Every photo conjures up a memory. I really loved taking sunset photos as we drove behind this truck through New Mexico, but of course I can’t look at this photo without thinking about Stella’s and my encounters with truckers on our road trip. Though I have traveled by myself quite a bit, I have to say the ridiculous stories from those solo adventures probably pale in comparison to the ones from when I have traveled with Stella. Usually, I’m the one who throws out all of these ridiculous ideas and have to hear them get shot down by someone else. On the road trip, I had the opposite problem; it was a constant negotiation- I probably turned down half of Stella’s ideas for one reason or another (if you were to go through my video archives, you would find us debating all sorts of them).
But Stella has two friends back home in Germany who are obsessed with country music, Texas, and 18-wheeler trucks. And Stella, being the good friend that she is, wanted to get as many pictures as possible of truckers holding up a sign saying hi to her friends. I thought this was a great idea… that is until we actually had to make it happen. We found ourselves creeping from the car lot at rest stops over to the trucking lot on the other side of the building (okay, well I creeped while Stella bounded) as moms in minivans gave us looks as if we had ulterior motives. And I’m not gonna lie- Stella usually did all of the talking. It didn’t matter if she asked a trucker to hold a sign for a photo and she got turned down- she simply went to the next one. At a rest stop in East Tennessee, she happened upon a very nice trucker who hauled, of all things, ice cream! He had children our age and was one of the nicest guys we met on the trip. Here’s a photo below of Stella and him:
He talked to us about the trucking business and how he’s out on his own now and this is his first rig. We had no idea how obsessed truckers are with keeping their truck shiny and clean until this guy gave us the inside scoop. Stella admired the interior and when he told her she could check it out, well, I’ve never seen her so excited:
I was offered my chance, but had already had my own trucker experience in Namibia, so I kindly declined and let Stella take it all in. I was actually surprised at how many truckers did not want to participate in the photo-taking experience with the sign but it was all a good time. At one point along our trip, we stopped at a large gas station that had a lounge inside full of truckers. Stella wanted to walk in there and make an announcement that she wanted to honk the horn of someone’s truck- yes, I put a stop to that!
But of course, Stella didn’t stop at just trucks. One of her friend’s fathers dreams of riding a motorcycle on Route 66, so we had to stop motorcyclists too:
I think this post is a perfect example of why a road trip buddy is necessary. It definitely makes for much more interesting stories and good laughs along the way :)