Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Truck Stop Shower Experience

As promised, I've got a few new posts coming! Ben and I made it to Bend on Sunday evening and are relishing our time at home! Ben is fervently working on his thesis (as of right now, he's written a rough 30 pages out of a 45 page minimum), we've taken full advantage of having dental/vision/medical insurance filling our days with appointments and check-ups, I'm finally printing out and framing wedding photos, and we're loving the ability to attend daily Mass (and celebrate our parish's 100 year anniversary! Great solemnity!).

But--on to this post: the truck stop shower experience. Here's how it works: when we need to fuel up our truck, we swipe our company credit card in the fuel island kiosk. We then swipe our "rewards card" (similar to what you have at a grocery store, that gives you discounts for store brands). For every gallon of fuel purchased, we earn a point (i.e. a penny). We can use those points in the store for snacks or other merchandise, but we generally use the points for Subway sandwiches or other fast food meal combos (mostly salads if there's not a Subway). If we purchase at least 50 gallons of fuel, we "earn" a shower (otherwise, it costs $10 on average). The showers expire after a week, and a shower is obviously deducted from your point balance if you use one. I recently documented the process of "getting a shower", and want to share the pictures with you:

First, we swipe our rewards card at the kiosk inside the truck stop.

We then wait for a shower to be deducted from our balance, and wait for the shower slip to print.

The shower slip, with our shower number and door password is printed.We check the shower monitor to see which shower number is ours.

We type in our password for the door.

And our private bathroom is equipped with a toilet,

shower and sink (not pictured).

And, as you can see, the truck stop has a "pledge" for keeping a clean bathroom and shower for the truckers.

I've seen some sparkling showers (the TA in Redding, CA to name one), and some showers that could use a little help, but all in all, a shower is a shower. It is so nice to get cleaned up after a day or two on the road, and after a good workout. Some truck stops even offer bathtubs (and crown molding and granite countertops...Little America at exit 68 in Wyoming is the best we've seen. AND they have 50 cent ice cream cones. It's hard to top that)!

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