Friday, June 6, 2014

Map Number 4.

____Part 4: Two loads on this map. After the peat moss was delivered, it was over to nearby Benson for a trailer change and some more agricultural equipment for Canada. That was late on Friday afternoon, so Interstate 95 wasn't so bad on a Saturday. Into Ontario on Sunday morning, ready at Port Perry for unloading; before a run along the Highway 401 to get cable from Johnstown. The same load for Winnipeg that I did six weeks before.

Waterfall at the Palisades.
Rare Studebaker Pick-up Truck.

Bridge over the St. Lawrence from Johnstown to Ogdensburg.


Part 3.

____Part 3: A Monday morning disaster; driving into the customer's yard, I hear a scraping noise as if I was rubbing against a tree. But I have caught a low-hanging wire with the front of the trailer and down it comes. A worker tells me that the wire was only put up on the previous Friday. Well; they didn't put it high enough! It was a burglar alarm wire and not a power cable; they didn't make a big deal of it, no camera, no blame attributed. Then on to Riviere du Loup in Quebec; for peatmoss, a load for North Carolina. An inland route, south from Montreal, avoiding the dreaded 95.

Part 2

 ____Part 2: A load of agricultural equipment from Augusta, Georgia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. A lot of mileage on Interstate 95; catching heavy traffic in the road works south of Washington, DC. An early 2 pm. finish lets me start again at Midnight; something I wouldn't normally do, but with the cities of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York to be traversed it seemed like a good plan. By 6 o'clock I was crossing the George Washington Bridge on to Manhattan Island. North of Boston to the Maine town of Augusta for an early afternoon finish. It was about five years since I had been to Halifax. I wracked my brains for a place to park; all I could think of was Enfield. A ramshackle old truckstop with the lasting image of two old red Dodge tractor units that called it home. I could still picture the huge ram's head hood ornaments but when I arrived; I found a brand new Irving Big Stop Travel Plaza. Just the place for an hours reset.

Et in Acadia ego.

____Five loads in one trip of 14830 kilometres that spanned 19 days. Drawing the map gave the impression of a plate of spaghetti poured over the eastern half of North America; so I did it in four parts.

Part 1
____Three full days driving only got me as far as Dade City, just north of Tampa. But an early start had the load of furniture ready for unloading at 8 o'clock; although it was three in the afternoon before it had all been checked and counted. Just enough time to get back to the Flying J at Dade City.

Not a bad view from the cab during a seven hour wait.

Tennessee State Trooper Peterbilt Cruiser.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Polar Vortex Poem

Running back from Istanbul in the winter of 82.
I was told to fetch a reload that I didn’t want to do
The final consignment of a knitwear order,
From a factory up near the Russian border.

The time that frostbite nearly claimed my toes,
When with two hours to go and my filters froze.
So I lit little fires in anything made of tin,
Built a wall of snow to try and keep the heat in.

Kept them burning, both day and night,
Checking every hour to keep them alight.
Diesel fuel and some rag for a wick,
Then after three days, it did the trick.

And in all that time  before that thing would start,
All that stopped to help was a horse and cart.
A nice old couple who gave me some bread.
They offered a room, but I stayed instead,
Cold and tired and filthy dirty
On a north Romanian plain at minus 30.

Another trip full of trouble and strife,
Surely the coldest days of my life.
But wait, maybe, I spoke too soon,
I’m parked at the ‘J in Saskatoon.
And it’s colder than the North Pole!