Q: What do you call a man with a shovel?
A: Doug (pronounced "Dug")
Q: What do you call a man without a shovel?
A: Douglas (pronounced “Dug-less”)
Q: What do you call a man without a truck?
A: Read on…
I had an interesting time this morning. I got up about 6:30am and drove my truck (see my previous Tracker Trucker Max column) down to my friend Freddy Louis’s Auto Accessories shop (freddielouis.com), because today is the day that Freddy’s crew are going to install my spray-on bed liner and back-up camera system. Since it was so early in the morning, no one was there, but they have a drop-off box, so I placed my ignition key in the special envelope they provided, dropped it in the box, and headed off back home on foot, which means that I'm now a Truck-less Tracker Trucker Max (sad face).
I had previously checked the distance from the shop to my home on my iPad, which said it was a 6 mile journey, but this is because there’s a lot of road work going on in that area, so the route selected by Google Maps had to account for this by wandering around all over the place (I was actually very impressed that Google Maps was so aware of what was going on).
Since I was on foot, however, I didn’t have to make all the detours I would have been obliged to follow in a car (or truck, for that matter). It was quite exhilarating being able to amble directly across the new highway that is currently under construction. By being able to take such shortcuts, I estimate that I only had to walk a tad over 4 miles.
Of course things were made a little complicated by the fact that nothing is geared up for pedestrians around here, including the fact that there are few sidewalks (none at all on the route I took). This is very different to where I grew up in England, where every street has a sidewalk and we didn’t think anything of walking a few miles here and there.
I have to tell you that you have a very different view of things when you are trundling along on foot. A man on a bicycle gave me a cheery “Hello There” as passed me going in the opposite direction. A little later, at a four-way stop, the driver of a huge tractor-trailer kindly waved me through the intersection first.
As a boy scout, I was taught to walk on the side of the road that had me facing the oncoming traffic. One thing I did notice was that the folks driving the older, cheaper, more battered cars tended to give me more room and wave in a friendly way. By comparison, the folks in the more expensive vehicles (I’m thinking of one person in a Mercedes in particular) seemed strangely reluctant to deviate from their path in any way, with the result that they whipped past close enough to muss my hair (well, they would have mussed my hair if it hadn’t already been pre-mussed).
You see a lot more “stuff” when you are on foot. Interesting buildings and trees and plants and suchlike, including a very nice chair at the far-side of a ditch in the middle of nowhere … you have to wonder what the back-story is about things like this. There was also a cacophony of bird calls of which I would usually be unaware. Interestingly enough, the road I took seemed to have a lot more “ups” and “downs” than I remembered … you don’t notice things like hills so much when you are driving.
All in all I had a jolly pleasant stroll. Sad to relate, when I was only about a quarter of a mile away from my home base, the heavens opened and a tropical downpour started, which put a bit of a damper on the proceedings (pun intended). If it could have waited just five more minutes… ah well, I won’t dissolve (grin). When I did arrive back at my home, I immediately jumped in my trusty Kia and headed into my office, which is where I am as I pen these words.
When I receive the call that all is ready later on this afternoon, I’ll drive over to Freddy’s shop to pick up my truck. I’ll leave my Kia there overnight. Sometime over the weekend, if the weather is fine, I may well go for another amble to pick the Kia up again. Of course I could always get someone to give me a ride over there, but where would be the fun in that?
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