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Wood on wheels

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I just got into my hotel room after driving about 500 miles today, and boy are my arms tired. Oh, wait… wrong joke.

After a whirlwind trip from West Virginia to Connecticut and – almost – back again, I can report that woodworking is alive and well on the interstate (which, I discovered while coincidentally driving through Gettysburg, Pa., the home of Dwight Eisenhower, is formally called “The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”). Now, I’m not talking about driving past big box stores with big orange or blue signs – although there were plenty of those, of course – but, rather, evidence of woodworking on the highway itself. I found plenty.

I cruised for about 60 or so miles on I-81 southbound in Pennsylvania behind a tandem semi from KraftMaid. Lots of cabinets on board, I’m sure. Somewhere between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre a panel truck pulled onto the interstate. The logo on the side of the truck was “Chorba’s Cabinet Shop.” A quick Google search once on my laptop in the hotel room told me that truck was from West Wyoming, Pa., located not far off the interstate. I couldn’t know for certain, of course, but I’m guessing it was making a delivery run of custom cabinets to some lucky homeowner in the Keystone State. It was kind of neat as the truck pulled in behind me and I drove several miles between it and the KraftMaid semi rig – a perfect yin and yang of a huge-volume national mass producer of cabinets in front of me and a local cabinet shop behind me. Cool.

Maybe Tuesday is a big day for road-bound lumber, because I saw plenty. I passed at least seven haulers of logs in Pennsylvania alone. Don’t know what kind it was – I’m not very good at recognizing dead, naked trees on flatbeds – but there was a lot of it and it all looked good. Meanwhile, in the four states I cross today I counted nine flatbed loads of processed lumber. Two carried fabricated roofing trusses; one had, I’m guessing, lumber for log homes as it was all big beams stacked neatly in extremely long lengths; and the rest was dimensional lumber.

And the most recent before checking into my hotel was a seen-better-days pickup truck loaded with rustic-looking wooden yard furniture on I-68 in Maryland; simple, nailed-together stuff piled higgledy-piggledy in the back. The driver of the truck looked happy. I think he was listening to country-western music.

I wasn’t listening to country music, but I’m betting I was just as happy as that truck driver. I couldn’t have asked for better traveling companions on my trip than all the wood I saw wherever I looked.

Can’t wait to get back on the road tomorrow.

Till next time,


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