RHYMES WITH TRUCK

Saturday, April 21, 2018

This Weeks Winter Storm: Xanto.

Nine Day Trip.
____ Peat-moss for Scott`s of Cresson, Texas, one of the major suppliers of dirt for Walmart. Leaving Tuesday with the number one priority of a rendezvous with the breakfast buffet at the Winstar Casino on Thursday morning. A night at the Petromart in Missouri Valley before getting a free nose-bag at on the Oklahoma-Texas stateline; over 55 player-club members only. Then onto Cresson after the Fort Worth early-morning rush has subsided. A busy packing plant in an area where spring planting is in full swing.

____ The reload is from Laredo, appointment 11 o`clock on Friday, so a leisurely run down Interstate 35; empty rather than fully freighted. Into the TA with no need to set the alarm clock. It`s the regular shopfitting trans-shipping bonded warehose; a bonded load for a new supermarket in Saskatchewan, exiting the US through Pembina, North Dakota. Enough time after loading to get back to the Winstar at Thackerville, after battling the busy 35 through San Antone, Austin, Temple, Waco and Fort Worth.

____ Saturday is one long slog; trying to get as far North before I meet Xanto on it`s way South. Omaha is where the snow meets the Kenworth and the wipers struggle to clear the windshield. By Misssouri Valley it is blizzard conditions with reports of Interstate closures in South Dakota. The friendly Petromart Travel Plaza makes a good pit-stop for the night as the horizontal snow flies by and is still flying when I leave in the morning. Running on hard-packed ice and snow into the wind with only three tonnes of cargo soon tensions the neck muscles. But south of Watertown, Interstate 29 turns to the North-West and the wind lays on the side of the trailer. I feel the drive tyres spinning on more than one occasion, back the speed down and hope I don`t catch a strong gust on an extra slippery section. A wind-blown jack-knife is a distinct possibility but I safely reach Stone`s Truckstop and lunch before the road turns back North and going gets better.

____ At the Gas-Trak, Pembina, I call in to collect the faxed lead-sheet needed to cross back into Canada; it`s not there. After a series of text messages; the office reveals that they had me set-up to cross the border at Portal, 281 miles to the West. It`s the first I have heard about it. I have the option to sit at Pembina until Monday morning when the border-crossing can be changed or drive over to Portal and cross there. But when I point out that the exit border for the bond is Pembina and that I told them on Friday to send the fax to the Gas-Trak, all of a sudden it is possible to send the fax to where I am quietly fuming. Maybe they sensed my anger at being parked at the border for 18 hours because of their incompetence. There is not enough time to go home for the night so I try-out the new Flying`J at Ste Agathe.

____ Onto Saskatoon and a Tuesday morning delivery at a storage warehouse where the company is going to deliver the chiller cabinets as and when they are called for. Then wood-chips from Prince Albert and I get it right  this time. To PA and loaded by 1 o`clock, down to Brandon for the night before delivering the load to the Blue Water Truckwash. They wash-out a lot of livestock trailers and supply bales of wood-chips for their next assignments. It`s a regular drop just switch the loaded trailer for an empty and run back to Steinbach.

Still Winter in Missouri Valley, Iowa

Ice.

Heavy-haul brigade getting ready to leave the Husky at Saskatoon after early morning snowfall.

The full nine days of the trip; mileage and hours.
   

Monday, April 9, 2018

Winter Storm Wilbur.

Seven Day Trip.
____ Peat-moss, loaded in the morning and ready to leave at 1 o'clock when the customs entry has been done. Leaving Monday for a Thursday delivery in Laredo with a Winter storm warning in effect for South Dakota. The bright sunshine finishes at Fargo and when the Sisseton scale-house is closed, I know it is going to be bad. That weigh-bridge is always open unless the operators feel they might not get home at the end of their shift. Sure enough, the biggest climb on Interstate 29, up to Summit, is a sheet of ice. My badly worn drive tyres spin their way to the top while the windshield wipers become swishing blocks of ice. The Coffee Cup Travel Plaza is the best option in such conditions as the temperature drop to -15C in the gale force westerly.

____ Conditions are still tricky in the morning but the wind is now from the North and I don't need the wipers if I don't go too fast. South of Sioux Falls, the snow turns to slush, by Sioux City the roads are bare and dry. A big second day gets me into Oklahoma, followed by another big hit down to San Antonio and the job is back on track. Off-loaded in Laredo and off to Corpus Christi for the re-load. The loading appointment is for Friday at 10.30 but I roll-up on the off-chance that they will load it on Thursday afternoon. The pigment factory is just a short walk from the beach, the aquarium and the USS Lexington, an open-to-the-public aircraft-carrier. One of the few times that I am disappointed to get loaded early. Back up to San Antonio for a warm night at the TA.

____ Another cold-weather front is coming down across the Mid-west with the promise of freezing-rain. I swerve to the east in an attempt to avoid the worst of it; getting to Joplin in a full day's driving. Five centimetres of snow fall overnight but by Kansas City, the roads are bare and dry with just the threat of yet another storm coming through on Sunday. Back to Summit for another cold night on the high ground of South Dakota before leaving early on the last leg of the trip. The load is for Winnipeg but I take the trailer back to Steinbach and wonder if this Winter will ever end.

The bleak Coffee Cup Travel Plaza at Summit, South Dakota.

Waking-up to snow on the hood at the Petro 44 in Joplin, Missouri.

Seeking shelter from the snow.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Four Of A Kind.

The Way Down.
The Way Back Up.

____ For the fourth time in a row: the load back to Canada is destined for Calgary in Alberta. But it is a change from peat-moss and paper for the  south-bound cargo. Four drops of double-glazed windows, the same job that I have done previously for Flying Eagle and Payne Transportation. A lighter load that gives me a chance to run the back roads south of Watertown, South Dakota. Down to Hutchinson in Kansas for a Monday delivery, before exhausting the rest of the day, heading for drop Number 2 at Marshall, Texas.

____ Spread-out multi-drop work leads to shorter days but I do get rid of the third consignment at Austin. There is a bomber causing fear and panic in the Texas capital city; I'm keen to get out of town and down towards the last  delivery at Rockport. By the time I have an empty trailer the bomber has blown-up himself. My instructions are for re-loading at 2 o'clock in Laredo. More shop-fittings for the same new Asian supermarket in Calgary. The familiar run North, Highway 83, Highway 287, Interstates 70, 25, 90. A dust-storm on 70 before Denver and the usual Mistral on 25 between Cheyenne and Douglas.

____ Into Canada on Sunday afternoon and as I know the delivery site has ample parking, I put the trailer on an unloading bay ready for the morning. A good thing I did as two more Ruby trucks arrive at 8 o'clock. Then it's off to Saskatchewan for a cargo of salt; to be loaded on Tuesday, delivered on Wednesday at a hardware store in Arborg; one hour north of Winnipeg. Most of the daytime temperatures have been above freezing but the trip has a sting in the tail. I wake-up to a blizzard in Arborg. It is only two hundred yards from my parking spot at the hardware store to the Co-op fuel station but I am the coldest I have been all Winter by the time I get back to the truck with my morning coffee. Then by the time I have dragged 24 tonnes of salt to the back of the trailer, I'm soaked in sweat. Now I'm writing this with a runny nose after breaking out the shorts and sandals in Texas one week earlier.
Blue Beacon Truck Wash at York, Nebraska.

Bling Over-Load on  old Volvo.

Dust Storm on Interstate 70 in Colorado.

Peruvian Roast Chicken and Mexican Beer at Calgary, Alberta.

Icy Manitoba Highway 7 on the way back from Arborg.

Seeing Double with Sapphire Number 02.

12 Day Trip; the longest of the four of a kind.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The New Truckstops Trip.

11 Day Trip.
____ Day time temperatures are warmer but it is still pretty cold at night. This leads to early Sunday morning trouble when I find the trailer is frozen to the ground and the drive tyres are spinning on a sheet of ice. With a little fore-thought, I should have put on a couple of snow-chains before backing under the trailer. Luckily another Ruby driver is also leaving at the same time; he pulls the Kenworth out of the puddle of frozen snow-melt. A snow storm is forecast for later in the day but I manage to stay ahead of any bad weather; even with the bad luck of being selected for a DoT vehicle inspection at the Sisseton scale in South Dakota.

____ From the Coffee Cup Travel Plaza at Vermillion to the Choctaw Travel Stop at Thackerville is an uneventful second day; followed by more of the same as I reach Hidalgo on Wednesday morning. A quick cross-docking of the peat-moss onto a Mexican Dub'ya Nine and I am away to Laredo for a trailer switch at the new yard. Stopping for fuel at the new Pilot Truckstop at Falfurrias; mid way between Hidalgo and Laredo. After a few years of stagnation, there seems to be an explosion of new travel plazas at the moment. Love's open a new site every month and Pilot/Flying'J are expanding too. Big investments in what must be considered secondary positions as all the prime Interstate locations have long gone. But good news for truck-drivers as more parking spots and facilities help ease the burden of ELDs.

____ For the third time on the trot, the destination of the triangle's second leg is Calgary, Alberta. Shop fittings of only three and a half tons which helps enormously with the journey; as I am expected to make a Monday morning delivery and get back into Canada in less than 70 hours of driving time. Another brand new Pilot Truckstop is the over-night halt at Lamar in Colorado but not before I have re-fueled at the Rip Griffin Travel Centre, Tulia. Rip Griffin started building truckstops in 1962, sold eleven sites to TA in 2004 but kept nine in the Lubbock area of West Texas. Mr. Griffin died in 2017, aged 87. Old style service and new only a few hours apart.

____ Northbound and onto higher ground, the wind picks-up and leans on the lightly loaded trailer. Interstate 25 in Wyoming is notorious for the gales from the West but I make it through to Sheridan; just keeping out of cruise-control and easing back on the exposed bridge-decks. At the third brand new truckstop of the trip, I wake up to heavy snow on a Saturday morning. Common Cents is the name of the truckstop and common-sense tells me to sit-tight until the weather front blows through. I'm away just after Noon; five hundred miles to the Canadian border and on to Lethbridge, Alberta, with a couple of hours left of my weekly 70 allowance.

____ Sunday is a day of rest and round to the new Calgary supermarket on Monday morning. Unloaded and the re-load is something I have done before; Acheson, near Edmonton, to Niverville, near Steinbach. But it might of helped if I had read the message correctly! I get up to Acheson only to find that I should have been loading at the company's other packing plant at Prince Albert in Saskatchewan. My mistake adds about a hundred miles to the empty dead-head but the wood-chip people give me a load from Acheson to help me on my way. The punishment load is to Fort Saskatchewan; which would have been nice if it was in Saskatchewan but it is only the other side of Edmonton.

____ It is frightening that I can still make such stupid mistakes after being a truck-driver for over forty years. Crack-on; I'm sure the office will have noticed but as they never say anything when I do a good job then I don't think they will much about a faut-pas. Eventually loaded in PA and on to Niverville for a quick unloading before running back to the yard. Eleven days for the trip; the longest of the trio after an 8 and a ten.

Brand new Pilot at Falfurrias, Texas, where the manager said I was the Canadian customer.

The peat-moss went from one Kenworth W900 to another at Hidalgo.

The Rip Griffin name still lives on at West Texas truckstops.

76 different barbed wires on display at Coopers BBQ, Junction, Texas.

Oil-field heavy-haul did well to find a big enough parking spot at the Calgary Flying'J.

List of new Pilot/Flying'J Truckstops with a new one, quite close, at Ste Agathe in Manitoba. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Elrose Rounder

10 Day Trip.
4881 Miles.
____ After the Bank Holiday Monday, the truck was in the workshop on Tuesday morning for an oil change and service. Away just after Midday with peat-moss for Laredo; getting down to Vermillion, where the weather wasn't any warmer than Manitoba. Winter still gripping the Prairies with cold winds across Kansas and freezing rain in Oklahoma. The big TV screens in the restaurant at the Cowboy Travel Plaza show chaos on Interstate 35 as I eat my brisket sandwich. The weather is the news and I decide to stay-put even though I have driving hours and day-light hours left.

____ The ice rain has stopped by early morning but every surface that has not been sanded is covered with sheet ice. A couple of gritters swing by the travel plaza for coffee and two bull-haulers take advantage of the sanding to pull-out. I follow. The Interstate is driveable but the shoulder is littered with big-rigs, all the way to the Texas stateline. The shut-down of the previous evening left many truck-drivers with no driving hours to move on when things got better. One of the consequences of the new electronic logs that would never have been seen before.

____ San Antonio is as far as I get on Day Three and again an item from the Severe Weather Menu has something in store for me. A thunderstorm at 03.00 hours is still circling at six o'clock; drenching drivers as they go for coffee and aqua-planing muscle-cars into water-filled ditches before dawn. By Laredo, the roads are dry. Into Ruby Truck Line's new trailer yard for a quick switch; a load of fruit drinks for Calgary. Highway 83 to Sweetwater, 84 to Amarillo, 87 to Raton, New Mexico. The same trip as the week before, so to change the scenery, I choose the volcanic black-rock Grande Sierra. But this gives problems at the end of the day; not many truck-stops on the Interstate 25, south of Denver. I reject the tatty Tomahawk; the Love's destination turns out to be "Cars and RV's only." The only Rest Area is closed and I am left with the prospect of a night on an on-ramp. Luckily, the Castle Rock Park and Ride is at my last exit as the clock ticks down to less than 10 minutes.

____ A quiet night with four other trucks and a few visitors for which Park and Ride has a completely different meaning on a Saturday night. North and into colder weather; the liquid cargo is liable to freeze and break the glass bottles. An icy blast greets me in Wyoming and reminds me to start the "Hot Box," a diesel-engined heater that sits at the front of the trailer. Set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it cuts in and out for the rest of the journey to Calgary.

____ Drinks delivered and unlike the last trip, there is a reload to go back to Winnipeg. Lentils from a farm, deep in the heart of Saskatchewan. An early morning appointment, seven miles East of Elrose, where the the lentils are augered from a grain bin, into the bagging shed, along the conveyor belt and into the trailer. All 680 of them and it takes all morning. A heavy load with not enough time to deliver into Winnipeg before morning. Luckily, it's a trailer-drop and I can bob-tail back to the yard.

Ruby trailer line-up in the new yard at Laredo, Texas.

Thermo-King Hot Box and control box on the front of a dry-freight box-van.

The bob-tail Western Star seemed to have been abandoned.

Lentil loading system at a farm near Elrose in Saskatchewan.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Broken Spoke.

Eight Days - 4728 Miles.
Average of just under 600 miles a day in 9 hours 45 minutes.
____ Leaving on a Saturday has the advantage that the trailer is loaded and the paperwork is all prepared on Friday afternoon. I get to choose at what time I leave on the 1720 mile run to Laredo in Texas; aiming for a Tuesday morning delivery. I get going early; maximizing all available daylight and hoping to get far enough South to enjoy warmer temperatures. It's disappointing to reach Percival, Iowa, in a snow-storm and minus 16 C. After a hard days work of cruise control at 66 mph on the Interstate 29; the Detroit Diesel idles all night at 800 rpm. It is another full driving shift before the motor gets switched off for the night at Hillsboro, Texas, where it is finally warmer than zero.

____ A short third day gives me time to relax in the warm afternoon sunshine of Laredo before unloading the next day. Then, after a quick trailer switch, pedal to the metal once again with a load that has come out of Mexico and needs to be in Calgary on Friday morning. The up and coming Holiday Weekend makes me think the sooner I am in Alberta the better. Amarillo is the first night's stop on the north-bound leg; a with a late arrival at the Travelcenter of America. The second night's destination is Casper, Wyoming, but strong winds from the West start buffeting the trailer before I have reached Denver. By the Colorado/Wyoming border at Cheyenne, the overhead signs are warning of 60 mph gusts and restrictions for lightly-loaded high-sided vehicles.

____ 25,000 lbs is not a light load but not as heavy as I would have liked. The truckstops are jammed with parked-up trucks not willing to tackle the exposed high-ground that Interstate 25 crosses as it heads North to Wheatland. High winds are a regular problem in this area; I've run this road in a blow before and decide to give it a go. I keep it below 50 mph and the back of the trailer sits out of line by about a foot. The tricky places are where the high bluffs on west side of the highway shelter the rig before the wind blasts the trailer when rocky outcrops end. Slow down when the wind drops because it is going to come back stronger. But does a faster truck get blown over easier than a slow one? I don't know. Maybe the five drivers of the blown-over vehicles that I passed could have given me the answer but they were all abandoned and awaiting recovery when the winds abated.

____ As darkness fell, so did the wind-speed. Driving-hours didn't allow me to reach Casper as planned. The Broken Spoke Truckstop at Douglas was an adequate substitute with it's popular restaurant but with a parking area that resembled a nearly dried-up riverbed. Broken Spoke could have easily been Broken Wheel, Broken Axle or Broken Chassis-rail. Day Three and the trip resumed in windy conditions, this time with enough snowfall to make it a blizzard. At Buffalo, Interstate 90 was closed for the section to Sheridan. Everyone descended on to the streets of Buffalo for two hours before blue skies and sunshine appeared as the weather front blew through.

____ Then it was Wacky Races as we all hit the road again. The heavy and the light, the high-powered and the slow, the timid and the brave, all jockeying for position on the rolling hills. All on a surface of hard-packed snow with drifting and dusting cutting the visibility. By Sheridan, an evenly spaced order had been established but the scale at the Port of Entry concertina-ed the convoy back into chaos. The flat land around the Little Bighorn Battle site in Montana eased the congestion before the snow-covered streets of Billings ground everything to a halt. The two-lane cross-country short-cut to Great Falls was a daunting prospect but the wind had dropped, along with the temperature. It was turning into a long day of high-concentration driving with speed and distance of minor importance. The day's final destination of Shelby had been quickly amended to Great Falls.

____ The Pilot Truckstop sits on the high ground up by the airport, overlooking the town of Great Falls in the Missouri Valley. Exposed to the bitter cold northerly wind, I had idled the engine all night to keep the cab warm and avoid problems with gelling in the diesel filters. Surprisingly, the temperatures rose during the night to only minus 4. By the time I had crossed the border and done the final 300 miles into Calgary, it was +1 and thawing. Trailers swapped at a home improvement RDC by 10 o'clock local time; but a puncture in one of the drive tyres needs repairing. The re-load for the final leg of the triangle had always been the weak link of the trip. No news after the tyre is repaired, nothing after I've showered at the Flying'J. A long weekend is imminent; at 3 o'clock I get the instructions to return home empty.

____There is enough time to get to Redcliff, Alberta, on the 870 mile un-freighted un-profitable run. Nice of the company to get me back for the Bank Holiday without me asking but I can't help thinking that this sort of empty running will further delay a much needed pay rise. An early start from Redcliff with a tail-wind helping the fuel consumption. Bare and dry roads for the nearly seven hundred miles that has to be done in just over 11 hours. A big stamp done with 12 minutes to spare. The finish of an eight day trip with the driving-hours rolled-over to maximum effect, just the failure of the office to find that final piece of the jigsaw that spoiled a good trip.

Satellite view of the section of Interstate 90 that was closed between Buffalo and Sheridan in Wyoming.

$250 fine for doing a U-turn in the delivery yard at Laredo. Too small for me to even contemplate it.

Coopers B-B-Q. Junction, Texas. Yet another Brisket sandwich for lunch. 

Metal spike in a drive tyre. Luckily noticed before it became un-repairable.
  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Today In The Mountains, Tomorrow, The World.

18 Days For The Whole Trip.

3 Day Run From The West Coast.
____ A rainy weekend spread into a wet Monday as I loaded on Annacis Island for Winnipeg. Fourteen tonne in the trailer as I set out East; tackling a slushy Coquihalla with more confidence than the west-bound crossing. Trying to get as much done in daylight as dirt sprayed the truck and turned to ice on impact. From Revelstoke, over the Rogers Pass and onto Golden, the headlights became dimmer, the mirrors and windows filthier despite frequent stops for cleaning. The Husky at Golden seemed an attractive overnight stop even though I still had driving hours available.

____ Dawn on a new day and I'm away; Ten Mile Hill and the Kicking Horse Pass climbing into the clouds. Then the Continental Divide; from British Columbia into Alberta and bright sunshine. Downhill to Calgary with the weather influence from the Arctic; to Redcliff for fuel and the fitting of the Winter front. Minus twenties with ice on the inside of the north-facing drivers-side window. A late finish at Whitewood, Saskatchewan, 747 miles for the day. An eight hour break before cracking-on; getting the trip finished on the eighteenth day when it should have been done inside a fortnight.

Heading for the brightness of Alberta on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Colder Temperatures on the eastern side of the Continental Divide.

Grain silo on made to measure trailer.

Ice on the inside.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Flin Flon And On and On.

The first part of the trip; up to the first log-hours reset at Oakley, Kansas.

From Oakley, Kansas, to Delta, BC, via Victoria and the second reset of the trip.
____ From Steinbach, early on a Sunday morning; around the Winnipeg ring-road before heading North on Highway 6. Bitterly cold with snow forecast; it arrives at Devil's Lake and the Highway 60, across to The Pas, is on a carpet of un-ploughed and drifting snow. North of The Pas, the road is better but the day-light is finished well before I finish the five hundred miles to Flin Flon. I have a vague address of Hwy 10A and hope to park in the car-park of an un-finished supermarket; which is easily found beside the Walmart Superstore. However, after consulting with a friendly snow-plough driver about overnight parking at Walmart; he informs me that I have the wrong supermarket. Walmart's neighbour with the papered-over windows is the recently closed IGA super-store and the new Co-op is 200 yards down the road. We discuss the absurdity of one super-store closing while another is being built before the absurdity of discussing such things in temperatures of -30C sends us back to our vehicles.

____ Flin Flon was named after Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin who was a character in a book called "The Sunless City." It is a hard-rock mining town that started in the 1920's, but I don't get a chance to explore before I am quickly unloaded and despatched to The Pas. The paper mill has a load going to Laredo; a good find by the office from the load-data boards on the Web. A heavy load with a long way to go, but good traction on the hard-packed snow that extends south of the border and through the Dakotas. Still freezing at Percival, Iowa, the third night-out; but by Oklahoma and into Texas, things are looking up for the Friday morning drop in Laredo.

____ From Laredo, across to Waller for a trailer switch; buoyed by the prospect of a visit to Vancouver Island. Two drops, Calgary, Alberta, and Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The two extra days at the start of the trip mean that a 36 hour driving-hours break is inevitable. After a lot of checking of maps, temperatures and truckstops; I select Mittens. The Oakley, Kansas, truckstop in the TA Truckstop group; clean, friendly, comfortable and wonderful showers. All these things and now calling itself "The Western Kansas Wildlife Travel Center." The word "Life" is a bit misleading because all the wild animals are dead and stuffed.

____ Out of Oakley northwards, across country with just 20,000 lbs of cargo; up to Ogallala, then US Highway 26, north-west into Wyoming. On to Sheridan, for the night; setting up the long haul into Calgary. But even a Level 2 DoT inspection at Interstate 15 scale doesn't stop me getting to the Calgary Flying'J before dark. The positive temperatures of the evening plummet to -15C by dawn. Half the trailer delivered and into the mountains with snow-flurries and trepidation; a little more weight and a little more tread on the drive tyres would ease the tension in my neck muscles. But after the Continental Divide at the BC/Alberta border, the wind drops, the temperature rises and the filth from the road sprays the truck relentlessly. About 50 mpg for screenwash. By Revelstoke to Kamloops, the road is bare and dry. I push on in the darkness and hope it is the same for the Coquihalla Pass. The summit is down to one lane of ice and slush, grip is not good, I tuck in behind a slow-coach letting the brave fly by. Coming down is no better, but when the flurries turn to rain then my worries turn to finding a parking spot in the Flying'J at Hope. Another long day.

____ Out of Hope with the number 17 on my mind. Turn-off the Trans-Canada Highway onto 17 and it takes you straight to the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen. From Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island, Highway 17 to the Trans-Canada Highway and the delivery is at the junction of the two. Just a half hour wait before departure on the half-full Coastal Renaissance at 9 o'clock. Ninety minutes of calm water and a bit of jinking about through the Gulf Islands and I'm pulling off the boat after my first ferry crossing in a truck for about eight years. Thirty minutes down to the northern outskirts of Victoria for a quick tip and back at the ferry terminal to line up for the 1 o'clock crossing back to the mainland.

____ Reload is for Regina, Saskatchewan, from Port Coquitlam; load Friday, tip Monday. But after I get there, they discover it is a hazardous load and Ruby Truck Line doesn't have insurance for it. Eventually, I get told what I was fearing; no reload until Monday. By that time, I'm in Chilliwack, consoling myself with all-you-can-eat fish and chips at C-Lovers Seafood Restaurant. On Sunday morning, I run back to Delta, ready for the reload from Annacis Island and with the Super Bowl on the big-screen at the Tidewater Pub.

At Devil's Lake, Manitoba.

Snowed over rear lights again and again.

Tribute Wrap.

First seven days of the trip.

Chimney Rock in Western Nebraska.

Slippery conditions through out the trip.

Double trailer load of round bales in Montana.

Threatening skies above the Banff National Park.

Well-sanded section of the Trans-Canada Highway in the Rocky Mountains.

Waiting at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

Passing another of BC Ferries Push-Me-Pull-You boats among the Gulf Islands.

Five pieces of cod to start with at C-Lovers All You Can Eat Plaice at Chilliwack, BC.