Greetings from the high desert...

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by The Railsplitter, Jan 23, 2023.

  1. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    Former OTR truck driver now livin' in the boondocks... and lovin' it! Spent decades of my life on the overcrowded Left Coast, but no more Big City for me, I managed to escape from that lunatic asylum 7 years ago, and now I'm chillin' like a villain in the 'High Dez'---with primo mountains towering above my home. Great trail riding up there, and plenty of dirt biking down here too, mere minutes from my property. Got a big ol' thumper for riding on dirt or pavement, and I'm havin' a blast... life could be worse, I could be lookin' at Compton, North Philly or the Lower Bronx, lol. And I've been to those hellholes countless times, so I know exactly what I'm missing, lol. o_O

    Now, it just so happens that during my 'trucking daze' I took a whole heap of photos, enough to fill a dozen scrapbooks, and there are some classic shots in there. Some are nostalgic, some are educational, like the wreck photos I routinely snapped while rollin' past, lol. Yes, if your rig wound up in a ditch, I was the @$$hole rollin' past with a "point-and-shoot" 35mm automatic camera hangin' out the window... to record the event for posterity, you understand. And I wasn't "Super Trucker" either, I tore up a chain-link fence or two and 'kissed the dock' a few times, but I never killed a wagonload of kids, and that's all that matters to me. ;)

    So buckle up and we'll go for a nostalgic ride... you older hands will certainly appreciate it, and perhaps some of you younger hands will learn something, aye? I also have some stories to share, and I'll include those links as I go, those tales of adventure offer some insight into the spirit of OTR truck driving back in the day. You might even get a good laugh out of 'em... and that's okay, it's important to have a sense of humor in the transportation industry, otherwise you'll be miserable, lol. Whenever I reflect upon my 'trucking career' I have no regrets, even when I made bad choices and subsequently paid for 'em, lol. Cheers! :cool:

    P.S. I'm gonna test the link button here at this site by throwin' in this humorous tale, one of 18 stories I wrote about truckin' back in the day... some folks have asked me why I didn't just GAS the skeeters with poison, but then I would've been GASSING MYSELF, wouldn't I? No future in that, lol... enjoy the saga! :rolleyes:

    sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/tales-adventure/2011/feb/27/salt-lake-skeeter-saga/
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Which part of the high desert are you located?
    I can look out my living room window right now and see some snowcap mountains and the Las Vegas Strip.
     
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  4. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    Hey, y'all, I'll be back like a bad rash to create my 'Trucking Daze' thread, but first I have to get cleaned up and make sure my 5 cats are doing alright, lol... those cats are like my kids, 10-4? This thread I'm gonna create will take some time to develop, as I'll have to take pics of the old school paper pics in my collection, then transfer the *new* digital pics to the thread, aye? Meh, it'll be a labor of love, and I don't mind doing it... since it might help some of the younger hands just starting out today. As I grow older and I have more time on my hands, I have a tendency to share photos & knowledge with other folks, yeah? Like passing on whatever knowledge I possess to the next generation... same way it was passed before all the Big Tech devices and distractions made life more complicated. Those scrapbooks of mine were used in the past to show friends & family what it meant to be an OTR truck driver... 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!' I pulled no punches either as I documented the whole experience, anything & everything was fair game for the camera lens, and I'd often retrieve the camera from my truck just to ensure that I recorded some scene or event, lol. I had more energy in those days, you understand, and trucking was a grand adventure for me... not just a job or a chore, but a lifestyle. :rolleyes:

    Chinatown, I'm now living in a rural area south of Alamogordo, NM, or Alamo as the locals call it. My property lies between White Sands and the Sacramento Mountains, which rise to over 9000' elevation. The nearby peak of Sierra Blanca rises to roughly 12000' elevation... those drivers who've run US-54 to Alamo or US-70 from Tularosa to Ruidoso have seen this impressive peak. Not quite as high as the 14ers of Colorado, but high enough, and the Sacramentos are beautiful, with primo riding roads & trails near Cloudcroft & Timberon. Heaps of wildlife too, gotta watch the deer & elk round some of those curves. I must say that I spent 2+ years in the White Mountains of Arizona (NW outskirts of Show Low), and 3+ years in Benson with a magnificent view of Cochise Stronghold, but I flipped both of those properties to stay afloat amid all the crazy political BS going down in this country. I owned each property free & clear, same way I own my current property free & clear, which is a good way to be in this fraudulent era. I didn't move from the beach in Kalifornia to the mountains & high desert of Arizona to flip properties, it just panned out that way, and I made good money during each flip, so to heck with it. I had good times in Arizona, but I like this area too, it's so peaceful: no crowds, no traffic, no smog, virtually no crime, none of the cr@p I put up with for decades in the Big City, lol. :cool:

    Edit: Oh, yeah, before I take a short break, here's another link to some cool trucking photos taken back in the day. There are classic trucking shots on both pages of this old thread, as well as some other shots unrelated to truck driving. The thread is like a short summary of my outdoor recreational life, lol... I used to go "truck camping" all the time too, even on my days off, taking family members or friends with me. I was NOT a model employee in that respect, I would burn company fuel at the drop of a hat, lol... but I was always a hard runner too, so my transgressions were often overlooked. I'm not sure a driver could get away with what I pulled back in those days, but that was then and this is now, lol... sometimes I actually MISS those days, but I don't miss all the BS that went with 'em, aye? ;)

    Oops, almost forgot the link, lol... here ya go, hope y'all enjoy the nostalgic photos! :eek:

    forums.oausa.net/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3072

    BTW, if that link doesn't work the first time around, just keep tryin' it until the pics come through, as they eventually will... :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
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  5. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    Nice I born n raised in Arizona. Still living here. Used to live up in show low for a couple years. Almagordo is a cool place. Been out there bunch
     
  6. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    Yeah, I loved Show Low and the White Mountains, that was paradise on earth... but I hear it's getting more crowded every day with "political refugees" fleeing the coast, lol. Benson was nice too, I used to ride out to the Stronghold on the thumper (see avatar), but riding Rim Road 300 in the White Mountains was an absolute pleasure... heaps of wildlife up there as well, but the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico are pretty nice too, and they're not far from my door. I know that whatever happens, I will NEVER live in the Big City again, rural life is so much better, ya know? As long as there's a town within striking distance for resupply purposes, I'm good... and I'm working on being more self-sufficient anyway, given the crazy manufactured grief stirred up by dirty globalist swine and their political scumbag tools in recent years. Joel Skousen wrote a book titled STRATEGIC RELOCATION, which is now in its fourth edition, I think... ever since I bailed outta the Socialist Republik of Kalifornia, I've used that book to choose specific places to relocate, and it has really helped me find cool places to live. Honestly, it's almost like going back in time, this rural life I've deliberately chosen... every so often, I miss the ocean, and particularly sailing, but I sailed so much in past decades that I'm okay with the transition, and here in the boondocks I have heller offroading and trail riding mere minutes from my property, so it's a trade-off, "10-DASH-FO'?" Like I said, life could be worse... WAY worse, lol. ;)

    P.S. If there's a place for such videos at this website, I'll throw down some short trail-riding clips at a later date... mainly of the White Mountains, I had so much fun riding up there a few short years ago. One time a big ol' cow elk leapt into the trail ahead of me, and I had to back off the throttle just to keep a safe distance, lol... heaps of wildlife up there! :cool:
     
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  7. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    What part of show low did u live in ? I used to live right next to the bison golf course... I sure miss it up there... I'd like to build a shop out in the white mountain lakes area just east of show low... the worst part is the summer time all the people from PHX travel there to get out of the heat and it becomes really touristy... winter time Is just right. Cold but not to cold. Snow but not to much snow... it's just getting really expensive to live there now... I had a 2 bedroom house back in 2016-2018 on a acre lot I was renting for 625 a month... That same house is renting now for 1000+. Crazy
     
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  8. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    I was on the NW side of town, in a little subdivision off of AZ-260, not far from Fool Hollow Lake and the Dollar General on 260. Torreon Golf Club was closer to my home than Bison, 10-4? Not that I'm a duffer... I like miniature golf well enough, but as a younger man I was into sailing, dirt biking & technical rock climbing. Skateboarding & BMX too, but that was a long time ago, lol. I actually have a funny video to post later, showing me riding a primo concrete drainage ditch on my cruiser here in Alamo... 60 years old, going on 61, and I'm still riding ditches, lol. I was programmed in my youth, you understand, so I can't pass an empty pool or a concrete drainage ditch without asking myself whether it can be ridden, aye? And the ditch in Alamo is nice and smooth, with rounded transition in long stretches... one can ride it forever, lol. Hey, free fun, and exercise is good for you, lol... I have safety pads I wear on the SE Racing cruiser, it's a bombproof (pedal) bike for ditches like this one, and the bike was designed by hardcore BMX hands like myself, you can visit the SE Racing website to see what I mean. Here's a link: sebikes.com ;)

    The thing about Alamo, it's not quite as developed as the White Mountains are getting to be... and the outlying areas are very peaceful & quiet. Sure, we've got Holloman AFB just WSW of town, and that boosts the population somewhat, but it's still not the Big City, lol. My 2021 Rand-McNally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas lists the population of Alamo at 30403, but I don't think that includes AFB personnel. Nearby Cloudcroft is just as nice as any town in the White Mountains, only it's higher in elevation, and it's really more of an alpine village. There is GREAT motorcycling to be had all around that little burg, not only on pavement but also on dirt trails, and it's so uncrowded... we get an influx of visitors in summer, mainly RVers and offroaders who've come to beat the heat and enjoy the tall pines, much the same as in the White Mountains, only there are less people, lol. Ruidoso & Ruidoso Downs aren't far away either, I went to see the $3M All American Futurity race last fall... $3 million dollars riding on one horse race, lol. I think there are richer purses at overseas tracks (Dubai, for example), but the All American Futurity offers the richest purse (prize money) on U.S. soil, or so I was told. :rolleyes:

    I hear ya about the crazy real estate values in Arizona, I actually had no intention of leaving that state, but after I sold my Benson home and started looking for another fixer, the prices went through the roof... and I was essentially priced out, yeah? There were fixer homes in my price range, but they were junk compared to what I found here in Alamo: a 3BR/2BA manufactured home in decent shape on 1/2 acre, with 30 pine trees in a roughly rectangular windbreak, plus two metal sheds and a metal dual carport, all for $40K cash, lol. I'll have to post some shots of my property later, it was a fantastic deal... and the seller had to pony up for a new septic system as well, since the old one failed the state-mandated inspection, lol. I spent 109 days living in a tent with 3 cats before I moved here, but I was on private property in Whetstone, AZ, not far from Tombstone, and I just dealt with the extended field training exercise. I was in the Infantry as a younger man, so it wasn't that bad: I had firewood delivered by the truckload, and I had heaps of steaks to burn over live mesquite embers, plus plenty of craft beers on ice, lol. The last 34 days were spent in a U.S. Army Arctic Tent donated by a friend, as winter had set in for real by that time. :confused:

    I actually have photos of that FTX, it was quite the adventure... and in some ways, my trucking experience helped make it easier, though I already had a long history of remote wilderness camping from earlier decades, plus my Aaaarrrrghmy experience in the USA INF. I'm pretty good at making myself comfortable no matter where I live, but all the same, I was glad to get out of the field and back under a roof, lol. Hey, I LIKE camping, but after 109 days it starts to get old, lol. When I set up the camping prior to the sale closing on my Benson home, I made a deal with an elderly gal: I would clear her acre lot of weeds & brush, and she would let me and my cats stay there till I found a new home. Neither of us thought the camping would last more than 3-4 weeks, tops, but that's when the market went crazy and I wound up spending 3-1/2 months in the field, lol. Oddly enough, the elderly gal and I are still friends, and we laugh about the whole crazy deal now... but I gotta admit, I was a bit worried there when real estate prices went through the roof. Meh, all's well that ends well, so f#% it, lol. Let it be a lesson in perseverance for the younger generation: never quit, and never let circumstances bring ya down... because it's always darkest before the dawn, and that dawn may herald a beautiful new day, lol. :cool:

    Hmm, it's gettin' kinda late and I've been laggin' on the pics, so I reckon I'll start posting manana... but here are a few pics of the 109-day field camping adventure, lol. WTF, when I was trucking, it was just like camping to me, especially if I was stuck out in the woods somewhere, far from civilization (and the nearest truck stop, lol). They started calling them "travel plazas" in those days, to cater to the RV crowd and whoever else might throw down money, yeah? But even if I got stuck in the woods somewhere, I had so much gear and food aboard my truck that I could've lasted a week or two, lol... I had a large thermoelectric cooler chock full of good fresh food, plus all kinds of dry goods stashed in my sleeper. I had field gear & climbing gear aboard the truck, and a 4-man inflatable rubber raft under the lower bunk for float trips on time off away from home, lol. My road tractor was essentially a 10-ton RV, 40-ton if ya wanna throw in the loaded wagon. The way I saw it, you were just as comfortable as you were willing to make yourself, aye? And having all those provisions aboard made it easy to embark upon sudden recons and adventures, using the tractor or full rig as my RV. Anyway, it's time to wrap this up for the day, here are some camping pics good for a laugh, lol. Welcome to Whetstone, Arizona! o_O

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    Hmm, there's probably a pic limit here, yeah? So lemme post these, then I'll throw down a few more... last shot shows the neighbor's Chihuahua, who would come over and mooch scraps during meals, lol. The dog wasn't very popular with the cats, but no worries, there was enough room for everybody on that acre lot. :D
     
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  9. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    Some more field pics:

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    Meh, you get the gist of it... it wasn't so bad, really, with all my stuff safe in storage and only what I needed in the field. I spent $1000 on firewood alone, and I had many good blazes much larger than that little ol' morning fire to take off the chill, lol. Toward the end, we had subfreezing nights (in the teens) and the occasional blustery day (60 m.p.h. gusts, which is why I upgraded to the Arctic Tent---or U.S. Army squad tent). That was a godsend in the chillier weather, in fact I bought a propane heater to keep the tent warm at night, only turning off the heater when I was about to crash, lol. I'd fire it up first thing in the morning too, just long enough for me to get dressed, go out and build another campfire... showers were the solar variety in the black rubber bag, and on cloudy winter days I froze certain anatomical parts off while hastily taking care of business. Man, I don't miss those cold showers, lol... those were probably the worst part of the whole deal, 10-4? Made everything else seem easy... ;)

    P.S. See that pic with my black cat 'Crackhead' lounging in front of the Arctic Tent? Look closely and you'll undoubtedly recognize a gallon p!$$ jug next to the beer cooler, lol... :confused:

    "TRUCK DRIVING, BABY!!! IT'LL MAKE A MAN OF YOU, LOL..." :eek:
     
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  10. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

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    Wait, this is too much fun, lemme post a few more camping pics... I should market these pics for "urban campers" living on the mean streets in the Big City. 'How It's Done In Whetstone, Arizona!' I mean WTF, I was essentially homeless, but I had some coin in the bank, lol... just couldn't find a good deal on a home until the 88th day into the venture. I'd go to the library every single day, even when the library was closed... a hand can still glom onto the library wi-fi from the parking lot, you understand, and you had to check listings EVERY DAY or some investor schmucks would beat ya to it every time. Man, I don't miss that part of it either, finding a good deal only to discover that some wankers had already beaten ya to it, lol... glad I'm out of that whole scene. Here's one final round of cool camping pics... and it all turned out to be worthwhile, once I beat everyone else to the punch and scored this primo deal in New Mexico, lol. :cool:

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    Krazy kats!!! That Whetstone area was coyote central too, which is why you saw one pic with a cat atop the Arctic Tent, that was a vantage point from which the cats could check out the surrounding area. Note the dirt floor inside the tent, no such luxuries as a floor in the Aaarrrghmy, lol. Oh, hell, it's getting dark here, I gotta go cover the young fruit trees I planted last spring, as we're in for another hard freeze here tonight. Meh, I have a fridge full o' beer and some steaks to burn tonight, so it's all good. Supposed to rain or snow here tomorrow, so maybe that'll be a good opportunity to post some trucking pics, lol... I no longer have to drive through the slop, but I have plenty of winter driving shots to bring back the memories, don'tcha know? CHEERS!!! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
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  11. Crude Truckin'

    Crude Truckin' Alien Spacecraft

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    North Dakota, Eh?
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    Nice KLR!
     
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