of you for hours and hours. Our departure from Maryland headed us north through Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,  New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The people on the East Coast aren’t very welcoming; they’re very blunt about things and can often times be crude; nothing like warm, Midwest hospitality.

The food was, as you can imagine, nothing but fast food. I tried to pick up healthier food at a stop or just avoid fast food as much as possible, but it was hard to do. It was definitely cool for me to have that perspective, and maybe some people would prefer a job where they can travel and be alone, but it’s not for me.

However, being able to see everything was amazing. The experience was not the best, but I don’t regret it. I think my dad wanted me to see first hand what it was like to be a trucker to check it off my list of careers with long, boring and lonely days with a tremendously awful diet and a possibly worse sleep schedule. Not that it was ever on my list in the first place, but I think we both enjoyed each other’s company the most.

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