Thursday, August 11, 2011

Georgia Overdrive.

____Day 1: The last trip was to Aberdeen; this one's going to Georgia and there is a connection. What is "Aberdeen Overdrive" in the UK, is "Georgia Overdrive" in the US. The first and last time I tried that; nineteen-seventy-something. I had a Leyland Buffalo off the clock, northbound out of Swindon on the A419 with twenty tons of sugar. Coasted halfway to Cirencester; knocking it out of gear is easy, getting it back in is the problem. Niverville to the TA at Albert Lea on a Friday, after a midday start.
____Day 2: This is getting a regular run for me; but at 2650 kilometres across country, there is plenty of chance to vary the route and the stops. However, I find myself spending another Saturday night at the Interstate crossing of numbers 57and 64. A TA, a Pilot and the local independant: Hucks; three truckstops and all full, with a lot of guys resetting hours or waiting for work. The chat on the CB is about the total lack of hookers; offering company to the many bored drivers. Then some joker comes on and tells everyone that they are parked at the gay-trucker capital of America. Asking why do they think it's called Mount Vernon? It goes quiet after that.

Proof that you can have it all : and take it with you.
 ____Day 3: The whole route is pretty flat with the Pete staying in cruise at 104 kph. The one exception being Monteagle, a long twisting climb between Nashville and Chattanooga in Tennessee. I reach Morrow at dusk and with an early unloading appointment; decide on an early night. But it is overcast, hot and humid. I am  laying awake until the early hours; thinking that a thunderstorm would take a lot of the heat out of the air. Midnight rain in Georgia on my mind.
____Day 4: Unloaded; and a reload is already arranged from Pendergrass, 60 miles north-west of Atlanta. The rolls of geo-textile, a regular reload, going back to Manitoba. Enough time to get back to Mount Vernon again [lucky lad] with a payload of 34,000 lbs, about the same as the southbound trip.

Another trip,  another truck on a stick. Rush Truck Centre, Nashville.
 ____Day 5: At the truckstop diner's counter, I find myself breakfasting opposite the spitting image of Bernie Ecclestone. Whilst thinking of ways in which I can annoy him, another driver comes in and thinks the same. The Bernie clone says that, sadly, it happens a lot. Somehow, I resist the temptation to tell him that if an old man has a naughty school-boy haircut; then it has to be expected. Retracing my route has me back to Mount Albert Lea, that night.
____Day 6: The earliest start possible after a 10 hour overnight break lets me get round the Twin Cities By-pass before the early morning rush. A visit to the Northstar Truckwash at Fargo delays my arrival back at the yard; but the bugs on the bumper needed professional attention. It's just a shame that some more had taken their place by the time I got home.
____Overall Distance: 5424 km.

Nashville skyline.

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