Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Truck Stop

In 1992, when I was already living where I live now, I took a road trip down the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, into Tennessee, where I attended a science fiction convention in Chattanooga. Everything was new to me this trip, it was unexplored territory for me. And it was the South in the dead of winter. My first stop after many hours of driving was Abingdon, Virginia, a town almost on the Tennessee border. It was elevated enough that snow was falling, though not accumulating. My stop-off hotel was at a busy intersection which had a cluster of hotels and restaurants as well as a truck stop. I could see the truck stop out my window.

On this cold mountain night I marveled at the big rigs arriving and departing; it went on all night and I heard its noise all night. I had my sketchbook journal, as always, and I made a drawing of the truck stop despite having poor light. You can see at least three trucks as well as two utility sheds in the foreground. The shape on the ground beside the truck to the right is not a dead body but some sort of flexible debris. 

I love this feeling of being alone (but protected in a shelter) in a place I've never been, with only a sketchbook to record it. I don't do as much traveling as I used to, and I wonder whether I'll be able to ride the roads again.

Technical pen black ink on sketchbook page, 8" x 3", January 15, 1992.

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