Thursday, July 23, 2015

Shiny Trucks of Love

The weekend was unbearable with a blazing, unrelenting sun and temperatures in the upper 90's and high humidity. I had no inclination to be outside at all, not hiking, cycling or even kayaking. My energy was sapped. But after watching a couple of hours of TV on Saturday I was bored so decided to check out the local truck stop on I81 and gauge the reactions of the truck drivers for a future evening photo shoot.
I parked up and stepped onto the blistering tarmac, feeling the heat through my shoes and on the top of my head. I looked around at the trucks parked, really only wanting to shoot the more vintage styles. I love these huge metallic monsters, and have always been smitten since watching the movie Duel as a young child. Made in 1971 and starring Dennis Weaver, it terrified me, a huge noisy Peterbilt that constantly threatens the life of our hero, but never shows the demonic driver. Even now, having one of these older trucks come up behind or alongside me on the highway can send shudders down my spine. The official trailer of the movie is here.
I walked towards a line of trucks, looking for the older ones, with chrome and lights blinking and glinting in the glaring sunlight. A huge machine rumbled and growled past me and I quickly snapped a shot as he drove past. It wasn't until I later looked at the image that I spotted the driver's arms waving at me from inside his cab. He had grinned hugely as he passed me.
They really just don't make them great anymore. The modern trucks seem to be lacking in any character or individuality They don't have that robust and sturdy, sinister aura about them, enhanced on the older models with their angular lines, hooded windscreens and huge metallic bumpers that looked like they'd mash me into the ground as they loomed in front of me. There's no tall silver pipes or chrome accessories and even the number of lights has dwindled. Yet looking at the smooth curved lines of the newer trucks, it's understandable to see that you really can't add those extras anymore, there's nowhere to attach them. The black truck above managed a slightly threatening stance but I think it was due to its dark paint job. No monster sized grill in my face like a solid wall.
This father and son team were busy cleaning their beloved truck but I did notice that they stayed on the shady side. They would have been blinded or burned from the gleaming silver on the sunny side.
I walked across the road to the Love's truck stop where trucks could get washed or fill up with fuel. I loved the retro 70's decor and was lucky enough to be there when one of their own gas trucks was fueling up.
The guy who owned this truck hailed me over when he saw me walking about. He was a retired veteran and very proud of his vehicle. I admired the paintwork and took a photo but wondered how much better it would look on a vintage vehicle. There was another newer model which caught my eye as it looked a bit ratty and had a confederate flag. I spotted the long haired driver inside and held up my camera, asking if I could take a photo. He glared back and gestured no. I couldn't really blame him. With the confederate flag getting so much bad press at the moment he likely thought I was taking shots for local papers.
This trip had been a scouting trip; one, to ascertain whether there would be many vintage trucks to take photos of, and two, to register drivers' reactions towards me at taking photos. It had been a positive outcome overall, so I'll return on an evening with more traffic and less heat.
Driving through Toms Brook, I noticed there were a few confederate flags flying in protest to the recent news, but I only took the one photo from inside my car, not wanting to cause any provocation.
As I passed through Front Royal, I spotted some beautiful trucks parked behind a fire station, and pulled in for a closer look.
These were gorgeous and I'm sure parked in this manner to draw attention. Their chrome flashed in the sun as I walked towards them.I took a few photos but the heat really was stifling and I was having a hard time dodging the sun bursts that jumped off the shiny metal and attempted to dazzle me every time I moved. Admitting defeat I went back to the car and headed for home, craving shade and A.C.
As I neared home I pulled into a little country store for a chat and a cool drink. I love this cozy place, perched on the side of the hill, and each time I come in, the owner has collected new oddities and antiques for his own personal display on the walls and also for sale. I spotted some vintage style sodas in his fridge so I selected two then set off on the last leg of my drive home.

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