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Weather inspires truckers to trade tales of storms past

Weather inspires truckers to trade tales of storms past

Truck drivers Billy Moore and Michael Clark know all about snowstorms.
Weather inspires truckers to trade tales of storms past
In Wilton on Friday, truck driver James Morton crosses the lot at Scotty&rsquo;s Restaurant as he seeks a reprieve from the steady snow. He said he was attempting to return to Albany.
Photographer: Bruce Squiers

Truck drivers Billy Moore and Michael Clark know all about snowstorms.

Both from below the Mason-Dixon line, they each have stories of being trapped by snowy weather far from home.

Friday morning, they sat together and chatted in Moore’s 18-wheeler behind Scotty’s Truck Stop in Wilton before each got behind the wheel and headed south, through the middle of a storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow in some areas.

Clark said he spent four days in Denver a few years ago during a snowstorm that shut down most of Colorado and caused the National Guard to be activated.

“I spent four days in a truck stop waiting for the roads to be cleared,” he said. “I think that was the worst weather I’ve seen on the road.”

Moore said he lived in Idaho for a while and saw some deep snow there, but his longest battle with weather on the road was on the Thruway near Buffalo.

“I was stuck on the Thruway for a couple of days and then when things got moving I made it to Erie, Pa., and got stuck there for another three days,” he said. That was five years ago.

Moore was heading home for Christmas on Friday after dropping a load of paper at the SCA paper mill in South Glens Falls. His home is in Jacksonville, Fla.

Clark said he travels between his home in Virginia Beach, Va., and the Target distribution warehouse in Wilton a couple of times a week.

He said he may be on the road on Christmas because he needs the money.

“My wife and I had a mobile [vehicle] repair business, and in November we found we were in the hole financially, with no money coming in,” he said. “I went back to trucking three weeks ago.”

He said he had been a trucker for nine years before making the investment in a business that would assure his family that he would be home at night.

“We need the money and I know how to drive the truck,” he said.

Clark keeps an eye on the weather on his cellphone, which is equipped with Internet access.

He moved his finger on the screen and brought up a radar image of the approaching storm.

Moore said he’s always been a fan of AM radio.

“I get all the weather I need right on my radio,” he said.

Both men said they were prepared for whatever the day would bring. Their trucks are stocked with food and drinks, and if necessary, they can comfortably pull off the road and crawl into bed behind the seat in the cab.

Clark brought along his dulcimer to pass the time when he isn’t driving.

“I used to play weddings and funerals, but now I play just for my own enjoyment,” he said.

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