Friday, November 25, 2011

Kalamazoo, Michigan.

____Day 1: Overnight temperatures of -18 Centigrade and a fresh layer of snow greet me as I leave on a Saturday morning. Also, trailer D52 has been left with a blown-out tyre. Not the best way to start and things get no better when I find central Minnesota is under a Winter Storm Warning. My first chance to see how the Peterbilt handles on hard-packed snow and ice. It has a shorter wheel-base than the old green Kenworth, but handled just as well; having 20 tons of cargo helped. Eventually, I made it to Wilson; cutting the 1000 mile trip in two.
____Day 2: Someday, somewhere at some boring dinner party, someone will say the word "Kalamazoo" and I will pipe up with; "Been there, delivered a load of peat-moss." The same as I do with, "Bill Clinton went to Oxford? I went to Oxford; delivered a load of sugar to the Co-op." But when I park-up overnight at my delivery point; I find nothing distinctive in the town except it's name.
Flyin Eagle #02
____Day 3: It's the week of the big Thanksgiving holiday in America and everything needs to be done before Wednesday afternoon. The peat-moss is off the trailer by 9 o'clock but the re-load from Fort Wayne, Indiana, isn't going to be ready until Tuesday. But I do have the satisfaction of knowing that the office has found something for Winnipeg; so it's a leisurely 120 mile drive down to the Fort Wayne Truck Plaza and an early finish.
Peterbilt Showtruck photographed at Angola, Indiana.
____Day 4: Fifteen minutes to load 15 hot-tubs; shut the doors, ask the nice lady in the office to fax the customs papers and I'm on my way home. But not before I have wandered around the warehouse and picked out my all-time favorite hot-tub. Half swimming pool, half hot-tub. 24 foot long x 8 foot wide, 4 foot deep; seats and jets up one end and at the other: water flows in and you swim against the current. I think Master Spa are onto a winner; serious exercise combined with serious fun. Onto Hasty for the night, meeting up with Mr. Ramsden at South Beloit and running back in convoy.
Master Spa's brilliant swimming hot-tub. [Photo from their web-site.]
____Day 5: A foggy start; waiting for daylight seemed to have been a good idea as plenty of vehicles littered the grass verges of Interstate 94; all the way to Fargo. At the Stamart Truckstop, they have a new brand of winter diesel and reading the blurb on the pump; I decide to try it. Yukon Diesel should be just the stuff I need as I head north into the icy waste land that is Manitoba. No additive necessary and only two cents more expensive. Only thing..... by the time I get back to the yard: Manitoba is enjoying afternoon temperatures of plus 14 centigrade. Almost unheard of in late November.
____Overall Distance: 3669 km.
Yukon Diesel pump at Stamart, Fargo. Note big filter at top of hose.

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