July 6, 2022

Flyin’ High

In January, 1999, we perceived a reference for speeding in a “Land of Enchantment”, differently famous as a State of New Mexico. we was eastward on I-40, nearby a Acoma Sky City Casino during a 102 yardstick, when we was pulled over and given this sold “driving award.” En track from San Diego, CA, to Altoona, PA, we was draggin’ a wagonload of Class 9 lead solder rubbish opposite a dried when a State Trooper clocked me during 85 miles per hour. To this day, we keep a framed duplicate of this reference on a wall of my room, to be review by all who enter, and we delight this framed duplicate for a following reasons…

On that fatal morning, we woke with a extreme hangover in a lot of a Flying Hook in Winslow, AZ. Crawling solemnly from my sleeper to a greasy smorgasboard table—the kind where Pepto is served as a legitimate beverage—I attempted to assuage a hundred-foot tapeworm that dwells in my tiny intestine. The cholesterol feast valid to be excessively rancid, and my complement was no compare for it: even a voracious worm had to behind down from this estimable foeman. With stinking exhale and ill stomach, we pushed my fourth image aside and done my approach to a private stall, where we gratefully conducted a “purge phase” before holding a long, prohibited shower.

Shakily returning to my truck, that was waiting divided with a A/C cranked to “Max Cool”, we flipped a few switches, staggered by my PTI (Pre-Trip Inspection) with produce in hand, grudgingly updated my “Comic Book” (Driver’s Daily Log compulsory by law and falsified on a unchanging basis), yanked a soda out of my cooler, put a lorry in rigging and strike a f—–g road… Stepping onto I-40, we wound adult a supply until we was in a large hole, eastward and down, as in HAMMER DOWN, stickin’ to a left line and eatin’ association trucks for breakfast while ripping during high speed by a desolation. For personal entertainment, we prepped a tape, keyed my CB mike, and gave a other drivers a sip of Patsy Cline as we blew past: “YOU WALK BY AND we FALL TO PIECES…” Good ol’ Patsy, a long-lived favorite.

It was a stately morning, zero yet blue skies and sunshine… detached from my delayed hangover, all was right with a world. This was a second day of a ten-day jaunt, and we had any goal of “trashin’ around” during a Hook in OKC before midnight; given this sold reserved lorry of cave surfaced out during 86 miles per hour, a continue was beautiful, highway conditions were excellent, and trade was comparatively light, this was a ideally picturesque expectation. On all PA runs, we spent my second night out during a Hook in “Oak City”, even yet we couldn’t “legally” record my attainment until early a following morning. In those days, a Hook in OKC was a Wild West, a classical venue for a “nightly radio comedy programme”—a CB Babylon of @$$hole truckers, bone-head peddlers, whores slingin’ @$$, crackerheads, and assorted border elements to whom we collectively impute underneath a classification “CIRCUS MAXIMUS.”

Ah, yes, it was a pleasing day in a neighborhood, and we felt my adrenalin swell as we barrelled by some curves… Truck pushing always reminds me of skateboarding, with these pointed exceptions: a “skateboard” weighs scarcely 40 tons, it is articulated, and it does good over 100 miles per hour hillside (if we let it rip). The top series shown on my speedometer is “85″, yet when a needle is pegged, an gifted motorist knows when he’s past a suppositious century mark. This speed is NOT endorsed for rookie drivers: ALL TRAINEES SHOULD OBSERVE THE POSTED LIMIT.

When roving 86 miles per hour on a flat, a veteran lorry motorist can’t be too careful. When we was during a circle of that bad-@$$ Eagle, mountainous on automatic wings with my suggestion light as a feather, we would constantly indicate a highway and turf ahead, warning to building situations that concerned energy danger. Frequently, we would SLOW DOWN TO PASS OTHER VEHICLES, generally vehicles in convoy, wherein some fresh or musing motorist (i.e. one who can’t rightly guess a speed of an overtaking supply by looking in his or her mirror) competence lift out to pass directly in front of me, thereby causing a heller mutilate and presumably finale my OTR (Over-The-Road) career. we have no enterprise to be listed in my necrology as “the stuffing in a almost sandwich.”

Oversized vehicles are another concern. Only a finish f—–g bone-head runs adult during high speed on an oversized rig… improved to delayed down, accost a motorist on a CB and state one’s goal to pass, name a safest and many suitable event (a straightaway with far-reaching shoulders is preferable to a overpass or blind curve), afterwards uniformly accelerate past while giving a other motorist copiousness of room. If there’s no CB in your vehicle, a same manners still apply. we can’t trust how many foolish f—–g four-wheelers DIE any year given they don’t know how to pass an 18-wheeler, let alone an oversized rig.

Back to my story… we roared opposite a New Mexico line and geared down to enter a P.O.E. chickenhouse (Port Of Entry/D.O.T. scale). After a cursory hearing of my documents, a D.O.T. bear waved me by and we solemnly wound ‘er adult to hurl by Gallup. Blowing out a eastern side of town, we crushed my engine and quick had my lorry adult to cruising speed. we had over 300 miles to expostulate before we strike a subsequent permanent import hire in San Jon; a D.O.T. in New Mexico has been famous to set adult unstable beam in rest areas and dwindle down all trucks, yet on that pleasing morning my instincts told me this would not happen, so four-and-a-half hours of undeviating pushing lay between me and a San Jon chickenhouse. My hangover resolutely refused to die, and a confidant new thought crept into my consciousness, a contemptuous concept, a ardent notion, something that we had never even deliberate in light of a critical consequences, a huge responsibility, a extensive energy for undisguised f—–g disaster…

Hidden in a storage cell behind my seat, on a top left-hand side of my sleeper, was an indisputable cylindrical cosmetic container, a kind done to reason a hurl of 35mm film. Inside that enclosure were tangled dual fat spleefs of heller chronic, all that remained from an eightball of chief weed purchased before to my final off-duty camping outing (my friends and we took my tractor to a high dried and had a blast). we was saving those fatties for a Hook in OKC—outbound and lapse trip—but a furious hair stirred me to bake one of those delbers in a last-ditch bid to destroy my hangover. Groping for a canister, we extracted one reefer and illuminated a sonofabitch with a lorry lighter as we thundered down a highway.

Cracking a wing window, we solemnly inhaled and savored a artistic season of that torpedo ganja. It was “medical marijuana”—one strike was adequate to put a user in a friggin’ wheelchair. we proceeded to bake a whole darned thing while drifting down a interstate; a nearest eastward car was over a mile away, so we was giveaway to relax and suffer this banned pleasure. My CB radio remained strangely silent… not one word of speed cops or D.O.T. bears was spoken that morning. As we felt a bone-head flog in, we laughed out shrill during a irony of a situation. There we was, a motorist who routinely celebrated all reserve precautions and rigidly adhered to a drug-free lifestyle (with a difference of ethanol and a singular occasional strike of ongoing while camping off duty), FLYIN’ HIGH WHILE THUNDERING ACROSS THE DESERT WITH A TRUCKLOAD OF HAZARDOUS WASTE… Yeah, we was certain those boys in a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division would be formally impressed—they substantially would have asked for my designation behind during a bear den, right after they emptied my pockets and private those glossy new bracelets, don’tcha know?

When we had consumed three-quarters of a spleef, we took a swill of soda and ate a live darned roach. we didn’t wish it stinking adult a cab; dark weed is one thing, yet a roach can be smelled from a mile away. we afterwards illuminated a cigarette and staid positively into my air-ride seat, to persevere my full thoroughness to a charge of pushing underneath a influence. For a subsequent forty or fifty miles, we was totally sealed into driving, focused with energy and radically attuned to my environment. My perceptions were clearly heightened by a chronic, and we soared over a turf like a good raptor, wheeling gracefully by turns and swooping into valleys… any bend or flitting scheme was an muster of liquid grace, and a adrenalin coursed by my veins as we drew tender energy from that Caterpillar engine. we existed blissfully in a apart reality, distant from a appalling corrupt of “civilization.” It was an heated experience, and we shall never forget it.

As we approached a century yardstick, my CB crackled, and a westbound motorist told me we “looked good behind to Albuquerque.” we hadn’t seen a singular bear given we left a chickenhouse on a other side of Gallup; after reciprocating a westbound driver’s “professional courtesy,” we incited off my CB and slipped a cassette into my fasten player. Albuquerque was still fifty miles away, and we felt like jammin’ to song while flyin’ high opposite a desert… given we had never driven high before in an 18-wheeler, we beheld a introduction of song as an examination conducted usually in a seductiveness of science. The honeyed strains of a intro to “Mr. Crowley” lifted my alertness to a new level, and we unequivocally began to stone in high gear, slicing off four-wheelers in stately delayed suit while creation ninety miles per hour down some pindick grade. Ah, a INTENSITY of it all, with my song cranked to a comprehensive limit!!! Sound and fury, benevolence and light, pristine adrenalin and unsound laughter…

I was out in a produce lane, flyin’ past a Acoma Sky City Casino during a 102 yardstick, when we beheld “disco lights” in my West Coast mirror. F——G DISCO LIGHTS, when that @$$hole trucker usually told me we looked good behind to Albuquerque!!! Cursing that d!ckhead for a rookie that he apparently was, we geared down and pulled over during a initial protected location, a far-reaching shoulder somewhere nearby a 103 yardstick. With my flashers on, we waited for a State Trooper to make his approach adult a shotgun side of my truck, industrial-sized reference pamphlet in hand. The celebration was over, and my gratifying mood was superseded by a amiable box of paranoia brought on by a weed. Lifting my sunglasses and looking in a self-centredness counterpart clipped to my visor, we saw that my eyes were bloodshot and my pupils dilated—I was still clearly F—–G STONED TO THE UTMOST COSMIC ELEVATION, and there was zero to do yet contemptuous it out. we set my sunglasses on a dash: improved to tell a patrolman we was tired, rather than act as if we had something to hide…

Killing my CB and slicing my engine as a State Trooper arrived during my shotgun door, we reached over to transparent a door, swung it open, and invited him to rise into a cab. By law, an officer contingency have written accede from a driver, illusive means (the steer of dull drink bottles rolling around, for example), or a f—–g aver before to entering a blurb vehicle. Since my logbook was in good shape, my support in order, and a interior of my cab spotless, we dictated to disguise my marred condition by behaving in a accessible demeanour and auxiliary from a start. My joining to a confidant devise served me well, and we didn’t dwell on a fact that we HAD BEEN PULLED OVER BY A FULL-GROWN BEAR WHILE OPERATING A PLACARDED COMMERCIAL VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HELLER CHRONIC. The State Trooper glanced around my cab, nonchalantly declined my invitation to enter and have a seat, and complacent one radiant jackboot on a reduce using house of my truck. A brief sell ensued:

“Do we know because we stopped you?,” he asked, in a amiable tone.

“Uh… SPEEDING???????”

“Know how quick we were going?,” he inquired.

“EIGHTY-SIX???????” Due to a gearing and behind finish configuration, that sold lorry surfaced out during 86 miles per hour on a flat, and we wasn’t going to bullsh!t a man after he held me satisfactory and block by stealing in a bushes.

“I clocked we during 85,” he said, while pulling a coop from his slot and flipping open his reference booklet. we private my assent from my wallet and foraged for registration and explanation of word in my assent book as a bear proceeded to make out my “driving award.” Several mins elapsed as he filled in a blanks, and an occasional lorry roared past on a interstate. we swigged soda from a bottle and kindly waited for him to finish a job. Bracing myself for bad news, we eventually asked a unavoidable question:

“Well, what’s a damage?”

“Fifty-four dollars.”

“FIFTY-FOUR DOLLARS!!!!!!!,” we exclaimed, with a extended laugh violation opposite my face. we was elated, we was ecstatic, we was positively vivacious that this sheet was usually going to cost $54, as against to $154 or $254. we was also a initial @$$hole in a History of New Mexican Law Enforcement to laugh like a darned f—–g bone-head while receiving a pushing award, even yet we had usually been clocked during 85 miles per hour with a wagonload of Class 9 Hazardous Waste. Try that in California (double nickel for trucks) and you’ll shortly learn a new definition for a word “cell phone.”

“FIFTY-FOUR DOLLARS!!!!!!! Damn, that’s a BARGAIN!!!!!!! It cost me SEVENTY to go 68 in a Buckeye!!!!!!!” (Ohio is also a double nickel state, or was during a time.)

At this indicate in a conversation, a State Trooper pulled down his flier shades, in a character and demeanour of David Lee Roth, and LOOKED AT ME AS IF we WERE HIGH, WHICH OF COURSE we STILL WAS… we smiled during him, and we could hear a cogs whirring in his mind as he mentally catalogued me as an imbecile. He handed behind my documentation, along with a speeding ticket, and we complimented him on his professionalism. After behest him farewell, we close a door, congested all of a paperwork into an beyond compartment, remarkable a time for logging purposes, dismissed adult a truck, incited on my CB, looked in my mirrors, waited for a State Trooper to transparent a @$$ finish of my trailer, checked both mirrors again, eased a lorry off a shoulder into a roadway, and GOT THE F— OUT OF THERE before a bear had a possibility to consider twice about a encounter…

That was a initial and final time we ever smoked bone-head behind a circle of a large truck. Five or 6 days after we perceived that pushing award, we stopped during a Armadillo Walmart (Amarillo, TX) to squeeze a cheesy three-dollar request frame. Taking a duplicate of my citation, we highlighted a boxes display that we usually paid $54 for using 85 miles per hour in a 75 mile per hour zone. In a “Remarks” section, we added: “PULLED OVER WHILE BAKED!!!!!!!” When we strike my “Home 20″ of Coronado, CA, we gathering directly to my friend’s roller emporium and proudly displayed my new pushing award, cheesy support and all… not any motorist in a sorry-@$$ association lorry can PROVE THAT HE DID 85 WHILE STONED ON LEVEL TERRAIN WITH A TRUCKLOAD OF CLASS 9 HAZARDOUS WASTE.