Well, I’ve been driving truck now, professionally, for V&S Midwest Carriers for one year. Time flies! In honor of my one-year anniversary, I’m going to share a list I’ve come up with that pretty much sums up how I’ve been able to endure such a lifestyle like over-the-road trucking. It really just comes down to how many similarities there are between living on the road as a trucker, and living on the trail as a thru-hiker.
While there’s a few big things that are different between thru-hiking and truck driving, there are way more things that are similar, so yeah. The transition really wasn’t too tough. And when it comes time to do another thru-hike? I’ll be ready to roll. Well, mostly. I will probably just need to buy more Ramen noodles.
Anyway, the list – I’ll start with the differences, because there’s only a few.
Differences between truck driving and thru-hiking:
¤ Truck: You try to eat as little as possible even though there is food practically everywhere.
¤ Hike: You try to eat as much as possible even though the only food available is the limited amount that you can carry.
¤ Truck: Makin’ money! And the further you go, the more you make.
¤ Hike: No income. And the further you go, the more money you spend, and the more depleted your savings becomes.
¤ Truck: There are only very specific places to stop and rest when driving a big rig.
¤ Hike: You can stop and plant your butt anywhere you want to take a rest. And it’s probably much quieter and most likey more scenic.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it for differences.
Similarities between truck driving and thru-hiking:
¤ You go-go-go until you get as far as you can go… then crash and sleep hard.
¤ Sleeping takes place in a very small space.
¤ It may be several days before you get a shower.
¤ A map is necessary for daily navigation.
¤ You are always on the move.
¤ Finding creative places/ways to pee is part of the adventure.
¤ So is finding creative places/ways to poop.
¤ There is a special camaraderie between your fellow truckers/hikers.
¤ You sleep in a new place every night.
¤ The next week’s itinerary may be altered due to weather relatively far away from where you are now.
¤ You must be prepared for more than your average car drive or day hike.
¤ Thru-hikers: “Phsssh. Dayhikers.”
Truckers: “Phsssh. Four-wheelers.”
¤ Truckers have CB handles, and thru-hikers have trail names. Bonus: If you’re a thru-hiker and a truck driver, you can use the same name for both.
¤ Shaving gets the dirt off my legs. Yep, believe it or not – this one carried over into truckin’. It’s a dirty job sometimes!
¤ The two worst times to get lost are either hiking in the woods or driving a big rig.
¤ Zero days, or days off, usually consist of chores to get you ready to move again.
¤ And best of all – they’re both pretty awesome.
I’m sure there’s more similarities, too. We’re still having a good time out here, and now that winter is nearly over, things are feeling a little easier, or at least a little less stressful.
And we’re just going to keep going. Adam and I came up with this grand scheme sometime in 2010 or 2011. First we needed to downsize and get rid of most of our “stuff.” So we did. We moved into a tiny, cheap studio apartment, saved money, quit our jobs, thru-hiked the PCT, I got my CDL, now we drive truck together. Our current mission is to pay off credit card and student loan debt until we have zero debt. Zero. We’ve already paid off a couple of credit cards, and we have a long ways to go, but we’re getting there. Things are still going according to plan, and it feels really good. We are both very proud of how hard we’ve worked (and played) to get to where we are.
So what’s next? We don’t know… well, the truth is that we don’t know what we’d choose! But we have lots of time to dream, scheme, and discuss. For right now, we’ll just keep on keepin’ on. We like our job, our company, and where we’re going, so… Onward!
Tonight I love a working ABS light. Waiting hours at a shop to have one fixed is not very much fun. It does, however, give me time to blog. :)
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!