____Day 1: There is a load of lumber already in the yard, waiting to go to Saint Peters; a suburb of St. Louis in Missouri. But the trailer has a punctured tyre, so it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon before I'm ready to leave. Paul Wilby in CSJ 563 has a similar load for the same area. We leave together; but by the border, I'm through and away before he arrives; I don't see him again for two days.
____Day 2: From Sauk Centre, around the Twin Cities and down into Iowa. Taking the four-lane mix of US Highways 18, 218 and 61. A good flowing route that brings me out on the Interstate 70, two junctions from my drop. The small truckstop at Exit 222 doesn't have a space for the night, so I make do with the road on the industrial estate outside my lumber yard.
____Day 3: Unloaded straight away in the morning and already having my reload instructions; straight down Interstate 55 to Jackson for a shipment of the wire-mesh shelving that I did a couple of months ago. Mr. Wilby turns up as I am loading; he too is going to Edmonton, Alberta. We leave together and are still together when we stop for the night at Farris in Faucett, a major truckstop on the Interstate 29, north of Kansas City.
____Day 4: CSJ 563 stands for Company Super Jumbo 563 and is one of the trucks that was specced for a glass hauling job that no-longer exists. The Canadian glass manufacturer closed and the Super B double trailer 63,500 kg combinations cannot run in the US. Paul's truck has 40 extra horsepower, 5 extra gears and about 1 mph extra on top speed. One thousand kilometres during the day, each, to reach Carrington in North Dakota.
____Day 5: We have both been given four days to do the two thousand miles from Missouri to Alberta; but with only 20,000 lbs of shelving, we decide to deliver a day early. Finding a puncture at Weyburn loses me two hours and by that time Paul has long gone. But North Battleford leaves just a short run in the morning.
____Day 6: The load is safely delivered and it proves to be my last load for BFS. I sit all day at the Husky Truckstop in Acheson before being told to return empty to Steinbach; totally uneconomic but I said in my letter of resignation that I was leaving on Friday the 13th and the company sees no other way of getting me back home. Getting to Saskatoon leaves me with just enough driving hours to finish the job.
____Day 7: CSJ 563 turns up during the night; loaded with lumber from Drayton Valley, going to South Dakota for a Monday morning delivery. Paul and I run back to the yard, calling in at Yorkton and Gladstone for cups of tea. I don't often run with an other truck and prefer generally to do my own thing. But with some one like Paul, who is so like minded, we never discussed anything; just ate, fuelled and stopped at the same places automatically. But it took the whole week to get tuned in to Paul's broad Yorkshire accent; without asking him to repeat himself. I think he mumbles.
____Overall Distance: 6312 km.