Croc's Blog

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Today is Rib Day!! Yeah!! I love Rib Day!!

Ellen and I keep the truck stocked with all sorts of goodies and on our run from Salem, Illinois to Laredo we stop for ribs at a little place on I-55. I am not sure of the name because Ellen is driving at the time and I am curled up asleep in the back. When I wake up there is the aroma of freshly cooked ribs. There are three things that makes me wake with a smile ... one is fresh coffee, another is ribs and the other is .... now where were we.

Trucking can be very hard on the diet. Most of us grab a quick bite from a truckstop which is not the healthiest decision we make during our day but why haven't those places caught on to the idea of healthy eating? There are a few truckstops which serve a regular meal, meat and potatoes so to speak, but many that don't. The old Williams chain of truckstops used to have a great restaurant and I enjoyed eating there; it was a while ago so I don't remember what they called the restaurant but as soon as that chain was bought out by Pilot - the one in West Memphis, Arkansas for example the restaurant was closed and we all enjoyed Pizza, etc. from the counter until finally they opened a Denny's which is not bad I suppose if you order the right stuff.

Love's offers a dining 'experience' from Arby's or whatever. Subway is good if there is one and you order the right stuff in the sandwich. McDonald's anyone?

As you know we are on a dedicated run so we have regular stops, not that we sat down and planned the stops, they were just convenient places along the road. One of the stops is the Flying J in Checota, Oklahoma. They have a Denny's but we don't have time to sit and eat so I usually grab a couple of slices of Pizza and head out again. Sure the pizza has good ingredients, Cheese for example, Olives, Cheese, Tomato Paste (I guess there's Tomato in there?), Cheese, Green Peppers and so on, did I mention Cheese? It's good food every now and then but I grab those slices every two days and I know that is not good for my figure which hardly fits behind the wheel anymore.

As I said, we keep the truck stocked with items we enjoy.

I begin my turn behind the wheel with a cup of coffee, best if it is bought from Love's despite Pilot's claim that they have the best coffee on the Interstate; sometimes I wonder how long it has spent on the Interstate. Once my coffee is finished I drink water which is a must for me because I have had a couple of bouts with Kidney Stones. They are supposed to be the closest a man will ever come to knowing what it feels like to deliver a baby, in the pain sense anyway. If that is true I feel sorry for the ladies and if men had the babies humanity would have died out long ago. Drinking water flushes the kidneys.

Bananas are pretty good for the road and most truckstops have them on display all over the place. How did that start anyway? I don't remember seeing them offered when I started driving and I am pretty sure that was after bananas were discovered. They appeared quite suddenly in most truckstops and I guess they are a popular item because I don't see too many being thrown out. Ellen likes them when they are a little green, I will eat them right up to the point where the skin peels itself and the innards are one step short of pouring out. It's all still banana and a great source of potassium. Did you know that the Banana is a Berry?

I also enjoy those cups of fruit they sell at truckstops. One of those along with a little milk is a good meal although I don't like the skimmed milk, it tastes too watery for me. Give me the full cream stuff every time. Farmers will tell you that the best milk comes right from the cow; dip a cup into a bucket of freshly milked milk, (is that good grammar?), so good and oh so creamy. Somehow after it has been pasteurized, homogenized, irradiated and zapped to some Government standard it isn't the same. Homogenization makes the fatty globules smaller otherwise you would have to shake it before you use it; how lazy have we become? I'm not sure what Pasteurization is but I think it involves leaving the milk in a pasture for a while allowing the cows to see it for a little longer.

Yogurt is another something we enjoy on the road and from what I have heard and read that is good for you, I don't know if it is or isn't but it tastes good and swallowing a cup full of active bacteria appeals to the macabre side of my brain. Ellen doubts that I have a brain but for now, despite the previous pasteurization comment, lets make a positive assumption.

Under our bunk are our supplies which include some cookies, (always good with coffee) a few fruit cups, some beef jerky, candy, a couple of bags of chips, all of our water and a Partridge in a Pear tree which will be good if we ever run out of stuff. I understand that Partridge is good if cooked correctly.

We don't carry a microwave oven in the truck although many Truckers do. We are at home every weekend so we haven't felt the need to install one. If we go back to running Over The Road again we will probably install one but we haven't felt the need since beginning our dedicated route.

As I write we are at the Con-way Freight yard in Salem, Illinois. This is the only time we actually sit around waiting as we arrive here a couple of hours before our load is ready. This is my computer time. Ellen is sleeping in the back.

In a little while the load will be ready and I will grab a cup of coffee for Ellen before she gets behind the wheel for her shift. Along the way Ellen will make the stop for Ribs. Did I mention today is Rib Day? Oh yeah, what a day.

Rib Notice
The ribs are available at I-55, Exit 19- there's a Pilot right next door.

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This is an area I like to use for the occasional update of what Ellen and I are up to.

We run a dedicated lane between Laredo, Texas and Salem, Illinois with a break at the weekend at home in Joplin but hopefully it is still interesting even though we limit our travels.

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