A last-minute decision, a few changes of plans, and much rushing around preparing food and packing…and before we knew it, our truck was southbound.
I was thoroughly enjoying the ride after a summer at home on the farm. Wyoming proved fairly barren as normal, Nebraska mostly acres of harvested fields. In Missouri, we took a welcome break at Peasterbilt, a truck shop run by Ross’s uncle. We even got treated to a scrumptious spread for supper!
Across Illinois with fields of soft green wheat, and wind whipping against the visor. Kentucky and Tennessee were proving abit mundane. Not a lot to see but trees and McDonald’s and road winding ahead of us.
The thought crossed my mind that it would be nice maybe to have something exciting happen.
We started dreaming of a hot shower, (Our last Pilot shower experience had been a cold one!) and of a big sit-down supper. A measly chicken thigh lunch had long-disappeared from my hollow stomach and the cupboards of snacks in the truck just weren’t cutting it.
I asked around for recommendations of local favorites, in search of something that would give us a taste of true Georgia cooking. I had quite a list I was drooling over..all 4-5 star reviews. Visions of BBQ ribs, fried okra, and cornbread danced in my pregnant brain which lately can only think about food.
Then Ross noticed the gauge. a telltale sign that the alternator wasn’t charging. We puzzled over that for a few miles, discussing possible options as it was already very close to 5’clock.
A few curves later, his engine light came on. The truck slowly lost power, but thankfully we managed to just coast into a rest area as it sputtered, coughed, then fell silent.
Thankfully my husband is a fine mechanic. He threw on some coveralls, got a wrench out of the sleeper, and set to work. I became the official phone-light shiner.
The problem turned out to be one with a fairly easy solution. If only one could find the parts. We made do with the remaining belts, one of which was in a very unsuitable condition, holding itself together by mere threads.
We called back home where Peterbilt was still open and got part numbers. Then as Ross eased the truck down the road, I turned to the ever-helpful Google for 24-hour truck shops.
We called one family-owned business out back in the hills of Tennessee who thought he might have what we needed. Meanwhile waiting his return call, we petered down the sleepy streets of Jasper. It turned out he didn’t have the right belts but instead directed us to O’Reillys which supported a lot of local truckers and often carried bigger-than-car parts.
Pulling into the empty parking lot of a health/home care building beside O’Reillys, Ross opened the hood. We were in luck finding one of the belts we needed, and a fellow out on his smoke break lent us a better light.
Not long after, an old Tennessee hillbilly complete with suspenders, white beard, and tobacco wandered over from a restaurant across the street where he had seen us.
Turned out to be a trucker himself and he shot the breeze for a good while. A welcome diversion!
Before we knew it, we were backing the reefer up and were again Atlanta-bound! Time flies when you’re having fun. By this time we had crossed into the Eastern Time Zone and most restaurants were closed. We opted for the closest Pilot with good shower reviews and thankfully the Wendy’s inside was still frying hamburgers.
Mary Mac’s Tea House, Chicken and Waffles, Fox Brothers BBQ, and Miss Pitty Pat’s Kitchen will have to wait!
Note to self: Next time, wish for exciting things after supper.