Sunday, February 10, 2013

Montana

I'm sitting on the top bunk of a dark red 1999 Freightliner FTD. We're moving. It's 6 o'clock Sunday morning. Actually, 7 local time. I'm somewhere near the eastern extremes of the Montanan Rocky Mountains. What am I doing here? I wonder that myself...

Sitting here reminds me of the adage in the cruise ship industry, "Those who pay the most, sway the most". Well, no one ever said riding in a truck was perfectly smooth, but when you're already 10 feet off the ground the effect is definitely increased.

It'll take a little bit to get used to sleeping here. I suppose I won't sleep much while in motion, nor would I need to, but something about having a freezer running constantly just a couple feet away... Well, it's not all that loud - it's as cold outside as inside the reefer, so the refrigeration unit isn't working too hard - but a combination of new surroundings, excitement, a new bed, noise, light, and being warmer than I'm used to at night (inside, not outside the truck)..

Travel company is great. Of all the people I'd put up with being stuck in a 8x8x8 foot box with for an extended period of time, I think he's near the top. Which is saying something. I guess we did become acquainted for a reason. Petr is an early 30 year old Ukrainian immigrant, moved here when he was about 21. He's been a truck driver for most of that time. Well read (in English, as well as Russian), he considers himself more fit for academia than what he's doing, (not that truck driving is hard, rather not challenging enough), but never having gone to college, he's somewhat limited in that regard. Sometimes he has difficulty expressing the concepts in his mind in English.

So far conversation has touched on topics such as how we don't seem to remember able to remember anything (like, um, what we talked about?), photography, travel, life purpose, finding meaning in life, the adventures of men such as Thor Heyerdahl, Christopher McCandless, or Ché Guevara, how the endlessly theoretical has no more practical value than the practical world most people live in, music, social interactions, (he's worse than I am with most people, it would seem, although not worse than I was a year ago), being productive and responsible, crazy people in society, homicidal impulses, weather in Ukraine vs. Spokane, vs. Pendleton, temperature immunity (being able to adapt to whatever weather you happen to find yourself in), and the problems with universalism and a lack of religion in society.

Well, now we're stopped. Apparently he thought the truck stop was a better place to sleep than the rest area, and with a scale up ahead. With all the driving done yesterday, he needs to sit for a couple hours to catch up his logbook. May as well sleep, eh?

So one benefit already from this trip - I've decided that for my upcoming bike trip I'll have to come up with a list of definite goals for the trip. Yes, Elwyn, you heard that correctly. Sometimes it takes more than one person to convince someone of a specified course of action.