Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last Trip of 2011 : Happy New Year.

____Day 1: One link between Atlanta, Georgia, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the constant stream of Flying Eagle trucks taking used vehicle parts for recycling. Another link is Ice Hockey. In the Summer of 2011, the Atlanta Thrashers moved north to become the Winnipeg Jets and after a 15 year break; Manitoba had a team again in the NHL [National Hockey League]. The team has instantly built a huge fanatical fan-base and done well on the ice too; making the whole Province proud. Go Jets Go.
____Day 2: After Boxing Day's 11 hour haul down to Center Point, Iowa; another early start and full day in order to reach the TA, Nashville. Driving two thousand kilometres for a night-out in Music City. Half-rack of ribs and half-a-dozen Coors Light at Rippy's Barbecue Restaurant on Broadway. Music from two guys on acoustic guitars who boast a repertoire of 10,000 songs; just lay your money down and make your request.

#31 following #35 up Mont Eagle; the only gear-changing climb between Manitoba and Georgia.
____Day 3: Breakfast in the TA diner and a seat at the counter next to 85 year-old Mr. Brown. A man with an endless repertoire of stories; everyone starting with, " There was a driver in here the other day........." At the Brake-check Area at the top of Mont Eagle, I meet Flying Eagle #35 and we run together down to the Choo Choo Truck Wash at Chattanooga. Then, on to Morrow, via the Petro Stopping Centre on the west side of Atlanta.

Flying Eagle #35 waiting for the soap at the Choo Choo Truck and Tank Wash.
____Day 4: The fork-lift truck, rumbling about in the back of my trailer, is my early morning call; having spent the night with the open-doored trailer backed onto the unloading dock. Empty and only 1.8 miles to the reload of plastic matting going to Edmonton, Alberta. Three tiers of 15 foot rolls leaves eight foot of space on the back; the company always wants to fill all the available space, if axle-weights will allow. The driver always wants to get going. I go for breakfast whilst the Internet Data Load Boards are checked. An 8 foot/3000lb consignment of exercise equipment from O'Fallon, Missouri, to Saskatoon and I'm on my way.
____Day 5: Topping-off a trailer can be an irritation, but the pick-up is only one mile from my preferred route and by the time I have walked into the warehouse after backing onto  the loading-bay, the stuff is on the trailer. Time to crack-on and max-out the driving hours; reaching Olson's Truckstop at Hasty for the night.
Cross-over and flip by Western Star that still has it's lights on.

____Day 6: Freezing-fog is one of my least preferred driving conditions and I wait until day-light before setting-off; having at least one thing in my favour. At Fargo, I encounter a snow-storm sweeping south; giving near white-out conditions for a hundred miles. The stainless-steel bug deflector on the hood of #31 did little to keep insects off of the windshield during the summer; but  does a good job in the falling snow. Sending the majority of the flakes over the cab and avoiding the annoying build-up of ice on the wipers. Conditions have me back in the yard, a few hours later than expected, on a snowy but mild New Years Eve. But plenty of time to see-in 2012 with a load of Welsh blokes.
____Overall Distance: 5137 km.

Cab-over Pete hauling CAT parts to Alberta.

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