____Day 1: Heavy snow on the Friday still hadn't been cleared by the time I gingerly crept out of the yard and pointed the truck towards the border on Saturday morning. With just 9000 lbs of steel cabinets to help give me traction, it was tricky road conditions all the way to Fargo, North Dakota. Snow flurries in Minnesota and Wisconsin accompanied me to Black River Falls as I headed east on Interstate 94; for a change.
|Heading West on Highway 23 towards Morris, Manitoba.|
____Day 2: A very noisy fridge motor, parked inches from my sleeper window, woke me up at three o'clock in the morning. I got up, got dressed and got out to ask the driver to move. If I had known that he had two pitbull terriers in the cab, I wouldn't have bothered. You cannot reason with that sort of moron. But I did have the satisfaction of seeing the dogs go berserk in the cab, everytime I knocked on his door. Which I did at regular intervals until the police arrived and asked me to stop annoying the animals. But I had the last laugh when the cops told him to move; after I said he threatened to set the dogs on me. I spent the whole day driving to Solon, Ohio, thinking about the encounter and what sort of driver calls the police for back-up when he has two pitbulls.
____Day 3: Heavy lake-effect snow on Sunday evening had prompted me to park overnight at the customers premises and avoid the chaotic morning rush hour. Unloaded and away by nine o'clock; heading to nearby Tallmadge for the first pick-up of an LTL [Less than Truck Load]. A second-hand John Deere tractor, from London, was next; followed by two fork-lifts from Fort Recovery. All was going well until I found a puncture in a trailer tyre. When is this run of tyre problems going to end?
____Day 4: The Travelcentre of America at Eaton couldn't repair the tyre so I had to buy a part-used replacement; before doing the fourth pick-up at Greenville and heading north on Highway 127 for the fifth at South Bend, Indiana. Driving on the Annie Oakley Memorial Highway through the hunting territory of a young fatherless girl who fed her family with game brought down by her skillful shooting. A once in a lifetime chance to visit the grave of my mother's biggest hero. To pay my respects to the champion marks-woman, the adopted daughter of Chief Sitting Bull and the star of the World-wide touring: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
|Annie Oakley Gravesite, just South of the Village of North Star in Ohio.|
____Day 5: Getting to the Petro Truckstop at Portage gave me a good chance of getting the load back to the yard. 1100 kilometres is a long day at the wheel but I knew that it would be longer because of the second-hand JD tractor. All exported, used vehicles with an internal combustion engine have to be presented to both US and Canadian Customs for inspection. The serial number is then checked against a database of stolen equipment; my green-machine had been bought on E-Bay but, thankfully, checked out OK.
____Overall Distance: 4251 km.
|Something Special, fine old Areodyne out in all weathers.|