Sunday, October 16, 2011

You can all go to Hell and I shall go to Texas : Davy Crockett.

____Day 1: The 2200 kilometres from Niverville to Madisonville are possible in two days driving but to make things easier and to get the truck washed; I leave on the Thanksgiving Monday afternoon. Henry, the head man in the workshops, had come in to service #31, earlier in the day. He had agreed to do the work, last week, before he realised it was a holiday. Good to see that he was prepared to keep his word.
____Day 2: From Fargo's Northstar Truck Wash to the Flying'J at Salina, Kansas. A load of peat moss for a Texan mushroom grower, along the familiar route of Interstate 29 and Highway 81 with the usual coffee-stops at Vermillion, Norfolk and York.

The soya and maize harvest brings out all the old work-horses like this Peterbilt 362.
 ____Day 3: All interstate highway; #'s 135, 35, 45. The major cities of Wichita, Oklahoma, and Dallas before heading south towards Houston. There are plenty of billboards for a place called "Buc-ee's"; located at my Madisonville exit. But when I arrive; I find a huge empty parking lot and a hundred signs saying, "No Trucks." I park on a pot-holed, vacant lot just across the road. Thankfully, it is a rarity to see trucks excluded from places in North America. I go across to see what makes Buc-ee's so special that it doesn't need truckers. A very big gas station, convenience store and gift shop with the largest selection of beef jerky that I have seen anywhere. I make a point of buying nothing and then use the washroom; those sort of places hate that.

New piggy-backed Cascadias, sporting factory fitted moose bars.
 ____Day 4: Davy Crockett was pigeon-toed and at the age of four, every night for six months, went to bed with splints bandaged to his legs. My parents said that he never made a fuss and grew up to walk straight and true; adding that I would too. I also got a raccoon skin hat. Now, 53 years later, as I drive from Madisonville to Lufkin; I pass through a splendid section of woodland that is named after my boyhood hero. The Davy Crockett National Forest; run forest run.

The fields of bare mud left by the receding Missouri River after months of flooding.
 ____Day 5: The usual load of grinding powder from Lufkin, back to Winnipeg, before being transshipped onto an Albertan-bound trailer. North out of Checotah, after a night at the Flying'J, to Joplin and onto Kansas City. Interstate 29 has re-opened after months of flooding by the Missouri River. Plants cannot grow without water, but too much water kills them; hundreds of acres of land lay bare and the trees are leafless. Reminding me of a desert; but one caused by water and not the lack of it.
____Day 6: At the splitting of Interstates 80 and 29, near Omaha, the GPS mileage figure to the next junction was 614 miles; ten miles from home. Of course, "She-who-must-be-obeyed" wasn't quiet for all that distance; as I pulled off at Watertown for the night and at Fargo for fuel in the morning. Back in the yard at two in the afternoon.
____Overall Distance: 4884 km.

Class 8 Peterbilt Motorhome Conversion, spotted at York, Nebraska.
I want one!

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