Friday, June 7, 2013


Well, now!

Between being out west, Calgary, Denver, in the last six weeks, I've neglected my audience... what's left of them. There are diehards that still visit and let me know that they are disappointed not to find something new.

So lets go way back to April 28th. I started off to Edmonton via Sault Saint Marie through the dreaded wasteland that is northwestern Ontario until you get to White River and on to Thunder Bay. As described in previous ruminations, this has got to be the most desolate area in terms of population that I have ever traveled through. Imagine that during summer months, all you'd find would be black pine, black flies and lakes. In the winter; ice and snow. Towns, some probably parts of indian reservations, tiny towns far and few between with obvious aboriginal names. The road hugs fairly close to Lake Superior  until Wawa. Rocks, hills, lakes, period. Break down in this area and you'll be there for hours. Just north of the Sault, cell service disappears and for the most part so does radio reception until just outside of T-Bay. You have to rely on the infrequent passings of the OPP. LOL!

So it was in the Sault that a bomb was dropped on me. Not a physical one, just news that I didn't expect. And in an instant, I became, as I like to put it in a somewhat wry fashion, a "newly minted single". My better half decided that it was enough and was leaving. Wow! (a note to reader: the timing wasn't to avoid a face to face conversation. It's just that our paths hadn't crossed in several weeks.)

So... driving through a wasteland and life as I'd known it became one and the same. Needless to say, the following week was a bit rough. Understatement maybe? Not much I can do about it out on the road. But I digress, this is supposed to be about my travels. Anyway, everyone knows by now, so it's old news.

So off west, and the rest became pretty standard and uneventful. Thankfully!  Stops, if I recall were in the PEG (Winnipeg) Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton. And nothing happened. Little traffic, even in town. One would think that people were staying out of my way. Not for any particular reason, mind you. I wasn't out to make an example of anyone.

One strange thing I did notice though. I have an extensive music library and somehow all those songs to whose lyrics I hadn't notices in previous listenings, suddenly came home and hit really low.

On the way back, I crossed back into the states since there isn't much anymore to bring back east from Canada. Seems that things have changed over the years. Businesses don't seem to ship much in our direction. Strange since they "import" a whole lot of stuff from back east.

I ended up in Greeley, CO., I call it a small cow town,  but in reality, it's not that small. It's just I haven't toured it at all. There is one important Truck Stop in Evans, an adjacent town. My met one of work colleagues and that helped past the time. I had to do my log reset and that means 36 hours of non-driving. That also gives me time to do my laundry, restock some of my provisions, walk the dog, clean up my living space and yak with other drivers that come and go on a regular basis. Greeley has several important industries, and  the one I was going to, the biggest; JBSwift for a load of beef going back to Canada.

My original pick up day was supposed to be Friday at 06h00 but wasn't ready until well after 22h00. I wasn't in the mood to start driving that late, having spent the day on stand-by, so I left early on Saturday, destination Montreal with a Tuesday 07h00 appointment.

Often, when animal products are imported into Canada, the CFIA does an inspection at the border, in this case, Windsor. An inspection can take approximately four hours. There is no appointment process so it's a "first come, first served" routine. Frequently there are a dozen trucks waiting in the yard. There they empty the trailer contents completely, what they do inside is a mystery. Maybe they're grilling steaks and sampling the wares, who knows. Since the warehouse is a secure location drivers aren't allowed to even observe the process. Finally, I'm released and on my way.

I arrive in Montreal to find there is major construction (read: closed) on the very route that I need to take to get to my client. I had to re-route through downtown Montreal and parts of old Montreal; narrow streets and finally under a low profile overpass. Just squeaked under that with an inch to spare.

Got the client on time. The 07h00 appointment turned into an 11h30 unload. Go figure! Then, CFIA, on location decides to re-inspect the entire load again. I finally got out of the clients yard at 16h00. The entire day completely pooched! "Well, that it," I say to myself, I'm going home, and it was so good!