Saturday, December 1, 2012

Carhenge, Nebraska.

Carhenge, just outside the railroad town of Alliance in nort-west Nebraska.

____Day 1: The last trip of November and already Winter has been here for a month. Peat-moss load to Colorado; south on the Texas route to start the trip, for a night at Cubby Bear's truckstop in Norfolk, Nebraska.

____Day 2: Overnight snow and westbound on Interstate 80. Into Colorado on Interstate 76 before going across  country to Limon for fuel at the Interstate 70 junction. Finishing the day at the compost bagging plant, Fountain in Colorado.

Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad.

____Day 3: The highlights of a driving career, that has spanned five decades, are always the visits to unique, out of the way places far from the tourist trail. Travelling in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Iron Curtain gave me the privilege of experiencing the lifestyle of the ordinary communist citizen. My reload location at an organic seed packing farm in north-west Nebraska would not have been out of place on the plains of north-east Romania in the nineteen-eighties. An aura of dilapidation and disorganisation, buildings that have not seen a lick of paint for fifty years and every piece of farm equipment that every generation had ever purchased. All covered with four inches of snow. It also reminded me of my despairing farm days in the Dordogne; where every task commenced with the bodged repair of some inadequate tool. Before the sunflower seeds are loaded; the aging Datsun fork-lift needs snow chains and the pallet truck needs hydraulic oil. Loading finishes in the reflected light of a full moon on the drifted snow. Fully-locked differentials help me negotiate the six miles of dirt road; back to the highway.

Loading point is the second farm on the left.

Backed-in, waiting to load at isolated farm near Rushville, Nebraska.

____Day 4: The Pilot/Flying'J truckstop group seem to be on a spending spree; all across North America. Independant travel plazas are being transformed overnight and the old Double H Truckstop at Murdo surprises me with it's new red and yellow livery. It puts more points on my loyalty card but a tank full of cheap "southern" diesel is not the best thing for a trip to north Saskatchewan. As I head north across the border, the temperature plummets and a top-up of good quality Winter diesel is needed from Moose Jaw. At -23 degrees C; I keep the big Cummins running all night, using the engines high-capacity fuel pump to circulate and warm the fuel in the twin tanks.

Rocky Mountain Double with long-drawbar pup hauling Frac-sand.

____Day 5: It's mid-morning by the time I unload the sunflower seeds at Parkside. Then it's more seeds; this time flax. A trailer to be loaded for Evansville, Indiana, but not available until tomorrow from Churchbridge, Saskatchewan. Down to Yorkton for another night with the 15 litre night-heater rumbling away as the snow came down again.

Churchbridge Seed Packing Enterprise in Saskatchewan.

____Day 6: A state of the art seed packing plant; compared to Rushville, Nebraska, has the trailer loaded just after sunrise. Then it's back to the yard with the flax-seed. A load to be re-powered as I take a log-hours reset.

____Overall Distance: 5191 km.

Snow-covered heap of Buffalo skulls.

On the hoof; waiting to go to the table.


  1. Nice pictures as usual Chris, shame people can't be arsed to leave a any kind of comment on what is a very interesting blog

    1. I think the bloggers of today are the like the Vincent van Goghs of yesteryear. The value of our "Sunflowers" will only be realised after our death.