Shortly after retiring from the Van Wert County Health Department in July of 2002...I hooked up with Hoosier Transit out of Nappanee, Indiana. Hoosier is in the business of delivering RVs to dealers around the country. The Nappanee office works primarily with Gulf Stream....they hire drivers, mostly those with Commercial License to drive all size motor homes and 5th wheel trailers to 49 states.....I started driving as an independent contractor 6 years ago this week....for the first 5 years(taking 3 months off for baseball season) I had the chance to drive through 46 states(missing only the People's Republic of Vermont, South Dakota, Hawaii, and Alaska)...driving everything from 20 foot Airport/Business Vans, to school buses, and 40+ foot Diesel Pusher types. I drove as much as I could the first couple of years, a real chance to see the country, and get paid to do it.....now a married man with young kids and needing a large income probably shouldn't get into this business...but for the semi-retired, mostly retired, or single "king of the road" types...it's not a bad income, and the tax and other benefits are decent.
With gas near $4 a gallon and diesel almost $5...the northern Indiana and national RV business has taken a hit, this, along with me now doing football as well as baseball officiating, and my small time work at the Honda affiliate in Greenville, have slowed my travels...but I will still get out on occasion this winter, if I get the chance.
With things slowing down for the late summer, and between baseball and football seasons, I thought I'd post some photos of some of my trips across the nation, especially those south and west of the fruited plain. I will begin in September 2002 with my first long trip across country...this one would end up in San Diego, where I would spend some time, taking in the harbor sites.
The trip was my first via land vehicle through the great southwest....routes included I-70/I-44/I-35/I-40/I-17, and finally I-8 across....took digital photos when I had a chance...and some of them are the heart of this post.
The 5 photos above include a sepia photo of landscape just off I-40 west of the Texas Panhandle in New Mexico...New Mexico, Land of many strange things, but probably among my favorite for weather and scenery. Also some sand rocks near a rest area in New Mexico.....the other 3 include I-40 heading towards Winslow and the Snow Bowl in Arizona, the final 2 were taken on i-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix.
San Diego Harbor/The "Star of India"....the most interesting and hair raising part of the trip was me taking that 36 foot front end gas RV across I-8 along the Mexican Border in Arizona and southern California. I got to meet the Border Patrol, making sure I wasn't hauling any illegals in my the RV, and the drive up Rock Mountain after I passed El Centro was especially exciting...a good head wind and guide wires for guard rails was more than interesting....the trip down into the valley and San Diego is a view I won't forget....either will be the traffic.
After dropping off the RV I hopped a cab and picked a Best Western down by the bay, just a stone's throw from Lindbergh Airport....I spent the evening walking the bars and waterfront of San Diego....great city, but needless to say, too many bodies for my taste. I did get some photos of the Naval Shipyard and the famous "Star of India" Liner, which was docked not far from my motel. I walked to the airport the next day around noon....flew to Vegas, stayed the night, and grabbed a flight to Dayton...my first long trip(I had made a couple to North Carolina before this one) in the RV business was complete...spent to much money, but I still came out ahead, but barley.
The following photos are from the Harbor Area of San Diego...including the "Star of India", a Navy Battleship, and the San Diego County Courthouse.
For the next couple of weeks I will do at least 2 or 3 a week from some of my travels.....hopefully you'll come along for the ride.