Day 8 of the Hwy 80 project
Shoulder the responsibility. Shoulder the heavy loads. Elbow only if pushed. Lend a hand to the ones in need.
I stopped into a old school truck stop on Hwy 80 right on the Alabama/Mississippi line for fuel and met long haul trucker, Robert and his trusty co-pilot Bella.
“I have been coming to this truck stop for 25 years. There are a lot BIG truck stops all along Interstate 20, which parallels 80 and eventually replaced it, but Robert likes this old one best saying, “They have the best ice tea in the south. Food’s pretty good too.”
While we were comparing road notes, I told him I have had my van for 1 year and 2 months and just turned 40,000 miles. “I drive a lot” I said. He laughed out loud. “See my truck there, I bought that brand new 4 months ago and it has 48,000 miles on it. “Wow! Tell me about Bella” I asked. “Bella means Beautiful. I need some beauty in my life. She gives me that every day. I love this little pup. It gets rough out here on the road, It just seems to elbow you every chance it gets. Well, I gotta hit the road. Thanks for talking with me” he said. And off they went.
The day before in Alabama I had finally struck gold…err mud actually. I was hell bent to find loggers to photograph. I saw lots of log trucks but where were they coming from? I decided to just hang out at a truck stop and wait on one of those trucks to pull in and ask them! Well, it didn’t take but 30 minutes for one to come in for fuel. He said his crew just finished the job but he knew that there was another crew about 20 minutes from here. Just look for the mud on the highway. I drove about 12 minutes north and found a trail of mud! I followed it into the forest and really tested my new all terrain tires. Thank goodness I had them! I only got stuck once!
I arrived on the site and met a mountain of a man, Terrell. He was also a man of very few words.
He had been there the longest at 25 years and was now the log loader. Probably the best job there. I ended up making portraits of the whole crew.
Once they pulled Homer from the mud I was down the road for more experience.