Tribute to the Road Warriors…

After checking in on Tumbleweed this morning, we headed off for New Mexico – expecting to go to Santa Fe, but changing horses in mid-ride and heading for Albuquerque so we can make a detour down to Truth or Consequences tomorrow for a week.

First things first: Tumbleweed is currently in surgery, and his rehab will probably take close to two weeks from today. Here are some current photos:

Open wide and say, “Ah!”

Doug explained that they cut open the door to make sure the innards were OK before they ordered a replacement outer shell. Believe it or not, everything looks fine in there!

Stripped to the bone… Tumbleweed is going to need some major repairs to get him back on the road.

Damaged parts, removed and lying on the shop floor.

When Doug saw me taking photos with my iPhone, he promised to take photos as they work on the car and send them to me, so we’ll all be able to follow Tumbleweed’s rehabilitation…

Meanwhile, as I drove west once again toward New Mexico, I started thinking about the number of semi trucks moving product along the road. My father was a truck driver. After service in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, he returned to Maine and was a long haul trucker for Cole’s Express until my brother came along. He told me he used to drive potatoes to Florida and return with loads of oranges.

Until he was forced to take a disability retirement, he continued to drive truck for Cole’s – all local trips once my brother and I were on the scene. He loved driving, and would happily get in the car and take a day trip to New Hampshire with the family, and in later years, just my Mom. She told me after he died that he regularly had (truck) driving dreams for the rest of his life…

So, today, driving through the tinder-dry northwest plains of Texas, and northeast New Mexico, I was reminiscing about him, imagining his reaction to the fancy trucks that are on the road today. I’ve thought a lot about him as I’ve been driving the highways and byways on this trip – missing him, and feeling that he would love knowing I am on this great adventure.

Well, my Dad had a perfect 26-year driving safety record with Cole’s Express until a woman pulled out in front of him in Portland’s Monument Square and he hit her. I was only eight years old, but I remember that he was not a happy camper about that one! So after my accident? My guess is he would be glad I didn’t get hurt, but unimpressed with my carelessness in not thinking there was a third lane of traffic coming at me.

I admire all those road warriors out there every day, moving freight along our interstates. The road is long and boring, and they are alert and careful. I’ve passed many on the uphills, and been passed by equally as many on the downhills and flats. These men and women work hard to get us our goods, and my hat is off to them. I’ve been on the road almost every day since January 1st, and I can assure you by the end of a long day driving, I am ready for a cozy room, a good meal, a comfy bed, and a good friend (Max) to talk with.

And to my Dad – the best, safest, most wonderful truck driver I ever knew – here’s to you! I dedicate the safety, joy, and adventure of this amazing trip to you, Dad. Who knows? Maybe my love of driving is in my genes…

I pulled off I-40 at Kirkland, TX to mail a package to my friend Sarah back home, and this abandoned church cried out for a photo.

When we arrived at the New Mexico border around 2:45 this afternoon, we got back one of those lost hours from last week! (I still don’t understand New Mexico’s status vis-a-vis Daylight Savings Time – or NOT.)

How many times can you say New Mexico??

And when we got to Albuquerque, we were greeted by…


What a difference a week makes! Flowering trees in Albuquerque when we arrived this afternoon.

Can’t you just hear the bees? Don’t worry folks, spring IS coming!


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Musings, New Mexico, Texas, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Tribute to the Road Warriors…

  1. hank says:


    wow about your dad. amazing stuff, really
    very deep

  2. Ellie Adams says:

    Based on your very tender blog today, I am thinking that your accident gave you some gifts!! Stay positive and centered and enjoy spring!!

  3. Catherine says:

    I enjoyed this one about your dad very much. Very sweet.

    • Maureen Farr says:

      thanks Catherine. He was an amazing, hard-working guy. Even after being disabled and never driving professionally again, he got a job as a caretaker/handyman for a wealthy family and worked until the day he died at age 79.

  4. Janet says:

    I had never heard the potatoes to FL and oranges to ME story. Nice. Grammy and Grandpa always enjoyed a nice drive! I remember Grammy looking out up in Machias and saying, “there’s God’s country”.

  5. And SO nice to see some pictures of Spring! Gives me some hope, as it is snowing here again, although it won’t amount to anything–it’s just melting on the streets. . .

  6. sarah doremus says:

    Hi Mo, I smiled at your reminisence on your dad. and those pictures of spring are wonderful. Keeping my eye on that prize. I love the fact that your mechanic will photo tumbleweeds recovery. happy trails.

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