____Day 1: The route from Niverville to Helena, via Fargo in North Dakota, is 20 miles longer than the route through to Alberta and down into Montana by way of Sweetgrass. So it makes a change to head west with a load of peat-moss on a Saturday afternoon. Coffee and cookies at Brandon; heading for a late finish at Swift Current when BOOM. A side-wall of a trailer tyre gives way; I feel the cab rock, such was the force of the escaping air. Only ten miles of limping along until the Swift Husky truckstop.
____Day 2: The Husky is truly blessed with tyre changing options; Integra Tires next door, Fountain Tire on the other side and Kaltire, just 300 yards away. Kaltire get the work and soon give a clue as to why a perfect looking tyre should blow-out at sub-zero temperatures. Six of the 8 trailer tyres are low-profile and two are not; the odd pair have been subjected to considerably more weight and that's why one has blown. A costly mistake by the tyre fitter; not only because of the Sunday call-out surcharge but because I now need two new tyres. Eventually away at noon, I run down to Helena, the capital city of Montana; sadly driving the scenic Interstate15 in darkness.
____Day 3: High Country Growers won't have many truck-loads of peat-moss during the year; a small operation perched on the side of a south facing slope. Greenhouses full of poinsettias ready for Christmas. Unloaded and away to Kalispell, the only town starting with the letter "K" listed in Montana. A trailer load of office furniture, neatly stacked and banded onto fourteen 8ft x 4ft pallets. I take US Hwy 2, east, out of the Mission Mountains and the Glacier National Park; enjoying the scenery in fading daylight before coming to rolling grassland and darkness on my way back to the border.
|Oversize load in the mountains in Winter; when a driver really earns his money.|
____Day 5: I wake up stiff jointed and with aching muscles after the previous day's playing at Pickford's. But there is plenty of time for recovery as the next load is not available until eight o'clock in the evening. Windshield-washer fluid going from Nisku to Winnipeg; with enough time to get to North Battleford and not disrupt my body-clock too much.
|Typical Montana highway; rarely straight, often scenic.|
____Overall Distance: 4312 km.
|Edmonton refinery sunset makes it seem like a melt-down.|