WOODLAND, Wash. — With 'stay-at-home' orders in Washington and Oregon, traffic is lighter than normal on I-5. It is easier to spot the semis crisscrossing the region in order to move cargo we need now more than ever.
"Our truckers, I promise you, are doing their dead-level best to make sure our food and supplies are getting to these shelves," said Eric Hansen.
In return, Hansen is doing his best to accommodate truckers who may not have access to the services they are used to. Hansen teamed up with local leaders and school district administrators in Woodland, Wash. to turn the local high school into a temporary truck stop.
"What I've learned in the last four days about truckers is they're not used to the general public being that kind," said Hansen. "They are our invisible knights on the road."
If those invisible knights, as Hansen calls them, choose to stop at Woodland High School, chances are they will be pleased with what they find.
"We have clean, private showers for males and females, we have laundry facilities, three washers and three dryers, we have clean restrooms and we offer food," he said.
Hansen says it has been difficult spreading the word about the amenities, but they have welcomed about 10 truckers in the few days they have been open.
"They're grateful," said Hansen. "One guy was grateful almost to the point of tears."
These men and women of the road are away from their families at a time when so many of us are hunkering down with ours. For that reason, Hansen says, the temporary truck stop will stay open for as long as possible.
"We're in for the long haul, that pun is intended, we're in this for the long haul, as long as these folks need the service, we'll offer it."