Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

I should have been a truck driver

Posted by Frum Hiker on April 17, 2007

Every couple years or so I revisit the thought of going and getting my commercial truck driving license. Its usually at a time whe I am down and feel like my career or current job is just not doing it for me. It may also have to do with the fact that somehow I manage to drive an average of 40,000 miles a year- in the past 4 or 5 years.

Now I know you are all asking yourselves how does a 25 year old dude find the time or will to drive so much? That must be a lot of money in gas? Do cars last that long? Where on earth do you go? etc…

It wasn’t always like this- until I took my first major road trip in he summer of 2002- the farthest west I had ever been was the beginning of Nebraska the year before. I did however do a lot of wandering in my area of Western New York state. I would just hop in my car throw some bikes on the roof and be off- destination unknown. Just in the mood of seeing some rural American scenes and possibly riding some trails if I may find some.

That was when I had my 92 Camry- it all changed when I discovered Volvo’s unique ability to make cars that just wont die and just wont break and allow two people to sleep in the back. I got me a 95 Volvo wagon and continued my wanderings- whenever I didn’t have school or work- I would cut out driving down roads with no names- through long forgotten towns with abandoned main streets. I really got into photographing these long lost towns in unique ways- mainly through the era of beautiful architecture that has been lost to the era of the BOX. Everything built in the last 30 years seems to resemble a box.

Then the summer of 2002 hit and I found myself sleeping in 95 degrees on some arid sandy land in western Kansas- the start to a month long 9,000 mile trip that took me to the west up and around Canada and back. 9,000 miles in one month!!! I know it was nuts- but the trip was spent mostly in the woods, mountains and deserts and not in the car. From then on pretty much every summer has been taken up by random road trips.

Some of these trips were more specific- like two weeks hiking around northwestern Montana and some were general- like the one in May of 2005 that took me and a buddy to wander the southwest and Northern California. In all I have driven to all 49 contiguous
states and almost every road accessible part of Canada- besides Labrador, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island- Mexico as well.

If I was a truck driver I could have gotten paid to see all of this countries grandeur. I could have driven the loneliest road in America route 50 through northern Nevada and stopped in truck stops along the dusty back roads and gotten paid to do it. Of course I doubt I could have stopped and taken 15 mile hikes into the bush- or ridden my bike on lunch breaks.

This past September of course was the ultimate dream road trip for any seasoned driver like myself. I drove to the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska- the ultimate in driving, hiking and wandering- for a rural scenes junky like myself. Nothing can quite compare to driving open road for 300 miles without seeing any people, houses or power lines. A bit intimidating, but nevretheless well worth the 13,000 miles driven in a little more then 5 weeks. Including a 4 day 5000-mile jump- which was extreme to say the least.

At least if I wasn’t a truck driver you would think someone would be willing to wrap my car with some advertisements or something. Hell if I was getting paid to drive my own car I could easily do 100,000 miles a year.

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4 Responses to “I should have been a truck driver”

  1. jacob said

    very cool dude. i did some road trips with T but nothing remotely close to this.

  2. if you were a truck driver you wouldn’t be able to stop and smell the flowers… or take pictures of the abandoned architecture; you’d just watch glimpses of the scenery as you speed by.

  3. Alan said

    Truck companies don’t accomodate Shabbos/yuntiff observance, unfortunately.

  4. Well I have met some frum truck drivers in my day- most of them do weekly runs around the midwest. I have not met any long haul drivers.

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