Monday, September 15, 2014

Four-Way Flashers In The Rain.

____ Getting out of a warm bed to go home at 5-thirty on a Sunday morning is not the best way to start a trip. After getting my stuff together and bob-tailing halfway across Winnipeg looking for a trailer; it was 10.30 before I got into cruise control, eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway. Twelve hours later, I was crawling back into bed at Longlac; 1000 kilometres away in the Canadian Shield.

Still standing; Sturgeon River bridge with beams delivered by Flying Eagle Heavy Haul.

____ A similar stint behind the wheel on the Labour Day Holiday Monday put me at the King City On-Route motorway service area, just north of Toronto. After battling with the returning cottage-country traffic from Muskoka, I was ready to battle the commuter rush in the morning. Unloaded, begrudgingly, at Mister Grumpy's furniture distribution company, I had a short wait before the reload at Ajax came through. Wall-plaster to be delivered to Fort Mackay, Alberta, by Friday. I advised that it would be Friday afternoon and the office came back and told me that Monday would be fine.

Mack with solar panels on the hood and roof of the sleeper.

____Then the heavens opened as I headed north out of Toronto in busy afternoon traffic. Why does heavy rain make people drive along with their four-way flashers working? I had slowed down because I couldn't see and was being overtaken by the four-way flashers! Maybe it's their way of saying, "I am a hazard."

____ New Liskeard to the Time Zone Plaque at Savanne on Wednesday had me thinking that I would be home by mid-afternoon on Thursday. Then BEEP; a satellite message asking if I could deliver on Friday; the load was urgent [again]. Mid-day Saturday was the best I could offer; after I'd eased-up when it looked like it was going to be Monday. Hammer down and I was at Syncrude's truck-staging area with an hour to spare.

You don't have to be mad to work here.

____ Now, every product taken onto the Syncrude site has to have an identity analysis data-sheet and my fire-proof wall-plaster did not have the necessary clearance to gain entry. So although it was urgent, they turned me away at the gate. Never mind, a parcel delivery company in Fort McMurray agreed to take it and I was empty by three o'clock on Saturday afternoon; ready to run down to Edmonton for what was left of the Weekend.

Syncrude, Mildred Lake.

____ Who the hell finds reloads for dry freight vans out of the Oilsands? Payne Transportation does and it was a good job they told me about it before I headed-off south. Used Caterpillar parts from the dealer at Fort Mackay; load Monday 08.00. So, two nights in the dirty old town of Fort McMurray; with it's complete lack of driver facilities and it's sky-high prices. To think, I could have had two nights in my own bed. It rained all Sunday with a certain dampness also in the cab; as if someone had been pissing-up my back.

Big old shovel at the free-to-enter Oilsands Interpretative and Discovery Center.

____ And the bloody Caterpillar bits only went to Edmonton! Then it was up to Westlock for some of the plastic grain bags. Three farms in Saskatchewan; thank heavens for cell-phones or I would still be looking for them now. But you do meet some nice people on the farms of the Prairies; so different from those jobs-worth shits in the oil industry. The whole trip ended-up with 8686 kilometres in 11 days; so it wasn't too shabby after-all. Except that it snowed on the way home and it's a sign that Winter is just around the corner.

Old Oilsands bulldozer with radiator on the roof; at Dicovery Center.

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