|Russellville, Arkansas, is the red dot between Seminole and Lonoke.|
____Day 1: Flying Eagle's practice of having pre-loaded trailers, ready to go South of the Border, lets a driver hit the ground running on every trip. But this Monday morning; I have to empty-out a trailer, full of plastic granules, in Winnipeg before I go to Elma and load peat-moss. Over 350 kilometres and half a day's work before I am in the US; heading down Interstate 29 to Stone's Truckstop at Watertown, South Dakota. A smart independent travel plaza with an upstairs bar and lounge; serving Michelob Ultra, a refreshing lite beer not found everywhere.
____Day 2: Overnight snow and a dash-board temperature read-out of minus 16. The complete length of Interstate 29 down to Kansas City before three hours of Highway 71; watching the temperature slowly rise to Zero by the time I get to Joplin, Missouri.
|Plant Farm at Lonoke, Arkansas.|
____Day 3: An early start, with 280 miles to go. Into Arkansas and through Bentonville, home of the state's biggest employer: Walmart. Through Little Rock, the state capital, and on to the plant nursery at Lonoke; next door to the Remington Sporting Ammunition factory. Unloaded and back-tracking for a reload of rubber tubing from Russellville, one hundred miles up-stream along the Arkansas River. Pick-up number 2 is from Wichita, Kansas; but the rest of the day's driving allowance only gets me to Seminole, Oklahoma.
____Day 4: The 1460 mile Arkansas River flows from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to join the Mississippi at the eastern border of Arkansas state. The 6th longest river in the USA gets it's name from the State: "Land of the down-river people." A lot of States are named after rivers: Colorado, Delaware, Ohio, Missouri, etc. but Arkansas is the other way round. The river also flows through Wichita; where I load a skid-steer at a plant next-door to the Cessna aircraft factory. Both consignments are for Alberta, but I get orders to head back to base.
|Military order of skid-steers ready for deployment to desert terrain.|
____Day 5: Overnight snow in South Dakota greets me for the second time in a week. Breakfast at the Coffee Stop Travel Centre, Vermillion, is spent watching the early-morning news from local TV. Details of delayed school buses and pictures of snow-bound town centres tell a grim story. But my truck is on Manitoba license plates, Canadian trucks don't sit about in US truckstops just because of a bit of white stuff. They get out there and go past everything in sight. By Fargo the roads are bare and dry; back in the yard by 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I do believe the nights are slowly drawing out.
____Overall Distance: 4686 km.
|Bull-racks : aka. Livestock Haulers : usually only found in pairs.|