Saturday, February 13, 2016

Subterranean Independence.

Six days on the road.
____ Day 1: Getting out of a warm bed to go home on a freezing Sunday morning in mid-February is not the best way to start a trip. Winter-storm warnings howl from the radio as I go to check the budgerigars before rolling into Penner's Steinbach terminal and hooking-up to trailer, loaded for Kansas City. But by Highway 23, heavy snow; no chance of seeing snowy owls on the power-line poles, I can't even see the poles in white-out conditions. Slow-going comes to a standstill at Morris, where the gates on Highway 75 are closed. I swing into the Husky Truckstop and take the last parking spot that doesn't block any truck's route to an exit. Snowed in on Super Bowl Sunday.

Crowded Husky at Morris, Manitoba.

____ Day 2: An early start gets me through the border before the inevitable deluge of US-bound freight causes delays. Blowing snow all day on Interstate 29 mixed with a few flurries. At the overnight stop at Percival; news comes from the Internet that the 29 is closed. Twelve vehicles involved with the pictures showing a Penner truck and a badly damaged Highway Patrol 4x4.

____ Day 3: The delivery is made just in time; Kansas City, Kansas, just across the river from Kansas City , Missouri, and the reload at the adjoining town of Independence. Google maps' satellite images show the Carefree Industrial Estate as nothing but a concrete pad with trailers parked in the centre. On arrival I find that all the warehousing is in underground tunnels. A vast labyrinth, a left-over installation from the Cold War between the US and Russia. A surreal experience of driving in to a hillside, looking for loading bay 22. The sort of place were they would shoot the chase scene from the start of a Bond movie. They come flying round a corner to find a 18 wheel semi-driver struggling to put his rig on a bay for twenty minutes.

Entrance to the Green Tunnel.

____ Day 4: The load is for delivery on Friday at Regina. Plenty of time after I leave Sioux City, but because of the changeable weather, I decide to push on as far as possible. To Minot for the night with an unusually large amount of drivers waving and giving the thumbs-up. Maybe it was the Penner International truck that snookered the cop-car in Monday's pile-up in northern North Dakota.

Well lit and white tunnels.

____ Day 5: Just a short run, up through  the border at North Portal and onto Regina; fuel up the tanks and wait for morning while enduring minus 24C. The Cummins keeps humming.

Not a lot of space for a full size truck.

____ Day 6: Unload and reload within the city limits of Regina; but it is still 3 o;clock in the afternoon before I can scale the truck and set sail for Steinbach. A shipment for Ontario but back to the yard for an hours reset. An even colder night but the truck goes in the workshop and I go home.

RD's tipper.

No comments:

Post a Comment