Friday, October 29, 2010

Trip XXXI.

____DAY 1: It wasn't quite the birthday date from hell; but it's all I can think about as I drive from Steinbach across the Prairies to Lintlaw in Saskatchewan on  Sunday afternoon. I wasn't expecting a voucher for birthday sex, but nor was I expecting a confrontation with someone pretending to be harder than Vinnie Jones; who could build a brick wall better and quicker than Jimmy Nail. Her system works well for the lady; chauffeured from door to door, wined and dined, plus a $460 win on the slot machines. But for me, Convoy on DVD and a couple of bottles of Bud at home alone now seem so much more attractive.
____DAY 2: The first two of three drops, at Lintlaw and North Battleford are done and I fire up the "Sat-nav" to see my arrival time at Meadow Lake: 18.04, too late. Then it all clicks into place: why I can't get this damn woman out of my mind. The person in my Garmin Gps navigation system is her! The same matter of fact, she who must be obeyed, tone of voice. When she says "Recalculating", I know darn well what she means is: "You've messed it up! Now I have to do all that work again. Idiot!"
____DAY 3: The patch of mud, next door to the A & W Restaurant seemed a good idea last night; but with overnight temperatures going down to -8, I wake up to find the truck frozen to the ground. Some sharp jerks are needed from the jerk at the wheel to break free. Last of the snowmobiles are delivered, exactly one week after being loaded, 2440 miles away. The reload is chipboard, from the nearby Tolko OSB plant; a 609 mile run down to North Dakota. Loaded ,tarped and away by lunchtime, but soon snow starts falling and blowing. Tricky conditions and after nightfall they become impossible; whiteout and the speed I can do is so slow, I risk being hit from the rear. The big parking area at Chamberlain is filling up quickly as I arrive with the same idea as many others.

 ____DAY 4: Highway 11 is hard packed snow, polished to a shine; nobody leaves before dawn. I have 300 miles to go until Williston,ND. I can be the slowest truck on the road and still deliver Thursday morning on schedule. The 4-lane to Regina is bad, two jack-knifed semis and scores of cars in the ditches, but there's not much out there and given the room; I plod down to the border at Portal. North Dakota is no better; nobody has cleared any snow. Williston is chaos; it's a boom town with plenty of oil and gas exploration going on, but not a snow plough in sight. I'm lucky to find a spot at the OK Truckstop and spend several minutes rolling back and forth; setting up a launch pad, ready for the morning.

  ____DAY 5: What did we do before the introduction of the four wheel drive, four wheel steer zoom-boom telescopic fork-lift truck? The construction site where I am delivering is a snowy wasteland and I cannot even get near the kerb but I am unloaded in no time by a machine that couldn't get within 10 feet of the trailer. Next is a trailer swap at Brandon, back in Manitoba, 300 miles empty along US Highway 2; through Minot to Rugby, then north, back into Canada at Boisevain. The roads are now bare and dry, mainly cleared by the blowing wind and at Brandon, there has been no snow at all. Not quite the tarp load from hell; but bad enough, although with 1550 miles to Quebec Province and a delivery time of Tuesday, midday, I'll have time to recover. Back to Steinbach for a rest and reset as winter kicks in with a sharp shock.
____Overall Distance: 2891 kms.


  1. You stick to those Quebec jobs and leave the south to us.

  2. You had me worried when I saw there was a comment. I thought it was What's Her Name wanting to say something.