The start time of a truck driver is carefully calculated based on weather conditions, traffic patterns, city driving, unload time and available drive time.Â Sleep needs rarely come into that calculation, Iâ€™m thinking.Â He worked tarping and strapping last night until at least 9pm.Â The temperature was expected to be 7 degrees.
Itâ€™s 4am I think.
I think this because he talked about how today might unfold.Â I didnâ€™t hear him get up but we are moving, bumping and rocking out of the place we spent the night last night, deep in a Wyoming canyon.Â I sleep with earplugs so the noise is muffled but I lay here letting the truck rock me back and forth. Â I wonder if this is what it feels like to be in the sleeper of a passenger train as it rolls across the countryside.
Even though I know weâ€™re driving back through the area we drove through yesterday, I canâ€™t help thinking that I might be missing something to see.Â I wonder if that goes away with time on the road.Â A beginnersâ€™ mindâ€¦feeling the wonder of a new experience.Â I get up.Â Weâ€™re in northern Wyoming, near the Montana border.Â Iâ€™ve always been this wayâ€¦not wanting to miss anything.Â Sleeping lightly so as not to sleep through what may be an unmissable experience.
This morning it is the stars. I crawl out of my bunk and quietly sit next to him and look out at the darkness and the stars.Â He softly touches my back and kisses the top of my head as I crouch down beside his seat.Â We donâ€™t speakâ€¦both knowing that words would somehow diminish the magic of the moment just before dawn.
I crawl back into the warmth of my bed as we roll along.Â Some time later, the smell changesâ€¦Sulphur.Â Weâ€™re getting close to hot springs so I get up and go to my spot next to him to witness the sky as the light seeps in from the east.Â Weâ€™ll stop soon so he can make his breakfast.
The truck driver:
Wind River Canyon.Â Hellâ€™s Â½ Acre.Â These are names of places in Wyoming that Iâ€™ve come to know and love.Â In Thermopolisâ€¦almost 6am, itâ€™s dark and we quietly roll through town.Â Passing through the fairgrounds, I see on the marque: sorting.Â 14.Â 15.Â Cutting clinic.Â This must be secret cowboy code for something important to be held here.
Stopping in Wind River Canyon.Â I pull off to heat up my breakfast.Â Oatmeal. Coffee.
The lightâ€™s just starting to change.
Itâ€™s one of the best times of day.
Wind River Canyon.Â Hellâ€™s Â½ Acre.Â These are 2 of the places that when I drive through, they are so beautiful I am moved to tears.Â Iâ€™ve mentioned this many times in other comments and I do it again without hesitating.
We play the antelope game for money, driving across Wyoming.
As we turn south, a flashing sign tells us that the highway is closed to high profile and light vehicles due to wind.
He says, â€œweâ€™re driving across the moonscape that is Wyoming.Â 60 + mile an hour wind advisory next hundred miles.Â Highway closed to high profile and light weight vehicles.Â Seeing snow fences flying by.Â We continueâ€
I wonder if we should stop.
He says, â€œweâ€™re running heavy and low with drywall.Â We continue.â€
As people drive by on these roads our windshield proceeds from clean and clear to dirty making antelope spotting on my side of the truck nearly impossible.Â Thatâ€™s how he wins.
Birds flying over are flying backwards.
He says, â€œWyoming delivers the dramatic.â€
Weâ€™re parked for the night now at aÂ big box store.Â Theyâ€™ll unload us first thing in the morning then weâ€™ll find out where weâ€™ll head tomorrow.