The Walkabout in Photographs – Part One

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I have a thousand photos that I have never published.  Now that I am between Walkabouts, I shall find the best of these to entertain you, my Loyal Readers- until the Next Great Adventure comes along.


One of the Kenworths that, I (Your Humble Narrator (YHN)) drove.  I remembered the license plate number this way:  Starts with “R” then twice 7 (14) then 10 times 7 (70), then 7 squared (49).  The heater failed as often as it worked through the Northern Winter of 16/17.  I was “snowed-in” in this vehicle in Ontario, Oregon for a full day and a half.

Once, the “fifth wheel” was jammed in place and I darn near killed myself when I was trying to move it back by locking the trailer brakes, racing the engine and popping the clutch.  The thing let go all at once and Captain Careless did not have his seatbelt on.  Luckily, my head intercepted the “overhead” and not the windshield.

IMG_1670.JPGThe office room in the Captains Suite.  You see that the sunshade has a convenient cut-out meant for a rearview mirror where the 1984 Big-Brother Camera could still see Winston Smith (YHN).  The smaller video screen is Jill, the Navigation Computer.  She secretly wanted to lock me out and say “I’m sorry, Steve, but I cannot open the pod bay doors.”  That’s why I always carried a spare key on a lanyard around my neck.

IMG_1694Sunrises and sunsets were frequently awe-inspiring.  Never did photos do them justice, try as I might.  This one came close.  What looks like a light pole with spiral cables is actually one of two antennas for the satellite Navigation system.  You will see it “in context” about 3 photos below.

IMG_1688The Parking Problem – this sort of back-up into (and leaving) a rest area was a constant throughout the Eastern half of the US.  Large Western Cities are joining in the misery. All the trucks you see here could be ticketed for illegal parking, but these drivers had no choice but to stop. The Freight companies drive them near the clock and they must stop the truck or face massive fines.

IMG_1727These large bird/bat choppers were a constant sight along the highways.  Rare was the time I saw them turning at anything like a rapid rate.  When the winds got really strong, they were locked down motionless.  This wind power boondoggle has cost the country immensely in subsidies, excessively high utility rates and grotesquely excessive amounts of steel and concrete compared on a per-energy-unit basis to cheap, reliable, efficient, CLEAN natural gas, nuclear and coal.  If you disagree, then you need to do a bit of research, as I have done for 25 years.


The view of that red light that means your truck is still an unpaid slave of the Distribution Center.  This one came up blank a few times and I had to try again.  It dawned on me that it was blinking – DOH!  When finally the green light shows, you may be only a few hours away from actually getting back on the road and actually earning money -albeit a pittance.


This is in one of the Travel Plazas that populate The Ohio Turnpike.  They actually have free showers.  Yes, it is “bring your own everything.” But, as a long-time swimmer and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, I have always my beach towel.

IMG_1832.JPGThere was a constantly-changing tableau of scenery that passed before me.  I think this is in Middle California, near the coast.  It is blessed with an absence of windmills. The hilly relief is impressive enough to warrant a photo-attempt.  Again, the majesty of it all may be lost in the recording.

IMG_1830.JPGCalifornia, again.  This was before the torrential rains that broke the drought in Middle California.  I have some later photos of this area that show “Irish Green” qualities.  Much of what here seems to be bald grassland is actually exposed lake-bottom.  Those who blamed “Global Warming” for a “Permanent Drought” never did retract those accusations when the rains returned.  The truth is that both California and the entire Southwest are subject to decades-long cycles of drought and flood.  Anyone who tells you different is either ignorant or disingenuous.

SandstoneWeatheringRestArea.jpgAlong Interstate 40, near Winslow, in Arizona is this excellent example of weathering of a sandstone outcrop.  I was a Geology Major for a semester, mostly because of interesting things like this.  I will admit that I am afflicted with Geek-Trivia-Nerd Syndrome (GTNS).  That admission does nothing to cure or treat the condition and that’s OK.  I am not looking for any absolution.  I am completely at peace with my interest, fascination and obsession with the details of the Universe that surrounds me.


Here is a view from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus.  While “in port”  at “Purgatory”, I was able to get away, by means of the bus and local light-rail system and once managed to visit my son at his college dormitory.  It is consistent with my (GTNS) personality that I actually enjoy such mass-transit excursions.  


Hasta Luego,


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