Wide Open Spaces (and closed in places)

Posted By Myrna Chartrand : Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba. On 2021-07-13 15:51:06

After 12 years of driving truck,
I finally got a chance at a trip
to Arizona. I was beyond excited to
knock that state off of my list of those
I still hadn’t travelled. I believe the
only ones left are New Mexico, DC
and Alaska. Unfortunately, I have a
feeling that two of those I may never
see.

The trip was absolutely breathtaking!
But it sucked that I couldn’t just pull
over when I wanted to take pictures
and take the time to really take it all
in, but the view is still in my mind.

To any new drivers, I would just
like to say that, in 12 years of driving,
I still had to use the “phone a friend”
option and ask for help. I was in totally
unfamiliar territory, so I needed to ask
a friend what the best routing was and
where to park along the way. Thank
goodness they gave me the scenic
route, and it did not disappoint. It was
beyond amazing seeing views that I
had only ever seen on postcards.

I made a few references to movies
and TV shows along the way. While
approaching West Yellowstone, I
prayed that maybe I would see Rip
from the show Yellowstone, and he
would be out doing cowboy things that
he does so well. As I made my way past
the Hoover Dam, I was brought back
to the National Lampoon Vacation,
and the Griswolds were asked, “if they
had any dam questions?” Travelling
through areas that have references in
movies or shows is pretty darn cool!

While travelling in Arizona, I noticed
that the billboards telling everyone to
“Stay Home, Stay Safe!” I must have
seen about 20 different out-of-state
plates on RVs or vehicles hauling
campers, etc. Not sure if the out-oftowners didn’t get the memo or just
didn’t care. Tourists were standing
shoulder to shoulder, taking selfies
at scenic outlooks, lining up to enter
the parks, and so on.

Words right from the King of
Country, George Strait, are, “There’s
a difference in living and living well.
You can’t have it all, All by yourself.”
From what I see, I feel the Americans
are living their best lives while I am
just living.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t
envious of all these people sightseeing
and enjoying their vacations. It is
wearing everyone down to be stuck in
lockdown in Manitoba. Essentially I
spend most of my time on the road, so
it’s refreshing in a way that I get to see
what “normal” living is like. Then only
to come home to a very grim situation.
I feel like staying moving across the
US is almost a better situation than
actually going home. Although I can’t
participate in many activities while
on the road, it’s a comforting thought
knowing that we will get our life back
one day.

It’s also nice that most customers
in the US have gone back to letting
you use the bathroom facilities again.
Sitting down at a restaurant and
enjoying a hot meal was something I
never thought I would take for granted.
Not every truck stop allows dine-in
options, but we are in a much better
situation than we were a year ago.

It’s just so bizarre in the US to see
the parking lots of restaurants, malls,
movie theatres, waterparks, etc.,
packed with vehicles. As I write this
article, in Manitoba, we can’t even
get a haircut, and I haven’t been able
to make an appointment for a yearly
physical in almost a year and a half.

Something that I’m really missing
right about now is truck show season.
It’s going on in the US, but I’m stuck
watching through social media. I so
badly wanted this to be the year we
got things back to normal at home
so that I could be showing off The
Brain at local shows and in Alberta. I
like being able to show off the truck
while it’s still brand new because I’m
lazy, and that means slightly less work
getting it ready for a show!

I’m hopeful that we are moving
in a forward direction to normalcy.
This year has been the year of the
40th birthdays of my high school
classmates and myself, and it’s been
disappointing that we haven’t been
able to celebrate this big milestone.
I apologize to any of my friends if
they were trying to keep their age a
secret! I just let the cat out of the bag!
It’s a good thing I’ve been taking my
collagen and using moisturizer. I feel
like maybe I’ve slid under the radar,
and you would never know I was a day
over 25. Wishful thinking, maybe?? 


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