Monday, March 22, 2010

Trip IX.

____DAY 1: C 596 needed new brake-shoes and never came out the workshops till noon on Wednesday so the lumber load from Kenora was given to another truck. My new load was already in the Steinbach yard; a trailer of OSB, loaded in Meadow Lake and going to Elkhart, In. More RV flooring but for a different address from last week. Tarped and away by 2 o'clock, I get as far as Hasty,Mn. A small but adequate truck-stop with a large parking that never fills up completely which can be a problem when finishing late.
____DAY 2: Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the raccoon it could be done. What's a matter with these critters? Sleep all winter, then given a few warm days and they're up; wandering about on the nearest four lane highway. Don't they know a fast moving Chevy is gonna make a mess of 'em? I lost count. But the skies are alive again, the geese are on the way back north.
____DAY 3: Flooring delivered and I'm back at the parking by the toll-road exit waiting for a reload. A plan arrived yesterday but soon got cancelled with a promise of something "More important." BEEP. For "Important" read "Difficult." Three pick-ups in the Chicago area and it's already 10 o'clock on a Friday. First is an empty 20 foot container going to East Grand Forks, Minnesota ,that's not right, pick-up and drop in the US; so I enquire about the legallity and am assured that because it is empty equipment that it is alright to move it. I'm not so sure as it is a job that a US company could easily do and is called cabotage or interstating. Do I write a Bill of Lading for a canadian address, then write another when I get to East Grand Forks or do I ask for a letter from BFS giving the job details and saying it is all legal? A fax is waiting for me at the Flying J in Gary, In; I pick it up on my way to get the container. The other two pick-ups are for Castle Metals in Selkirk,Mb; one from Woodstock, Il, the other from Pleasent Prairie in Wisconsin. At the last, I'm told I have to supply my own dunnage and it's nearly 5 o'clock, I'm relieved to find they don't close until ten. Time for a trip to Menards. All loaded just before dark, then it starts to snow, busy Friday night traffic makes for difficult end to a busy day.
____DAY 4: From Portage, Wi. to Fargo, ND. and plenty of time to call in to Cabela's at Rogers, Mn. One of my favorite places to spend a few hours looking for a bargain. I take the camera, maybe I can get some shots of the stuffed animals, upload them on Facebook and everyone will think I'm a brilliant wildlife photographer. But there are all these little wooden signs saying things like "Elk", "Polar Bear" or "Mountain Lion"; someone might spot them. I buy some new trainers.
____DAY 5: The crossroads of two Interstates is a logical place for a truckstop; 94 and 29 crossing at Fargo, ND has three pretty good ones. The Flying J has good showers, a bar and motel attached plus I carry their loyalty card. The Stamart has the best quality fuel, is next door to the Kenworth dealer and the cheapest laundry with an excellent all-important clothes-folding table. The Petro has the best menu, does "Idle-aire", the shore based A/C and heating service and BFS has an account at the workshops. It is also within walking distance of other attractions and it is here I spend my Sunday. Ending up in the nearby Home Depot, winding them up with "Fork handles.....No.....Four candles"; when will they learn to leave me alone?
____DAY 6: On the way to Grand Forks, the Red River is flooded up onto the Interstate 29 carriageway, an annual event but not as bad as last year. The Red is one of the few north flowing rivers in the world and it is the colder northern weather causing thick ice north of Winnipeg that stops the earlier thawing southern snow from escaping downstream. Container delivered and onto Selkirk, which by coincidence is also on the banks of the Red River. Back to Steinbach empty.
____Overall distance: 2950 kms.

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