Why care about Rest Stops?

Rest Stops are kind of a rough indicator of a state’s policy about hospitality and travel support. They are kind of like the guest bathroom and snack availabilities being provided at a home to visitors. There is an economic cost to the state as well as planning for the initial facilities and ongoing maintenance needs. Busy areas need more frequent attention to cleaning and emptying garbage cans and recycling bins.

The local area support or lack of support for homeless people also seems to impact the placement and style of rest stops in a state.

Collect them all- the local history or interesting geographic features of the region are also highlights. Public safety education about traveling safely also may be included. It has been interesting to purposely set out to visit as many as possible – and there are more states to see.

Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.

Rest stops of the future could be Re-energizing Stops

I’ve been traveling the last couple days. I wanted to test-drive my sleep platform and insulating window panels (mentioned in a recent Do-It-Yourself project post and Thinking Outside the (Tote) Box) and and they are pretty good – a hotel would still be better but if stuck by the side of the road they are an improvement. The insulating panels help keep the car interior warm at night and can be reversed during the day to provide shade and insulate against the heat of summer sunshine.

Insulated window panels reversed for daytime sun, to reduce heat in the car and provide shade.

Following up on the last post before moving on – a worker at the 8 Nations Tribal Center in Oklahoma said that sumac trees did grow in the region.

I am on a tethered smartphone internet connection and uploading images seems slow. So I will add more later. The take home point is that Rest Stops vary from state to state and the services tend to include restrooms, vending areas and travel information. Some include public safety messages and highlights about the state’s unique history or geographical features. Amenities may be more or less park and campground like on the exterior from state to state. In warm or cold climates nicer ones include pavilions and tables and benches for picnics. Grills and water from a handpump are often also available for filling larger water containers or washing up after the picnic. Whether rainy, windy, or extremely sunny a shady pavilion can make a picnic more fun and safer from a public health perspective. Sunburns and heatstroke can be a risk from excess sun exposure in hot climates.

As we move into the future of electric vehicles a new feature that is showing up in some places are electric plug in posts fro recharging electric car batteries. Electric semi-trucks and electric buses would also need to be recharged. Currently reststops already have parking areas for truckers usually but the electric recharging stations are still on the horizon of changes that are needed. China and Russia plans to increase investment in the infrastructure that would be needed across a region to support more personal electric vehicles. Currently electric buses for public transport are the focus in Russia.

The other change on the horizon of solar panels is roof shingle-like tiles that act as solar panels and can power a house. In a Re-energizing Rest-Stop of the future the restroom and public travel center building and all of the parkbench pavilions could be covered with the solar shingles and the energy could be used for building needs and for the recharging electric vehicle stands.. Subsidizing the cost of maintenance of the electric vehicle recharging could be up to the individuals with the electric vehicle or semi-truck. Parking place meters can now  be paid for with a credit card so an electric vehicle recharging stand could also be set up with a meter and credit card pay system. For the non-electric vehicle user it might be nice to offer a similar pay for use system for electricity stations for recharging smartphones and laptops. When traveling it can be a worry to run out of smartphone battery.

Regarding my interest or goal – I am not “trying to be a builder or an architect” or a diplomat – i am simply being myself a Registered Dietitian. My training was in Clinical and Administrative Dietetics. The college major includes many business classes and the internship expanded on the potential needs of working with suppliers and contractors such as architects and ventilation and air-conditioning experts to design a functioning and safe kitchen and residential cafeteria or quantity food production assembly line. Mold and other contagions to consider for food safety can be spread by faulty air supply systems. Training also  included analyzing the food safety needs from field to processing plant to truck, to store or supplier, to truck again, and finally to the residential facility. Some foods are higher risk for food safety dangers and better quality suppliers will have temperatures and times left standing recorded for each case of food. Blockchain technology might be helpful for that purpose (think about fresh or frozen foods – you don’t want a supplier that leaves it on the loading dock too long anymore than a freezer that doesn’t have a back-up generator available in case the power goes out at your residential facility.)

A picnic pavilion in New Mexico.
A California rest-stop had many picnic tables but only one pavilion – room for solar shingle improvements.
The pavilion at the California rest-stop was semi-shade which wouldn’t have provided protection from rain also, but an open style enclosure can help with catching a breeze in areas that are hot and don’t get much rain, such as a desert .
It is past time to transition from fossil fuels. Native Tribal centers with truck and tourist stops also might be interested in transitioning to Re-Energizing Stops.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.