Back when I was in college, my dad used to do some long-haul trucking. He raised and sold hay and when he would make a delivery somewhere within a tri-state area with his semi-truck and trailer, he often brought back a load for a local trucking company. He didn’t like to go by himself, so I sometimes went along to keep him company.
I’m not sure how I got talked into accompanying him on a trip one hot July, but nonetheless there I was riding shotgun. I should probably explain that my Dad was one of those rare people who could get in a vehicle and drive without stopping until he reached his destination unless he took someone along who would whine, beg, plead and burst into tears begging for a rest-stop or nourishment, in which case he would pull over for briefly before hitting the road again.
This particular trip I remember involved cans of beanie-weanies and crackers for lunch (which I have managed to never eat again). We missed our exit in Portland and ended up smack-dab in the middle of downtown with a truckload of hay. Boy, that was fun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people glare, gawk or flip obscene digits our direction as I did that day.
Once we got out of the city, found the right exit and unloaded the hay, we headed to Eugene, OR., where dad was scheduled to pick up a load of lumber. I was so hungry by the time we had dinner, I could have gladly eaten another can of those wretched beanie-weanies.
The next morning after a good breakfast, we headed toward home. Dad decided to fuel up once we got out of traffic and town. The only problem was we ran out of places to fuel up before he ran out of fuel.
We ended up sitting on a pass near Crater Lake in a snowstorm with no fuel and not a car to be seen. Way back then, we didn’t even have a cell phone to call for help. So I sat in the now freezing truck dressed in shorts and a tank top huddled into the sleeping bag Dad kept in the truck’s sleeper while keeping up a stream of whining comments along with a few “I Told You So”s that would have made my mother proud.
Finally, Dad got someone to respond to him on the CB and soon we had fuel in the tank and were on the road. Although I never did go on a trip with Dad again, I look back on our adventures and smile.
Just don’t ask me to eat beanie-weanies or to sit through a snowstorm in July.