Friday, October 1, 2010


____DAY 1: Before I leave the yard, the trailer axles need moving back to their regular spot at the 41 feet wheelbase mark. Sliding axles come in two degrees of difficulty: reluctant and seized solid. It needs a 4 inch strap around the pin release handle running across to a winch on a nearby stepdeck plus plenty of hammering with the snipe bar. But it's good to have the rig set up right before leaving on a 1400 mile trip to Ontario with a full load of steel beams. After all the metal on metal banging, my hands are still fizzing when I start the log book; it looks like it's been written by a four year old.
____DAY 2: From White River to Mount Forest, a full days driving through the changing colours of Autumn. Even a ruffty-tuffty trucker stamping across the continent with a huge carbon footprint can't help but admire the splendour of nature along the North Shore. Mount Forest is a typical small country town of Ontario, tree lined streets on  the crossroads of Highways 6 and 89.
____DAY 3: A rainy morning for unloading the beams; then south to Oakville and a preloaded trailer of roof panels, back to Manitoba. By now the rain is so heavy that I postpone tarping for two hours, luckily the traffic out of town is still light by the time I get going. Back to Sault Ste.Marie for the night; third high mileage day in a row.
____DAY 4: The tourist season has finished but the roadwork season is still in full swing. The dollies with the lollies seem to have a boring job with their traffic control duties but it can have moments of high drama when big black bears come out of the woods to check out their lunchboxes. While waiting for the return of the pilot car at one site, a park ranger pulled out of a dirt track with a black bear who had been captured overnight after being a nuisance. But even in a bear trap, a black bear still has a trick up his sleeve, or should I say nostril. Stick a camera in his face and SNORT: you'll be sprayed with snot. I  was.
____DAY 5: From Dryden back to the yard for midday; the crane needed for the unloading at Peguis is not booked until 9 o'clock tomorrow. Meanwhile; a celebration of Farley Fries' 25 years service at Big Freight. A barbecue, speeches and the presentation of a brand new silver Kenworth T800. The fourth silver truck on the fleet and Farley will soon suffer the same fate as the others. None of his workmates will recognise him without his green truck.

____DAY 6: Two hours north of Winnipeg is the settlement of the Peguis First Nation. My load is the roof of the new medical centre, a project of the Action Plan for regeneration of the economy. A crane lifts the crates onto the roof, not a quick job but when it is finished; a job giving satisfaction.
____Overall Distance:- 4740 kms.

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