____Day 2: It was nearly mid-night when I reached Sioux Falls due to some trailer repairs causing a late start on the Friday. But this whole trip has been pre-planned and needs to get back on track with a full days driving; south to Oklahoma City’s Flying’J along the familiar Highway 81 and Interstates 135 and 35.
____Day 3: Sunday morning breakfast at McDonald’s and some guy is hitting on me for a hand-out. He is through my defences; which makes me think that he could be genuine. He has to get back to Wichita and needs money for gas [petrol]; he has slept in the car with his wife and child. The car is on Kansas plates and he is not the normal type to be begging; otherwise I would have seen him coming. I give him $20 and he gives me a place in his prayers. I can afford it and I owe it to all the people who have shown me kindness, over the years; but I do hate being conned. Back to work; all Interstate 35, until Exit 111 and the two-lane highway, westwards, to Eagle Pass on the banks of the Rio Grande.
|Transhipping at the border.|
|What's Spanish for "Don't forget the legs."..?????|
____Day 4: Backed onto an unloading bay overnight, it’s lunchtime before I am empty and heading for a reload at Alpine, Texas. Running alongside the border and past the Amistad Dam, where the Rio Grande becomes Lake Amistad. Through endless scrubland with occasional groves of pecan trees. Then, despite the near-desert landscape, it starts to snow; which is probably why it’s called Alpine. The pick-up is 60 miles south of the town, so with supplies for an evening meal and breakfast, I push on down to the Cowboy Mining Company.
|At the Cowboy Mining Company, Texas.|
|Re-weigh ticket : not what I wanted to see.|
____Day 8: Bentonite gives flexibility to plastics and a north Calgary plastics factory soon has me unloaded. Then it’s part three of my planned tour: south to Lethbridge for a load of flour; destined for Winnipeg. Another heavy load, but with Canada’s liberal axle weights, the extra 6000 lbs is legal. The country’s liberal driving-hours laws also work in my favour; in the US, I would need a re-set but in Canada I can push on to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and within reach of home.
|The mill at Lethbridge.|
____Overall Distance: 7878 km.
|Rocky Mountain Sunset.|