Maximum Overdrive

On a a very rural county road in Oklahoma, about 60 miles east of the Texas state line, I ran into a rancher. We talked for a good twenty minutes.

He thought what I was doing was pretty cool. Towards the end of the conversation, he did say that I’d be hitting a lot of truck traffic because I was headed right into a very active oil field.

I didn’t really know what he meant by “a lot of truck traffic.” Holy fuck. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s pretty remote country. There are towns every so often, but many of them are unincorporated, and don’t have a gas station/convenience, much less a grocery store. I went 120 miles between towns that had grocery stores. Don’t think you could do that in Minnesota or Iowa if you tried. I have to start being pretty strategic with the food/water I carry, and the route I take.

So it’s kind of remote, but the roads are SWARMING with trucks of every imaginable size and configuration. Lots of 18 wheelers carrying all kinds of industrial looking shit, dually F350’s with all kinds of compressed gas tanks and welding equipment, midsized industrial trucks with liquid tanks hauling god knows what. They usually come in packs of 3-7. Convoys of serious looking industrial equipment hauling ass on the way to some oil rig or another. Even what would be small time county roads are carrying interstate loads of truck traffic.

They’re all hauling ass, and it is a swarm of them. It all has a very frenzied feel about it. The kind of frenzy that only astronomical amounts of money, and the ambitious greed to grab it fast can produce. The general atmosphere is that there a shit-ton of money to be made, but it’s not going to be there forever, and if they don’t jump on that shit, someone else is going to eat their lunch.

The trucks give me the least amount of room, and they’re the worst to get buzzed by. On some of the really bad roads, hilly county road, no shoulder, shitloads of truck traffic in both directions, I had to pull off the road every five minutes of so, because 2 big trucks were going to pass right where I was, or one was going to pass on a hill where he wouldn’t be able to see oncoming traffic. I’d rather be aquiescent and alive, than stubborn and dead. These truckers slow for nothing. And they will pass blind, or nearly knock me off the road, or both. I’ve never seen anything like this.

I totally felt like I was in that Stephen King movie, Maximum Overdrive, where all the machines and trucks had taken on minds of their own and started to menace general society.

Hopefully I’m through the worst of it. I’m not sure though. I made it through a good 60 mile section of it anyway. It might be active a little west of here, but I’ll talk to people and find the best roads to take.

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    • Jim Holzman
    • November 18th, 2010

    If it were easy everyone would do it!… if it were easy you’d never remember it!. yada yada… said from the safety of my boat

    • Richard
    • November 18th, 2010

    There are only TWO things I like about Texas. Austin, ans San Pedro Island.

    Nothing more.

    • Todd
    • November 19th, 2010

    Richard, you forgot one: Winter.

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