Jim’s pickup truck
Back in the 70’s I didn’t own a pickup truck. I was young and stupid, accent on the pickup truck-less stupid. But, by saving up every paid holiday, vacation day and accumulating comp time, I managed to run out west every year for a couple or three weeks. Blowing straight across the country, or at least west into the Rockies, was a 2000 mile, 30+ hour non-stop drive.
Just drive dammit; get out there where things are interesting. Non-stop meant shift driving. And shift driving meant sometimes sleeping in the truck bed. Travelling companion Brian’s longbed Datsun had a cap, and I quickly learned to love a cap. Even bought his cap for my longbed Taco (finally wised up) when the Datsun finally died.
Travelling companion Jim’s truck did not, just a roll out, snap on tonneau cover for over the bed. We made it work, although everything needed to be stored below bedrail height in case of rain, and it could be a chilly night’s sleep on mountain nights or at highway speed.
EK_0026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
That unrestrained sleepytime position now seems like a death wish. But no more so than sleeping under a flimsy cap. Or driving the ’68 VW Camper, with just a thin piece of sheet metal between your knees and some immovable object.
(Mini-side rant: I believe that driving those kinds of tin foil vehicles; no power steering, no power brakes, no cruise control/lane avoidance/air bags/etc with manual everything made us oldsters better and more cautious drivers)
The scarier part was when it rained, and the tonneau cover had to be snapped closed. Jim was, quite frankly, a terrible driver. Encased in a pitch black tonneau covered coffin was not comforting. Especially when Jim’s attention was distracted and I awoke to the rumble of tires on breakdown lane. I didn’t get a lot of sleep some shifts, and occasionally awoke a tad grumpy.
EK_0033 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr