Oakland Park, FL
My entire life has been spent perfecting my skills as a Mechanical Engineering Designer. I've designed and developed everything from simplistic inspection gauges used on production lines and in Quality Control departments to complex, automated production line machinery used in the manufacture of implantable medical devices (think stents and angioplasty). Most recently, I was heavily involved with the design and manufacture of new, light-weight, ballistic protection panels used in rotary wing aircraft deployed in various "sandy" locations around the world. It was a 9-5 office job which meant I was actually working 6am to 8pm in the office and 2 more hours at home. Sleep and work were pretty much all I did, all with very few rewards, excluding the pay, which was FANTASTIC. But, life is MUCH MORE than money. I was never fulfilled with my accomplishments. It just wasn't worth it.
Once I completed my active duty stint with the Marine Corps (MOS Auto/Diesel Mechanic) back in 1976, I landed a job working in the public works department for a small (at the time) burb in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I was with the streets department in various capacities. Thinking back to it now, this was the most enjoyable job I've ever had. The majority of my time was handling all of the heavy equipment, dump trucks, rollers, front-end loaders, and backhoes. Wintertime was filled with endless hours plowing snow from the streets and flinging all of that rust-inducing salt. We were all worked hard. While most people were snuggled in their wee little beds dreaming of sugar plums and such, we were out there getting the roads ready for them to get to their respective jobs. It was cold, hard, thankless, and lonely… AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
So now being on this far side of the hill, I'm looking to recapture some of that youthful romance of the road by trying my hand at OTR driving. With no more family to worry about, no home time requirements, and very few bills to be concerned with, I'm looking to ride out my life, pushing the borders of this great Nation working toward that next sunset.
Well here it is, 3½ years later, and I've been to all 48 of the contiguous United States (it only took 1½ years to accomplish that), coast-to-coast, border-to-border. From Sequim, WA to Miami, FL, Otay Mesa, CA to Bangor, ME. Kind of like that Willie Nelson song, "I've Been Everywhere, Man".