Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Anthony Henday : the Man and the Drive.

____Day 1: A continuation of the trip with the rubber tubing and the skid steer; delayed due to a snow-storm in Indiana. The groupage truck from Georgia with two consignments for the Edmonton area arrives late on Sunday morning. So it's a mid-day to mid-night run through to Redcliff with snow-flurries and a head-wind.
____Day 2: After an eight-hour break, the job gets back on track with the quick off-loading of the skid steer at Rimbey. It's 90 miles to Edmonton but with just single pallets for the next two drops; I am at the last delivery warehouse just before they close. A hard days work that finishes at the Acheson Husky Truckstop and an early night.

Peterbilt cabover : an ideal shunter inside a narrow tyre warehouse.

____Day 3: Anthony Henday was born on the Isle of Wight and worked for the Hudson Bay Company. In the 1750's he lead an expedition from York Factory, along the Nelson and North Saskatchewan Rivers, to the area that is now Edmonton. Highway 216, the in-complete Edmonton ring-road, is named Anthony Henday Drive. The latest section to open is the West to North-east segment; which I use for the first time, going from Acheson to Fort Saskatchewan for the collection of some herbicide. Then it's a full days drive to Broadview, Saskatchewan.

Typical Albertan Oil-field Oversize Load.

____Day 4: Still dark and minus 4 degrees C, I am combining the pre-trip vehicle check with an early morning pee when splashes hit my face. Not that I'm waving it about while trying to write my name in the snow: it's starting to rain. Freezing rain that covers the truck, the trailer and the road in a covering of ice, in minutes. Being on the customer's doorstep gets the load delivered on time; then the order comes to return empty to the yard. I'll back my driving skills against any thing that Mother Nature has to offer; the speed just has to match the conditions. My speed for the condition called "Freezing Rain"- a big fat Zero. But by 10 o'clock, the gritters have made a pass and some brave souls have ground in the salt and sand with their 18 wheels. Back in Manitoba, the roads are bare and dry when the wind whips up, blowing snow into blizzard conditions under a clear sky to finish the trip.
____Overall Distance: 3140 km.

The Route of Anthony Henday : still a mighty journey after 250 years.

1 comment:

  1. Henday was also a convicted smuggle and the main purpose of his expedition was to try and get the natives trappers to trade with the Hudson Bay and not the French. Too bad he thought they said no and gave up to early.