The High Road of Adventure

18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
Alright, since Tami and Laura twisted my arm (you two should consider part time careers as torture instructors at the US Army's SERE school by the way), here it is. This post I guess will outline the focus/scope of what I am shooting for, and what can be expected (feared) on this trip.

1) This will be done through my phone, pictures, typing, the works, please forgive my atrocious punctuation and the probable spelling/grammatical errors that are inevitable when technologically deficient cave men, like yours truly, interact with modern and complex technology. Also of note, I am an avid sports fan, fisherman, hunter, and outdoors enthusiast, if these topics bother you, here is your warning up front that they may at times be alluded to in the course of this journal, unlikely to be in great detail, but reference to them will almost certainly be included when they are a part of the daily activity.

2) As you have likely discerned without my statement of the obvious, Belle and Beau and I all live on my 18 wheeler. Less obvious is that we are what is called OTR, Over The Road, and that we haul flatbed freight of all sorts and descriptions. Last note on this subject is that we spend long periods of time on the road (My last home time was in May if memory serves, could have been April though).

3) My work schedule involves anything from 70-100 hours each week, as fun as this journal ought to be, I am not as young as I once was and my batteries are more like Duracell and less like Energizer in these days, my work, family, and especially my feather babies come first. There will also be times where we get sent into areas of the country that possess no interwebs, thereby making updates an impossibility.

4) I am absolutely open to requests, interaction and questions by anyone who wants to come along, consider this an interactive documentary and simultaneous experiment long term on keeping birds in a truck.

I think that should just about cover this introduction, I am not making any promises, but I hope it may be informative and entertaining to someone at some point. Frequency of updates is still being deliberated about, I will just have to see what works best for my schedule.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
May 14, 2016
14,120
2,783
Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 37-year-old Patagonian Conure
I am going to love this... no matter how you do it.

One of my most enduring fantasies is to be on the road with my bird and my ol' man. He can bring his dog, I suppose.

I would direct travels here and there based on whim and weather, stopping to chow down at roadside eateries. The whole thing would allow me to indulge my obsessive minimalism in decor and wardrobe. I would rather not have the making of a living involved (I was thinking more along the lines of independent wealth) but I could deal with it. The Rickeybird loves to ride in cars; my fantasy involved a fancy RV, but I'm sure he would prefer the elevated view from a big rig cab.

Thank you, Tami and Laura.

Oh, and, I'm also an obsessive nicknamer. Dear author, may I call you Wheelsie? Or do you prefer something else?

Let's go!
 

Tami2

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2017
5,060
719
New Jersey
Parrots
Levi - 5 yr old CAG

DOH-4/2/2016
Yes, I agree with Gail about the food.

You can inform us of some of America's best food stops during your travels.
You can also include some of your favorite peeps. Have someone take pix of you with a fave Diner/Truck Stop Food owner ... yada yada.

Don't worry about a thing. You write and post at your leisure, No Stress! We'll take whatever you can give without any complaints!

We'll follow you like Groupies ... Ha :D Right Laura?

This is going to be GREAT!!
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
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Guess some sort of primer might help bring us up to speed, so we will begin our journey Friday morning, which found us at the Flying J on I-29 in Sioux Falls South Dakota, warm morning for the time of year, I'll take the little blessings God offers. Coffee for breakfast for me, birds are chowing down on some Roudybush crumbles and water, merrily singing away for him, she is preening quietly in the corner. Phone issues have created an impasse on what happens after delivery, until the agent can get back to me I will have to run half tanks to deliver in Mitchell SD.

After delivery the load I had booked fell through, back on the phones to try and salvage the week, my main man Steve pulls through in the clutch and books me a load from Menards out of Eau Claire Wisconsin, not thrilled about the 350 miles of dead head but it pays alright, and I can grab another load out of Russellville Arkansas on Teusday coming back to somewhere in Wisconsin (destination TBD at the moment) and it should be a profitable week. Lunch was at the eastbound rest area just past the inbound scales in Minnesota, thankfully the DOT had it's hands full inspecting loaded trucks and had no interest in looking over my spindle sheets. Birds came out while I munched on a sandwich and were obstinate about going back in to complete our trip, little brats, 30 minute DOT break turned into a 45 minute adventure trying to lure the birds back into the cage...kids! Around 1830CT to Menards, traffic around the Twin Cities was a bear, but what else is new? Loaded by 2100 and parking for the night at the Holiday Truck Stop next door, this load is a bunch of pallet racking for a store in Kansas City KS, birdies are out and playing merrily on top of the cage while I catch up on paperwork with a nice mug of Earl Gray and a quiet pipe on the tailgate, whichever dunce decided that accounting ought to be a thing HAS to be spending eternity somewhere really, really hot.

Saturday morning, we got up late (0800) and Beau was grumpy that I slept in, he was glaring at me over his food dish when I lifted the towel this morning, hungry little guy! Belle was enjoying the extra rest, and looked pleasingly to shut him up and let her sleep in, it is the weekend after all, Green Tea breakfast, pre trip complete and underway at 0900, quick stop in Hudson Wisconsin at the TA for push water and we blast off towards Kansas City, aside from a bit of traffic and an overabundance of road construction, there wasn't much to note of the driving day, brother Kyle from 2nd Platoon called me today and we had a nice chat catching up, the farm is doing well in Alabama and the fish, hogs and deer are allegedly missing me, hopefully a trip can get put together soon. Also had a call from brother Justin and his wife, our weekly doings over the college football slate and commiseration over Texas poor showing against Kansas ensued, complete with the usual requests to come babysit because their son always asks when I'll be there to go fishing with him again, love that boy. Parked up in Kearney Missouri at the Pilot and will be parked up until Monday morning, got a special meal planned, I really don't deserve this, but I'm going to shamelessly enjoy my feast in any event, public service announcement, stay out of Walmart while hungry, it ends up doing crazy things to you. I'll try to grab some pictures of the Sunday feast, the babies decided to hang out on my fly fishing pack and watch dad do paperwork for a while, Belle decided that work was done and that it was high time I turned my hands to other work, she is of course quite right, bit of playtime with her, then we can break out the guitar and let Beau sing along before bed...long week, looking forward to a few hours of rest tonight.
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
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  • #6
Yes, I agree with Gail about the food.

You can inform us of some of America's best food stops during your travels.
You can also include some of your favorite peeps. Have someone take pix of you with a fave Diner/Truck Stop Food owner ... yada yada.

Don't worry about a thing. You write and post at your leisure, No Stress! We'll take whatever you can give without any complaints!

We'll follow you like Groupies ... Ha :D Right Laura?

This is going to be GREAT!!

The best eatery on the highway is on my truck, I tired of cheap meals and greasy dinners years ago, and decided that seeing as I have yet to eat a meal on the road as good as I can make, I'd make me a kitchen on the truck, it took a bit of creative storing, and some liberties with some wiring, but I can cook almost anything on this truck that you can at home, one of these days I'll work out how best to photograph it
 

Tami2

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2017
5,060
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New Jersey
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Levi - 5 yr old CAG

DOH-4/2/2016
Can you show us your birdie set up in your cab? Also, are their wings clipped for safety on the road or are they flighted? :)

Looking forward to pictures of your Sunday feast. :p

I'm curious have you been sharing with other truckers about your Birdies traveling with you? If so, what are their reactions?
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
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  • #8
Can you show us your birdie set up in your cab? Also, are their wings clipped for safety on the road or are they flighted? :)

Looking forward to pictures of your Sunday feast. :p

I'm curious have you been sharing with other truckers about your Birdies traveling with you? If so, what are their reactions?

Working on that as we speak actually, there are some technical difficulties, namely that I am a barbarian who doesn't understand computers very well lol, they are both flighted, and I have no interest in clipping them, they have limited space in the cab (occasional hotel room for breakdowns) and I want them to be able to utilize as much of it as they wish, it also encourages a certain amount of independence, and that I do not want to take away from them.
 

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Jen5200

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Mar 27, 2017
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Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
Okay - I’m hooked.....going to be following these adventures :)
 

AmyMyBlueFront

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Apr 14, 2015
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Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
So cool you have your Budgies along for the journey!! Back in the late '80's and early 90's I owned an International 9670 cab-over,also pulled flatbed with mostly steel beams,plate,and coils and took Amy along for "day" trips. Obviously a cab-over doesn't have the room (or RIDE) that a conventional has, and there wasn't going to be enough room for any type of cage to house an Amazon :eek:
What are you driving? Looks to be (by the interior) to be a FrieghtShaker Cascadia? A double-bunk ( condo) is the perfect type to bring your Budgies along for the ride..a bunk for you and a bunk for them!!:D
Can't wait to read more and s`ee pics! Do you ever get up here in New England??
(kinda pricey toll-wise...big reason truckers don't want to come up here..when I first started driving,to cross the George Washington Bridge it was $18...now I think it's $110 for a big rig!:eek::eek:)

Jim
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
  • Thread Starter
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  • #14
So cool you have your Budgies along for the journey!! Back in the late '80's and early 90's I owned an International 9670 cab-over,also pulled flatbed with mostly steel beams,plate,and coils and took Amy along for "day" trips. Obviously a cab-over doesn't have the room (or RIDE) that a conventional has, and there wasn't going to be enough room for any type of cage to house an Amazon :eek:
What are you driving? Looks to be (by the interior) to be a FrieghtShaker Cascadia? A double-bunk ( condo) is the perfect type to bring your Budgies along for the ride..a bunk for you and a bunk for them!!:D
Can't wait to read more and s`ee pics! Do you ever get up here in New England??
(kinda pricey toll-wise...big reason truckers don't want to come up here..when I first started driving,to cross the George Washington Bridge it was $18...now I think it's $110 for a big rig!:eek::eek:)

Jim

2015 Freightshaker Cascadia, 10 speed Eaton and Fuller, double bunk indeed, as to the northeast, I would rather drive off the side of the Rockies than pay any toll money to those uniformed thieves you guys call local and state government out there, and I believe it went up again on the GW, but I haven't been out that way in years so I'm not sure, just truck stop gossip. Don't feel like it's just the NE area I detest, Illinois, California, Colorado and Florida all have a special place on my "I detest these places" list for almost purely political and governmental reasons...some places just seem hell bent to make a drivers life as hard and expensive as they possibly can, and I do my small part to bring economic ruination to them by boycotting trips to them and through them whenever I can. :)
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
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Anybody who says supper has to be a super complicated process has obviously never heard of a crock pot, smoked paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, rub into a 5lb whole chicken, cook on high for 4 hours, toss in some asparagus about 30 minutes before it's done, add tater salad and rolls, with a bottle of martinelli sparkling cider and you have a proper feast for a Sunday of hanging out with ever curious budgies and football, ahhh, life is a good thing
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
9,625
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,625
959
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Yes, I agree with Gail about the food.

You can inform us of some of America's best food stops during your travels.
You can also include some of your favorite peeps. Have someone take pix of you with a fave Diner/Truck Stop Food owner ... yada yada.

Don't worry about a thing. You write and post at your leisure, No Stress! We'll take whatever you can give without any complaints!

We'll follow you like Groupies ... Ha :D Right Laura?

This is going to be GREAT!!
Yes official Wheels of Steel groupie #2 Laurasea!!
I need pictures!!!
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
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  • #18
Hooray!!!



I'm so excited!! :heart:


Me too!!!
All this arm twisting, This had to be done for your own good

I knew you guys were just looking out for my best interest, it is after all a rather male trait that we are hard headed and generally do that which is NOT in best interests of our own good :D
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Thank you for creating a phenomenal blog! I've always been fascinated by the self-contained yet mobile world of the OTR lifestyle. Hope you share some of the more technical aspects of the rig and operations!!
 
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18WheelsOfSteel

New member
Jun 26, 2019
236
1
West Central Louisiana, originally from Portland O
Parrots
2 Budgies
"Southern Belle" a blue female
"Beau Dandy" a green male
  • Thread Starter
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  • #20
Thank you for creating a phenomenal blog! I've always been fascinated by the self-contained yet mobile world of the OTR lifestyle. Hope you share some of the more technical aspects of the rig and operations!!

Of course, anything specific that interests you?
 

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