Sitting in a Welcome Center just inside the Tennessee border, I thought to myself, this is going to be my full-time life soon. Good or bad? Great I thought. I am free to stay longer or go on down the road. My brother has joined me for this last trip before my up-coming deployment. With him aboard I have to ask those questions, you gotta pee? What would you like for dinner, or would you like to rest here or wait a while? When I hit the road full-time I am not asking none a thing. I’ll be told by my fellow traveling pups when it’s time to pee, but that will be all. I’ll stop, go drive, sleep, come and go when I chose. It will be pure freedom. I only thing I have forgotten to think about where the assholes out there, sorry for the language, there’s really nothing else to call people like the few I encountered while in Tennessee. A fellow NCO of mind is a great gal from TN, SSG (P) Gray. I met her years ago when we were both PVTs in Ft. Hood. I had to ask her what was wrong with her fellow Tennessee’ens. Sadly she said that she herself noticed the changes in people when she had been there last.

I had been driving all day and most of the night and needed to re-fuel. I am driving my F150 and pulling a 27 foot Travel Trailer. (TT). My brother in the passenger seat with the pups on their bed in the back. I normally use the truck stops for easier mobility. Places like Flying J, Pilots and TAs are readily available on the main highways in which I now use exclusively due to our last trip,(scary almost out of gas experience). While I looked over the pumps to make my exit plan, I found one car sitting on the end. I pulled up behind it and waited. We waited, and waited some more. Then a young women pulled up in. Mini van, pulled out her child of may be 2 and placed him on her hip as she approached my truck. She said to me,” I hope you have gas money.” My pup Jäger lost his mind on her and began to try and jump through the small opening in the back window and braking like an insane rabies victim. She jumped back in fright and gave me an awful look as if I’d done something wrong. You approached my truck, a stranger. I thought I may have heard her wrong, so I asked her to repeat herself over Jäger who had just got himself started. She would not come any closer to the truck, so she found herself yelling, I HOPE YOU HAVE GAS MONEY! Is she asking me or telling me? I told her yes I had gas money, for my truck. She huffed and then approached the little maroon SUV that now has been sitting in front of us for at least 15 minutes. She was speaking to someone inside of it. What! What the Sam Hill is going on here. At this moment is when I realized that the owner of the SUV was not in the Pilot Store but had been sitting in the car this whole time. I looked at Steven and he said to me almost simultaneously what the hell? So I decided to ask the person if they were done or what? A station or two ago we sat for 10 minutes until I noticed the guy was reading his iPad. I asked him if he was done and he apologized and moved to a parking spot. Not to be with this one. As I approached the vehicle she rolled the window down just enough as I asked if she was finished, she quickly shot me a-look and said, ” No, I ain’t even been inside yet to pay for my gas.” I said,ok and left to go inside myself to use the restroom. When I came back outside, there she sat. I told my brother what she said and he shook his head. I was able to go around her and pull to the other outside pump but of course by the time I made it safely over there another car had taken the spot. Frustrated, my brother went inside to use the restroom I self. When I pulled back to the spot I started at, there was another truck sitting behind her with a trailer. Now it’s been 30 minutes and I am done with this women. I got out of my truck to go inside to let them know that we are trying to purchase gas, and another car pulls up opposite the SUV. A women and four children, two which looked like teenagers, got out of the car and went over to the SUV. Now everyone was out hugging one another and talking very loud. They where laughing about me pulling around her and having to come back just to wait again. It was ridiculous. The adults stood talking and the truck in front of me, behind her, was honking at her. She just waved him off and continued chit chatting with her friend. The car with the children were also blocking a pump and never purchased gas the whole time they were there. The children got into the SUV while they went inside the store. After almost an hour, she pumped her gas and drove off. I will never understand people now a days. No respect for other people’s time or money. If the next gas station hadn’t been farther then my To Empty, I would had gone inside to let them know what she was doing and that they lost my business to an asshole. I can only assume she had ran out of gas and someone was coming to help her out. That what I hope happened anyway, but chances are she was there to get her kids/grandkids and didn’t want to move. Had she just said, hey I am sorry but I ran out of gas and can’t move for a bit but I have someone coming. I would have known and no problem. Being rude and making comments and purposefully making people wait longer than need be is just crazy. End of rant, sorry

I left a day early on this trip so I could take my time. It has been good weather and just a couple bumps along the way. I am sitting at another rest area now but in Ohio. The birthplace of aviation and me. The State with the red carnations for their flower, a cardinal for their bird, white tailed deer for the animal and of course the worthless nut tree, the buckeye. I call it a worthless nut because you can’t do a thing with it. The levels, bark and fruit (the nut) is highly poisonous if ingested to dogs and humans, hence worthless. Some reason it doesn’t seem to affect deer and squirrels. As I sit here waiting for the 300 pm check in at Alum State Park an hour away, I am reflecting on my past travels and the ones to come. I am almost 50, this coming June. I am not as strong as I use to be with my failing back, and I know that traveling in this TT is not going to be possible if I want to do it alone. The hitch itself is a monster. I have a kayak I’d like to take with me. I am also looking at paddle boards, the inflatable ones for easier storage. My kayak is almost 100 pounds. Some of the racks are over 1000.00. I don’t have a problem pulling the trailer, so I don’t see a fear of driving class A. I sure don’t want to spend that much money on a rack for a TT and not be able to use it on a class A. I’ve looked at a few. The Hurricane 29M from Thor is nice. I love the 35F. It has a bath and a half, which I don’t need. I’d rather have the storage, but the rear bedroom has a king bed and tons of storage. We are going to spent a week here in the mother land and them off to West Virginia to see my eldest and her clan. May be I’ll take a peek at a few motorhomes they have here.

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