Recently I got up in the morning and went for a walk in the Mississippi welcome center/rest area on I-10. This is a facility I use often to take my rest period. An old adage came to my mind as I walked around the grounds from the camping world which is “Leave No Trace”. For those of you not familiar with this location there is car parking, truck parking. and RV parking. The RV parking is a little different as it has small little swings outs from the circular driveway that goes around this facility. These spots are not for semi trucks however the security at this location will let semi trucks park there despite it being posted for RV’s.
There is one requirement though, stay off of the grass with your tires. As I walked around I saw that this was not being adhered to and trucks were, in fact, driving on the grass to these RV swingouts and rutting up the grounds. I thought to myself it will not be long till they will not let us park here anymore. As it turned out I got to talk to the person who is in charge of the maintenance of this facility on this particular morning. He informed me that they try to work with the truck drivers as they know they need a place to take their rest area. However, it is very frustrating when the grounds get damaged. He informed me that he had worked there for twenty-three years. He was pleasant as he could be and even offered me a cup of coffee despite the rest area being closed for maintenance on the main building. I let him know how much I appreciate their clean and well-kept facility which I frequent on a regular basis. I really like the picnic tables and pavilions where I have cooked many meals. This location lends itself to as close as you’re going to get a resort type atmosphere.
Now let’s get back to we claim there is a parking shortage yet this facility goes out of its way to accommodate our needs on the highway despite being abused by all too many from our industry. I simply ask my fellow comrades in the trucking industry to adopt the same motto as the camping world, “Leave No Trace”, that we were even there.