____Day 1: It’s 4 days and 2 hours since I got back and told the workshop about a wiring fault on the trailer. When they finally get round to doing the repair; it takes less than 30 minutes! I get paid by the mile and nothing for waiting about at home: enough toys come out of the pram to let every one know how unhappy I am. Sunday, I came in and went back home; Monday, I finish just before midnight at Sauk Centre.
____Day 2: Arriving, early afternoon, at Menards’ Eau Claire distribution centre has the advantage that I miss the early morning rush and I’m unloaded without any waiting. The reload is steel from near Chicago, so I head down to the Portage Petro for the night. Where a respectable middle-aged woman, in the parking lot, asks where I’m heading. Our paths cross again in the restaurant when she asks for money to buy food. She speaks of being stranded and that she needs to get back to Florida. The manageress tells her to leave before I get the full story. I conclude she fell for the old “Honey check the brake lights” routine; handbag out the window and he’s going, going, gone. I do have that one in my armoury but have never had to use it.
____Day 3: At Woodstock, Illinois, I have instructions to “poly-wrap” the steel, to keep it dry. The shipper has none so I must supply my own. Luckily, there is a Fleet Farm Store within walking distance so I’m back with $8.76 worth of polythene sheets without losing my place in the line. But the stuff is thin and fragile; I could buy a couple of cans of Harmony Invisible-hold Hair Spray; it works well as a short-term measure in keeping rust away from bare metal. But I do have a couple of good tarps and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Still fine and dry at Hasty, Minnesota.
____Day 4: The load doesn't get rained on; but only because it snows. Away from Hasty as soon as possible, I push straight through to Winnipeg by the early afternoon. The steel gets signed for: clean and dry, which is a relief, as blowing snow can sometimes get to places that rain water cannot. A reload was sorted out earlier in the day and I have just enough time to get the lumber loaded. Home to Steinbach before dark.
____Overall Distance: 2654 km.