Monday, October 3, 2016

Passport to Carolina.

Six days on the road.
____ A horror story about a Canadian-based British truck-driver waiting three months for a new passport to arrive from Ottawa had me flying across the Atlantic when my ten years expired. A midday appointment at the Peterborough Passport Office and I was walking out with a new one; three hours later. A three day stay-over would have been enough but I went for three weeks; caught up with old friends and did some touristy stuff. Westjet's direct flight from Winnipeg to London Gatwick made it all possible with no hassle and little expense: $700 return.

____ First trip back was a heavy load to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Out of Canada at Roseau, Minnesota, and straight into the arms of an awaiting DoT officer; parked inside the customs post. A delay, but nothing to worry about as the truck had been given it's yearly safety test while I was away. Over 2,700 kilometres to go; so three big days of driving with Thursday's crossing of the Appalachian Mountains slowing the progress. A night at Maxton before the run into Fayetteville for a 6o'clock delivery. I was there at half-five and out by six; heading for the reload.

____ Three and a half hours of empty running to the quaintly named town of Rural Retreat gave the motor an easy time. But soon I had 20 tonnes of plastic film in the trailer and was once again in among the valleys and ridges of  the Virginias. One long drag had the engine oil boiling; forcing me to pull over. The fluid levels were good and no leaks; just a 10 year old truck with cooling arteries restricted after over a million miles. So, on with the cab heater and the sleeper heater, full pelt; down with the windows and on with the job. The extra heat dispensation was enough to get the temperature down with the help of a permanently engaged radiator fan. It was a hot and humid day in the mountains, late September and still 30 degrees C in the mid-afternoon. The out-bound trip on the same gradients and with the same weight had been done in a rain-storm; so it shows just how easily the Cummins can feel the difference.

____ The rest of the trip was pretty plain sailing, early starts and max-ing out the driving hours. Back into Canada on Sunday afternoon; dropping the trailer in Winnipeg and bob-tailing home to Steinbach with just an hour and a half to spare of my 70 hour weekly working allowance. A daily average of over 900 kilometres and just the sort of trip to give the pay-packet a boost after three weeks of spending. The next three months, up until Christmas, are usually a good time to knuckle down and get some good miles. Road conditions are good, work is plentiful, tourist season finished, roadworks winding down, no bugs on the bumper and a new passport just raring to go. It runs out in November 2026, when I will be 73. Maybe the last passport I will ever need!

1 comment:

  1. Great.... normal service has resumed. No chance of a run into Nova Scotia in the next 3 weeks? Hope to be heading that way until 21Oct