Last week I had an awesome ride. We made a delivery in Los Angeles then had to go clear across the country to Pittsburgh, PA. Around Amarillo, TX we stopped to grab some food and get some rest. I woke up about 10pm ready to go. While we were sleeping, some severe thunderstorms formed and moved past us. I got back onto I-40 going east bound and immediately was greeted by mother nature with one of the most electric storms I've ever seen. The storms were well ahead of me. In fact, the skies above me were completely clear. But off in the distance, there were constant flashes of lightning.
This is one of those trips where you just turn off the radio, set the cruise, and enjoy the show. Sometimes night driving can be a little boring since there isn't much to look at. Not tonight. It was absolutely amazing to watch the lighting crawling around the clouds. It was almost as if the storms were talking to each other. I'd look off towards the south and see an amazing bolt of lightning brighten up the towering cumulus clouds then streak towards the ground. Then shortly thereafter, the storm to the north would brighten up with a bright streak across the sky. It was as if the storms were in competition with each other. Brilliant flashes of orange, blue, and white. The further off in the distance the storm was, the more colorful it was. I'm assuming it's due to the lightning reflecting off of the different layers of the atmosphere. But while driving through the flat lands of the Texas Panhandle and into Oklahoma, I could see these storms for what seemed like 100 miles.
There are some nights when you don't want to be in the truck. There are some nights you think about your loved ones back at home. There are some nights you wonder why in the world you are living this life. Then there are some nights when you wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world at that particular moment. You feel at total peace with the world. Stress is non-existent. You can't believe you actually get paid to do what you're doing. This was one of those nights. My trainer was still sleeping in backso it was just me, the powerful rumble of the truck, the pavement, and mother nature. Each lighting strike would crackle the silent CB radio. I think just about every single driver around me was feeling the same thing I was. Because the radio was virtually silent.Just in total awe of the ridiculous power mother nature was showing. Every once in a great while a driver would hop on the radio to say "wow" or "that was crazy" after an amazing lightning strike. These were no ordinary storms. They were very powerful, but from a distance, they were beautiful.
This lasted for hours. No matter how far I drove, I didn't seem to get any closer to the storms. I was a perfect distance away. I was able to take in the awesome beauty of the storms without having to worry about the rain, wind, and hail. It was almost a hypnotic experience. I was in heaven.
I then began to come up on some of the towns these storms hit.The towns were totally dark except for the flashes of police cars, fire trucks, and public works vehicles.There was flooding, wind damage, cars on the side of the road with hail damage, debris everywhere, power outages, and a total complete mess for these little towns to deal with. It seemed a little surreal to me to think about the beauty that I was seeing and the peace it brought me, then coming up upon the havoc it was creating for all these other people. It wasn't so bad to where anybody got hurt, but they had one heck of a clean up to deal with.
As the sun was beginning to come up, the storms quickly faded away, my lightning show was gone, my trainer came up front, and my drive was about over. It was one of those moments when I wanted to go back in time and start my drive all over again. I could have driven forever that night. It was a night I was truly glad to be a truck driver.
Until next time, drive safely!