Friday, August 15, 2014

Vee-Trip 11280 km.

____ Setting off from Winnipeg at 5 o'clock on a Friday afternoon is probably not everyone's idea of an ideal time to start a two-week long-haul trip; me included. But it does have the one advantage; when I finish work in the dead of night, the heat will have gone from the day and I will get a good night's sleep. That scenario also works well for the second night; but after three long shifts at the wheel, I am in Florida and August nights do not cool-off. Staying hot and humid.

Spotted at a rainy Florida Truckstop.

____Tuesday morning, bright and early; just 18 pallets to come off and I'm northbound heading to Augusta, Georgia. The regular reload for all Payne trucks in the South-East US and with the company contracted to deliver throughout Canada, I get a load destined for the Province of Quebec. A two day run; crossing at the 1000 Island Bridge into Ontario and running up to the Flying J at Lancaster.

____ The two drops just a few miles apart but separated by the city of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. It's Friday and I need to get  reloaded as well, so waiting for the rush-hour to finish is not an option. The Pont de Champlain is slow but I keep moving; traffic on the bridge is about the same when I come back 90 minutes later; heading back to within a few miles of my first drop for the reload. I told the office that I had enough driving hours to keep working in Canada; but they reload me for North Carolina. Going south will necessitate a log-hours reset before I can legally drive back into the US. So it is back to Lancaster; to sit from noon, Friday, until early Sunday morning.

A freighter going past Montreal on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

____ After a slow start; the Sunday traffic builds as I spend the whole day, southbound, on Interstate 81 after re-crossing at the salad-dressing suspension structure. Harrisburg cuts the distance to Henderson, NC, in half; also there is a lack of truck parking around Washington, the nation's capital. The late afternoon delivery appointment makes the heavy traffic and delays irrelevant. Interstate 95 congestion doesn't stop me getting to the RDC an hour early. Another late finish; this time at Graham, NC. where the Flying J has 250 parking places. I only need one stall and figure there should still be few vacancies even at mid-night.

____ Rock Hill, just south of Charlotte, is where the reload is waiting; a heavy load of chemicals. The same weight as the three previous loads put together. The Cummins has to put in some serious effort as we tackle Interstate 40 and the Smoky Mountains in the dark and in the rain. Tonight's late finish is at London, Kentucky, where I was confident there would be a space.

British registered Old-timer spotted on the Baltimore ring-road.

____ The London Truck and Auto Plaza is one of my regular two-days-away stops. The one-day-away stop is at the Petro, Portage, Wisconsin. Then instead of going home, I go to the Flying J, on the outskirts of Winnipeg; ready for an early unloading in town and an early finish. Happily bob-tailing back to the yard with the knowledge that next weeks trip is to Long Island, New York, followed by three drops in Florida. Sadly, by the time I get home, it has all changed to eight drops in Ontario; starting at Thunder Bay. Time for a beer or two on the deck; me thinks.

View from the 1000 Islands Bridge.

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