...people kill each other in New Jersey. I think it is official that New Jersey has now surpassed California as my least favorite state. People are mean, short and nasty (well, not all, just most), the roadways are begging for rehabilitation, trash is littered everywhere, the state smells like a garbage dump, people pass you on the shoulder only to then cross over 4 lanes of traffic to barely make a left exit (not joking), there's a mass overlay of roads that lie on top of each other near Newark making it easy to miss a turn, leading you into an area of town that doesn't allow for trucks to turn around especially with low-hanging bridges...... We had this experience just a few days ago, and in a span of a few minutes. To say the least, stress runs HIGH, bringing out the "best" in us, if you can believe that.
In this last experience, we were stuck blocking a road trying to make a tight right turn that couldn't be made until all of the traffic in the opposite lane of the direction we were headed moved. This led us down a residential/industrial area (who thought that would be a good idea to mix the two?!) with many more tight turns, swearing and frustration, only to find another low-clearance bridge directly in front of us. I had to get out of the truck and help Ben back it down the roadway and try another route to get us out. All in all, it was a delay of about 30 minutes trying to maneuver through the streets. Thankfully, we came through when traffic was light and we had plenty of time on the load to deliver.
Nonetheless, this led us to believe it's no wonder people kill each other in New Jersey. The state is dirty, crowded, polluted, and people do not know the term courteous. Thankfully, we only have to visit this state every once in a while. Otherwise, we may kill each other...
On our way down to the Memphis area from New Jersey, we stopped by a truck stop near Greeneville, TN, to get a bite to eat: the "Davey Crockett Travel Center". The food was horrible, but the placemats kind of made up for it and kept us entertained.
In case you can't read it, it's titled "Mountain Talk", with phrases and words common to the folk who live in the hollers of the Appalachian Mountains. Because of their previous seclusion from outside culture and influence, these gems have been passed down from many generations. Here's an example:
BOOK READ - Educated or well informed "We aim for little Flossie to git book read someday."
FUR PIECE - A great distance "He lives a fur piece from his kin folks."
GULLY-WASHER - A hard rain "We shore had a gully-washer last night."
On a brighter note from the NJ depression, we're in Olive Branch, MS, a stone's throw from Memphis, TN, the location of the second terminal we've now visited. This one is just as nice as the first! With free laundry! And a "rental" van available to drivers to go out of the terminal to get a bit to eat or do shopping in the nearby area! The staff here continue to be helpful, pleasant and courteous (take note, New Jersey!). We could hardly ask for more. It is quite remarkable the difference in cultures between our old and new company.
We've got a load going to Boise, ID from Memphis, picking up early tomorrow morning. This will be our first venture back into the Northwest in almost 6 weeks. Considering the ridiculous humidity I awoke to this morning, I cannot wait to get where it's dryer! It's hard to believe we've been away from our place in Bend for 2 months, and we are looking forward to returning in two weeks!
Have a great weekend, ya'll! God bless!
deb & ben