Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scented Candles and Snow.

Sunset Shadow.

____Day 1: Waking up to snow covered roads leads to a slow drive into work and a late start. Peat-moss to Texas, again. A late lunch with Messrs. Cooper and Ramsden at the Grand Forks' Flying'J before they split eastwards at Fargo; destined for an evening meal with Flying Eagle #32 at Hudson, Wisconsin. Whilst I push on down the Interstate 29 to Percival, Iowa.

Red River Valley and Wisconsin Railway, south of Carrington, North Dakota.
____Day 2: Bobby Troup wrote the song,"I get my kicks on Route 66," but I don't think they named the town after him. This trip I avoid Troup by coming down Highway 71 in Arkansas and swinging across eastern Texas on Highway 259; taking me to the buzzing little Chevron Truckstop at Henderson for the night. It also by-passes Tyler; a town that conspires to stop me at every red-light, everytime I come through.

Tight turn for wind-turbine tower coming onto the Interstate.

____Day 3: Four Manitoban trucks are unloading peat-moss at 7 o'clock on a Monday morning: we're all away by eight. But I doubt if any of the others was up and running with a reload before me. Seventy miles North-east to Marshall and 30 pallets of scented candles are safely stowed and sealed in the trailer before 11 o'clock. Then it's back to Texarkana for fuel before retracing Highway 71 to the town of Nevada in Missouri.

Old Kenworth Cabover.

____Day 4: Two thousand, three hundred miles; from Texas to Alberta with a load of scented candles. Some would say it's a waste of precious fossil fuel that is denying a future for our children. But it gives employment to workers in Texas and Canada; making and selling them. Wages for the drivers who ditribute them. Ideal for presents at Christmas. Sure-fire sellers at the Summer garage sale and a thrilling 50 cent purchase for some aging hippie. I'll probably be at the tap-end of the bath when it finally gets lit.

Before the storm and ice is starting to form.

____Day 5: Mr. Cooper was also overnighting at Fargo; heading to Logan Lake in British Columbia with mining equipment, loaded in Michigan. A trapped nerve in his back was giving constant pain in his right leg; but Cooperman is "Old-School, North of England." Limping back to Winnipeg and going sick would never cross his mind. I follow him through the border at North Portal as we both push on to Swift Current for the night.

Friday morning at the Flying'J, Calgary, Alberta.

____Day 6: A snow-warning is in effect for south-west Saskatchewan; 25 cms. expected and it starts falling before dawn. Five hours and I'm done for the day; Calgary Flying'J and about half an hour from the RDC at Airdrie. Coops phones to say that the Rockies are getting tricky. Mr.Ramsden has been sitting for two days at the Florida/Georgia stateline; he phones to say that it's 18 degrees C and sunny.

Taking down pylons in a snow-storm.

____Day 7: Still snowing when I crawl up to Airdrie and into the RDC for a quick tip, considering the conditions. Then it's down to Taber for a reload of sugar that will get me back to Niverville. A three hour drive with very little sign to black-top. Driving hours are getting short by now and the maxxed-out state of 70 in seven arrives at Speedy Creek; aka Swift Current. Still snowing.

Double-trouble at the side of Highway 2, south of Calgary.

____Day 8: Three 18-wheelers in the ditch before Moose Jaw sets the tone for day: slow and steady. Twenty tons of sugar in the trailer is a great help. Getting dusted by the loose snow in the fast lane is the biggest problem; going to white-out conditions at 60 mph needs a steady hand on the wheel. I can't complain; as I dust-up others when overtaking. As they say on the CB radio: "If you can't run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch." I'm back in the yard before dark.

____Overall Distance: 7343 km.

Look Watt you're missing!

____Postscript: Mr.Cooper went from Logan Lake to Vancouver for a reload of lumber: eventually coming back over the Continental Divide and into the snow again. He came home about 24 hours after me. Mr. Ramsden reloaded with steel tube in Knoxville, TN. A load for Red Deer, Alberta; he had the snow to look forward to after a week in the Deep South.


  1. Did you have to give Mr Cooper a shoulder to lean on to get back to truck Chris!!!!!
    Hope to bump into you in the new year coming to work for Watt and Stewart!!!!! Another brit in Canada!!

  2. Great news Roly. We will have to meet up for a pint or two.
    Are you going to become a blogger?

  3. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner Chris computer probes!!!! No don't think will be blogging just Facebook and YouTube!!!!Will deferentially meet up though.