Sunday, January 24, 2016

No Messing About On The 502.

2853 km - 3 days.
____ The regular route with an empty trailer, east to Dryden and a switch for a heavily loaded dry-freight van destined for Green Bay, Wisconsin. A note with the paperwork warned that some Penner International trucks had been reported for driving aggressively on Highway 502; the link between Dryden and the US border at International Falls. I wondered who could have complained; not any residents of this narrow two-lane road as there aren't any houses on this 118 mile stretch. The road bobs and weaves through the desolate Canadian Shield, it is poorly maintained in Winter and traffic is sparse. Hard;y the sort of road that would be used by a timid, insecure licence holder who phones-in to complain every time they are overtaken by a big truck.

____ Sitting at the exit of the Dryden paper factory; I do wonder what the condition of the 502 will be like. There have been snow-flurries all morning and not a patch of blue sky any where. But if you can't run with the big dogs then you should stay on the porch. Running on virgin snow is better than hard-packed snow that has been buffed-up to shine. It took half-an-hour longer than usual; I didn't catch up any thing and nothing over-took me. A couple of logging trucks came the other way, along with some pick-ups carrying snowmobiles. A no-phone-signal wilderness of stunning beauty but not the place to break-down or drop a wheel off the edge.

118 miles of rocks, lakes and trees.

____ It was a long first day that finished at Trego. The reload information came through early and as it was a load back to Winnipeg; I thought I would try and get the whole trip done in three days. The factory at Green Bay cooperated fully with a quick tip and I was on my way to Milwaukee by 11 o'clock. Funny how warehouses seem to load trailers quicker on a Friday afternoon when the end of their working week is in sight. In and out in less than an hour with customs papers faxed to the broker. Up to Osseo on the Interstate 94 for the night where it was a whole lot warmer than when I stopped there on Monday, only minus 7C.

____ Two long days and a third one to follow. Clear and bright for Minnesota. Blowing snow for North Dakota but by the US/Canada border it was raining. Totally unexpected but with the rain-drops falling onto a frozen road surface; the results were predictable. Sheet-ice and a lot of vehicles going into the ditches. Slow progress on the hard-shoulder seemed to be the only option but as darkness fell and the temperature dropped; then the rain turned to snow and a near white-out. I eventually dropped the loaded trailer at Penner's Winnipeg terminal and got the order to bobtail home to Steinbach. Easier said than done with un-ploughed new snow and no weight on the drive-axles. A quick phone call to the girl friend and the 60 kilometre run across Manitoba turned into five kilometres of cross-town slipping and sliding.

Snow always sticks to the back of a trailer and rear lights need regular cleaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment