Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beaver Smells and Truck Stops

No beavers here, just a drive to the hospital in Wonderful Wyoming

As I said in the last post the Trucking Tumbleweeds are home for the next couple of months. Himself is recovering from surgery, a high tibial osteotomy. He is walking on crutches and doing pretty well, although still in quite a bit of pain. He's a tough Tumbleweed and won't let me wait on him much, it won't be long before his crutches become weapons.

Since I have no new stories of the trucking life I am going in the Wayback Machine to a time when we were on the road, but with a twist; I am using "The Book of Animal Ignorance" in combination with the Wayback Machine to combine useless animal fact with even more useless Tumbleweed facts.

So there we were last spring in Benton, Arkansas at a Pilot truck stop off of I-30. Himself and I went out for our nightly walk. Truck stops are by default right off the highway, but it is surprising how often we find a field, stream or some other bit of nature to walk near. Hundreds of loud trucks idling or moving around, the smell of exhaust fumes and pee on hot asphalt have a way of making us crave the sights, sounds and smells, of nature.
Not our beaver but maybe a distant cousin..

There is a little stream behind this truck stop and we walked along it, down to a culvert where it goes under a busy road. We stopped to look at the little pond of water, not much bigger than a couple of kiddie pools, where it fed into a concrete culvert.

It was dark but we could see something pretty big swimming back and forth. Thinking it must be a big rat, I ran back to the truck to get a flashlight. To our surprise it was a beaver. Leisurely paddling with his feet, his head held above the water like a fussy woman not wanting to get her hair wet. The light didn't bother him and once he even crawled up the sandy bank about 3 feet to pull out some kind of grassy plant with his teeth. He wasn't concerned with us or  the traffic at all.

Don't ask...

Beavers have two glands near their bladder that secrete a substance called castoreum. Used throughout history for medicinal purposes, castoreum was said to cure everything from headaches to epilepsy. It is now only used in perfume. Apparently it gives off a warm, leathery aroma. Shalimar by Guerlain and Magie Noire by Lancome both use synthetic beaver juice. I'm not sure what it says about us humans, that we use beaver juice for expensive perfume, but I for one think the beaver smells better than the truck stop.

Editors Note: Do not look up beaver juice on the Google when at work or near small children

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Tumbleweeds at Home..For a While

Lost in Space

Our life on the road has come to a temporary stop. We are home in snowy Wyoming until January. Himself is recuperating from a planned surgery and it will take that long to get back to his Tumbleweed self. He is doing well, just had a few bones cut out and his legs realigned. (Easy for me to say!!) 

Who knew driving a truck would make you bow-legged?

So now I face a dilemma. I don't know what to write about. I have no fresh stories of crazy people in laundry rooms or walking around New Orleans in the summer getting yelled at by the Green Lantern movie people.

I am assuming that yall stop by here to see a glimpse of what life on the road is like. Or maybe it's just my mom that reads this and she has to tell me it's interesting, she's a mother, it's a rule. So, I am trying to figure out the best way not to bore anyone to death with the day to day minutia of having cabin fever in a small town.

I have an idea of tying in stories from "The Book of Animal Ignorance, Everything You Think You Know is Wrong" to the trucking life, sorta like the prostituting penguin post.

So, if any of you have a request or ideas, let me know. I can only torture Himself for so long before he hits me with his crutches.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where Are the Tumbleweeds?

More to come...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Telephone Poles and Dirty Underpants

Weird sign of the week: No Delays Next 17 Miles.... OK.  Immediately I became suspicious. Like when someone says, I wouldn't lie to you, you know they are. A person who isn't lying or thinking about lying would never say that. So I was on a steady alert to look for delays in that 17 miles, but after about 3 miles I forgot to be alert and made sandwiches instead.  

Last week in Illinois we passed this truck clogging up the tollway. This is why following too close and not paying attention is a bad combination. Those are telephone poles going through the windshield. Yikes! Amazingly, the driver wasn't hurt, the poles only went through the passenger side. Would have killed the person in the passenger seat if there had been one, though. I hope if that ever happens to us, I choose then to be in the back making sandwiches!!

I bet the driver's seat had to be replaced though...