November Truckin’: Gratitude

Wow, does that title say November?! That means November is over and it’s December. Yikes! How are y’all doing lately? How was your Thanksgiving? Turkey & Trimmings? Football? Family? A bit of all of these? None of these? I was driving cross-country but got to listen the Bears play a Ravens-style game on my Sirius radio. Haha.

Well, I quit facebook/messenger and I am going to share stories and photos here with my website moving forward. It only took a year and a half to get this organized. Haha. Yes; adjusting all my photography routines to life on the road as a Big Rig Truck Driver took a lot of trials and errors and adjustments and tweaking. Driving an average of 7-8 hours a day plus all the work to pick up and deliver loads, left this artist tired and wiped out many days. Plus the learning curve out here on the road is tremendous. There are so many ways to “truck” you couldn’t even imagine. Heck, I’m the observative-inquisitive type who thrives on learning and always seeks knowledge, and *I’ve* only broken the surface.

–>Link to November Video-Photo Story

–>Link to November Stills Gallery

As for adjusting the picture taking to being a truck driver? I rarely use my DSLR anymore, but sometimes do when out of the truck on home-time or sight-seeing or something. It’s all hands free, via strategic mounting, and even that falls short much of the time. Bugs on windows, sun glares, cameras pointing in wrong directions, it’s a never-ending battle, but yet I’ve captured quite a bit. 99% need post-production in order to be anything remotely special enough to share, but that’s the art of “Artsy JJ”. haha. Plus, not every day am I even in the mood to set up cameras or bother with them at all. That’s also the whims of art for an Artistic Trucker. :0)

I’m very close to finishing book 2 which will be slightly different than book 1, so if you’re interested, I may publish a run of hard covers again, before making the smaller softcovers. Please let me know of any interest in the hardcover version.

The cover:

Okay onto November. Here’s the top highlights!

First full month of Flat-Bedding!

  • Routes from DE/NJ down to FL (and back) a couple times, then NYC, (The Hamptons on Long Island), DE out to CO and back, then VA out to WA and back.
  • Total Miles: ~10,600
  • Longest miles in 1 day: 583 miles
  • MPG: ~ 7.9 which I’m told by my corporate MPG gurus is fabulous on a spread axle flatbed!)
  • Longest Haul: 2,960 something miles
  • Shortest Haul: 818 miles
  • Average Time in driver’s seat: 45.6 hours a week

Veteran’s Day

Stunning view of a gi-normous (ameri-slang combination of gigantic and enormous) American Flag waving gently at daybreak whilst hanging from the George Washington Bridge on Veteran’s Day. I was crossing the bridge on my way to The Hamptons on Long Island. What a sight to see, let alone capture a usable image off my cams.

Other highlights:

  • Had a quick meal & visit with a former colleague and her sister on a trip to Florida :0)
  • Took a 34-hour reset at the base of the Rockies in Colorado. Gorgeous!
  • Got ‘pulled in’ for a Level II DOT Inspection and passed with no violations! Yaye Me! I now have two (2) Zero Violations inspections in my ‘Federal Jacket’.
    • The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) keeps records for both drivers and carriers on all safety and regulatory inspections.
      • The DOT Inspector was so nice and although this was in Montana. He knew right where my hometown was. How cool is that!?
  • Drove through snow, rain, heavy gusty winds, and beautiful sunny days, but very little to no ice yet.
  • Started a new Photo-Ops list for new roads and places I passed through out west this month.
    • This is where I see things that I am unable (or unsuccessful at) to capture on camera but make notes of where they are for a future opportunity driving through, so I can try again.
      • Tidbit Fact: Sometimes it can take 6 months or more to get a shot I want to capture. So many of my photos are not one-offs or first timers (unless I’m parked and out of the truck). Some can be, but most are captured after subsequent trip(s) though an area, mostly due to the inerrant obstacles of hands-free photography mentioned above.

Well, enjoy the picture show. As a reminder, I make my photos available two ways now:

  1. My YouTube Channel: A lightly narrated video-photo story of some of my favourite photos from that month
    1. NOTE: You can subscribe to my channel to be notified separately when I upload any videos.
  2. My Photo Galleries: A custom link to all the photos where followers can look at their leisure and to their own pace.
    1. NOTE: There will usually be more photos in the Stills Galleries than in the Video-Photo stories.

A keen way to keep up though, is to subscribe to be notified when I publish a blog post like this one. I will write other stories throughout my days on various subjects. I actually to this day have just short of 200 Blogs published. I started this website around 2015-2016 ish.

I’m deeply grateful for your support.

I’ve been learning a lot about myself as I lay rubber down on these highways and by-ways. I may get repeatedly discouraged at times, I may fall short a lot of times, fall flat on my face even, but God always restores me somehow. I do listen to the Bible on CD often, as well as Christian music and I pray, cry, scream, eat comfort foods, judge other drivers to the extent of having full-blown one-sided conversations with my dashboard about them when they are long gone, and sometimes I just turn off everything and drive for hours in silence just listening to the unique sounds of the different styles of road surfaces.

Off to bed now. I’ll be visiting with y’all again soon. Please drop a comment and let me know how you all are doing? I know this is a unique time of year and evokes a wide range of emotions in all of us.

I wish you blessings, peace, love, light, joys and strength as you navigate your path into the coming year.

j kelley circa 2021

Love & Clix and more Road Pix soon,

-JJ

xx

4 Comments

    1. I’m still trying to manage the reply feature on here – thought I replied and thanked you for this comment. I’m grateful that God allows me to capture images that enable others such as you to see places you’ve never seen. I’ve even been getting much better at labeling the locations! Bless you :0) x

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