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Saturday, July 18, 2009

HOM: Memories Of Truckers

It was Sunday night, the SLC show was over, and I was heading east across Wyoming on I-80 towards Denver and another gun show. I was out in the rolling country past Rock Springs when I picked up a couple of truckers chatting on CB and after a while they came into sight ahead of me, westbound. They were discussing whose speedometer was accurate as they were going the same speed but getting different readings. When they came abreast of me, I butted into the conversation with a drawled "Well, boys, according to MY radar you're about ten miles an hour over the speed limit!" After a few seconds of brake lights and fishtails they realized who had pulled their chains and I got an earful as I headed on east to Denver. ----- Monida pass had about eight inches of fresh and unplowed snow on the road when I got onto the Idaho side but I had good tires, a downhill run, and a pretty good load in the Datsun so I was moving right along anyway. I passed a semi that was just easing along and he keyed his CB to tell me not to expect him to stop and pull me out when I slid my dumb ass off into a drift on one of the corners. I told him that was okay, if he got stuck I'd be happy to give him a ride. I got another earful from him and decided truckers had no sense of humor. ----- I met two trucks on the four lane interstate near Flagstaff, both eastbound, both overloaded, both underpowered, crawling up the grade side by side with traffic stacking up behind them. The truckers were screaming at each other on the CB and out their windows for the other one to slow down. The guy in the left lane wanted to pass and the guy in the right lane wanted him to drop back and get behind. Neither had the power to pull ahead and neither would yield. I suspect that episode ended with a fight at the next rest stop. ----- I was heading for Glen Canyon City in Utah, east of Kanab and heading further east on two-lane Highway 89, when I met an extended string of semis coming up a long hill toward me. Far ahead, I saw an old car pull out to pass the farthermost semi. He got by it, stayed in my lane, passed the next semi. Ditto for the next one. I realized he wasn't trying to pull back into his lane and all of a sudden I was involved in a game of chicken. I lost the stare-down with the Indian driver and swerved off the road at the last second. Luckily for me the ditch was wide and shallow and I got stopped without wrecking. Luckily for him, he finally got around the last semi and back in his lane. He was lucky because I'd grabbed my .243 rifle out of the back of the truck, jumped out as I jacked a shell in, and just got the crosshairs on him when he got back into his lane and out of sight. Yeah, I was peeved, and the combo of fear, anger, and adrenaline had me shaking for quite a while before I drove on. ----- I'd stayed with some friends in Colfax, WA and then followed them over to Moscow, ID where they were going camping and I had a gun show. His old panel truck converted to a camper had to take its time on upgrades and he stacked a few cars up behind his rig on a long hill. One of the drivers was impatient and got on the CB and started cussing my friend Bob out. The exchange was getting fairly heated when I found the track I wanted on my cassette player and played it into the mike on my CB. It was the old C/W song about if all the cars Detroit built were lined up end to end they'd reach clear to the moon -- and some damn fool would pull out to pass . . . Nobody thought it was funny but me. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)