As we mozy across I80 east to Omaha (for the 2nd time) Iâ€™m looking at big billboards with giant letters proclaiming CLEAN BATHROOMS!Â MOM APPROVED BATHROOMS!Â I wonder at the number of times in my life that Iâ€™ve been on a road trip and seen this thinking, they sure are proud of their bathroomsâ€¦seemingly over important information.Â However, now, in a big truckâ€¦living in a big truck slowly rolling across the landscape thinking about a shower, the information seems very important if, in fact, it is true.Â I know there are places I would shower and feel happy to go to the bathroom and many I would prefer us stay in the big truck and use my bucket.Â I look at the MOM APPROVED BATHROOMS signs of the Sapp Bros. and wonder if they really are as wonderful as they say.
Someplace in Nebraska, at the amusement park of truck stops, we just showered.Â Definitely not mom approved.
We can apply this thinking to motels along the interstate.Â Personally, Iâ€™ve never paid much attention before this experience, really, to motels around or the big truck area of a truck stop but there is usually some kind of motel close by and it turns out this is always true when the truck stop has a service center because big trucks break down and truck drivers have to stay someplace to wait and sleep.Â Each time Iâ€™ve been out in the truck with him, weâ€™ve talked about his and joked about some of the questionable behaviors that takes place there.Â Thereâ€™s usually an adult store near by as well.
As weâ€™re driving today discussing bathrooms, showers and truck stops outside of and close in to big cities, the truck starts a mighty shaking.Â We both think weâ€™re losing a drive tire and as he steers us and our 78,000 pounds skillfully off the highway to the shoulder, the dashboard goes black and the engine is dead.Â Without incident, we are safe and are sitting on the side of I80 about 15 miles from our destination.Â Inside a giant tow truck, I sit on Adamâ€™s lap in the cramped seat as the driver hauls us to the nearest Peterbilt service station.Â We grab a few things we will need for the night and for breakfast, then the service manager gives us a ride in his dirty service truck to the Super8 motel.Â Technically, itâ€™s just across the street but because of all the fences there is no shortcut for getting there.
The other direction is a giant casino.Â Across the road are 2 huge truck stops and a Sapp Bros. service center.
Our first motel (or hotel) experience together.
We look around, laugh, then I declare Iâ€™m going to have a couple of ciders with my burger at The Salty Dog so I can walk barefoot on the carpet.
Walking across 6 lanes of traffic as the sun sets, we pass more service centers and big truck parking.Â On the way back, we stop at the Sapp Bros. to check out their â€œmom approved bathroomsâ€ and buy a new pair of pajama bottoms for me.Â The bathroom toiletsâ€¦.have a bidet featureâ€¦.which I do not try.
As they say in Kenyaâ€¦.ITâ€™S AN ADVENTURE!!!
The truck driver:
Traveling together and the challenges that come up between traveling companions are something everyone has experience with.Â For us, having only been together not yet 2 years, there are many new things that we experience as firsts as a couple.Â Probably none of these experiences are actually firsts for either of us. Itâ€™s interesting or maybe wonderful, that the girl and I, as we have new experiences togetherâ€¦itâ€™s like weâ€™ve been together all along.Â Had we met in high school, fallen in love and gotten married and were now having these shared experiences, would it be the same?Â Of course not.Â Probably not.Â That she and I have both been married beforeâ€¦ that she and I have experience, makes it better?Â Absolutely.Â I think what Iâ€™m wanting to express is the gratitude I have for growth.Â Iâ€™m certainly not done.Â It is the acknowledgement that so many times in previous lifetimes how poorly I showed up and how so many times I made things difficult for the other.
We are cruising down the highway and without warning a shudder shake and vibration develops throughout the whole rig.Â Iâ€™m not sure, it feels as though we are losing a drive tire. Whatâ€™s actually happening is the engine is dyeing.Â Fortunately, we are just on the outskirts of the cityâ€¦about 10 miles.Â We get safely to the side of the roadâ€¦a nice wide shoulder.Â I put on the flashers, pull the breaks.Â I give the key a turn.Â Nothing. It does want to turn over but itâ€™s like the engineâ€™s locked up.Â Weâ€™re gonna need to be towed.Â I send in a message to my company through the qualcomn computerâ€¦this will make things happen.Â Itâ€™s an adventure.