Bob took the Dunkin’ Donuts cup out of the holder and shook it. Empty. He put it back and then glanced at the fuel gauge. A hair over half-full.
The sign came up quickly: Rest Stop, Full Service, 2 miles.
“Perfect,” he mumbled, but wondered what kind of coffee he’d have to put up with. Not likely Dunkin’ Donuts. It was late morning as Bob Stehling approached Albany and parked at the rest stop. The large cup of coffee had lasted him from Lowell, Massachusetts. A half hour without coffee was about his limit; so that would have to be first; then the fuel tank.
He closed the door, ran his hand over the warm hood and smiled to himself, pleased with the new 2005 Dodge pickup truck. It handled well, he thought, even with the heavy camper he had installed the previous week. The wind resistance of the cab-over camper would keep his gas mileage down; but he was determined to live with it.
Bob went into the service building, stopped at the men’s room, and then walked into the food court. The Burger King was at the far end. He shook his head as he looked at the menu board above the counter. Oh, what the hell. Cho-lesterol be damned, he thought, I’m hungry.
Two men in front of him playfully jostled each other as they waited their turn. Both had DiLorean Moving stenciled on the back of their green coveralls. One glanced back, saw Bob, but continued to talk to his partner. Bob could hear both well.
“Gonna drop some of our load in Gary,” said the older man, standing to Bob’s left. “Shouldn’t take more than an hour.”
“Gary?” His friend sounded incredulous. “Who the hell moves to Gary?”
The older man chuckled. “What the hell, it’ll give us room to pick up something in Rockford.”
“We gotta haul this load clear to Boise. What’re we gonna do with anything extra?”
“Not to worry. We’ll do a ‘rest stop’ in Salt Lake, lose it there.” The man emphasized the rest stop with his fingers.
“This whole thing makes me nervous,” said the younger man, lowering his voice. “We get seen by the wrong person and we’re screwed.”