Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Western Canada trip

I can't find anything really interesting to say about this trip. Having done it several times already, it has become ordinary.

Started out on the 29th of December in late afternoon. Didn't go too far due to the weather but got to Pembroke, Ontario around 9 PM. The snow and wind made the roads icy and I only had 11K pounds in the trailer. That's light, for those who are not familiar with transport.

Day 2: Pembroke to Wawa.
Pembroke to the Sault isn't too bad. It's just the roads. Winter has done it's work and frost heaves are the flavour of the day. Traffic's light, roads are fair to middling with occasional icy patches. Nothing too challenging but bears watching nonetheless. However, from the Sault to Wawa, over the lake-head... what a dismal piece of road; rocks, the odd frozen lake, black spruce. The odd habitation or hamlet, like White River, Marathon, Schreibner and finally Nippigon, all far and few between. I dislike this road... really. So I just drive to peel away the miles and rid myself of this area. BTW, There nothing like radio or TV thats worthwhile either when stopped. Cell Service; forget it, nothing until you're about 12 Kms from Thunder Bay.
Oh yah, interest of the day, roadside moose, young female I would guess, no antlers, which I chased back into the forest with my horns blaring and a quick fox that crossed my path.

Day 3: Wawa to the Peg
Breaking free of Ontario, finally, I reach the Manitoba border and even though there is little difference in scenery for several mile to go, there is palpable relief. There's hope. The terrain flattens out slowly and the roads improve. Got to wonder. But its cold out here; -26° C and windy, (windchill = -40 something). Fuel up and hunker down for the night. Oops, onboard heater malfunction, unit screams like a stuck pig. Some bearings have worn out and are preventing the unit from achieving its full speed, thus its heat output. Sh*t. Going to have to run the engine just to stay warm for the rest of the trip 'cause the office doesn't like having these units serviced by outside. Understandable because outside service loves to replace the unit rather than repair to the tune of 2 to 3K. Office is advised and says run the engine 'til you get back. One less worry for me. One less delay in having it serviced on my way out.

Day 4: the Peg to Regina
Just a short hop today as my deliveries start tomorrow in Regina. 2 stops then off to Saskatoon.

Day 5, You got it... Saskatoon.
Overnight here with one delivery near downtown. Ez in, Ez out. Off to Lloydminster on the SK side. Town sits the border of AB and SK. Then off to Edmonton for one final delivery. Finished, now find a place to reset my log and we're fine. Dismay truck stop in Edmonton, name of major brand withheld. Note to any visitors: They don't plough snow much out there. Sand and gravel, good for windshields, not!

Saturday & Sunday, Jan 5, 6
Have a new destination: Storm Lake, Iowa. Shortest route required cause I'm empty.... And really light.
This could be interesting if winds pick any further. So I backtrack all the way to Regina and stop in Estavan, SK. Next day, south to Portal, ND. Zig zag south-east through ND, SD, MN, IA. Finally stop in Watertown, SD. Shower, fuel, shopping to resupply on-board food, truck wash cause everything is dirty.

Monday, final leg before reloading; half day of driving. Tuesday is reload day but it takes from 11 am to 4 PM to get load inspected and paperwork issued. (sheesh!) Finally released, 1280 miles to go! Can do in 2 days. Delivery: Thursday. Drive, drive, drive. Arrive at clients place, no one is there though I have an early appointment, they're closed. Advise office, wait until 08h00 they say. I go back to bed. A couple of hours later they arrive, knock on my door. They don't understand why I'm there, they didn't record the appt. Someone screwed up but no problem, We'll take you anyway.

Back at the terminal, pack my gear into the car and go home for breakfast.
Next day, Friday, Norovirus! Fun.