|Ten Day Trip.|
____ A drinking culture at a transport company can cause problems but so can a low alcohol threshold brought on by zero-tolerance of drivers having a beer of an evening. Alcohol has always been part of my life. I was brought-up in a pub where my brother and I shared a bottle of Mackeson stout every night before bed-time while still at primary school. I lived in Bavaria where "Beer is Food" and many work-places have vending machines selling alcohol. In France. I have spent many lunch-times, dining in Les Routiers with fine food accompanied by a glass of vin rouge. To my mind, there is nothing better than knocking the froth off a cold one at the end of a hot day behind the wheel.
____ I also know that excess can cause cancellation; the free-pour Cuba-Libre of Spain and the Ef-Es Controls of Turkey. But a couple of Bud-Lights with a chopped brisket sandwich at the Cowboy Travel Plaza in rural Oklahoma is what long distance truck-driving is all about. The second night-out on a trip to San Antonio with another load of peat-moss. Delivered on a Friday morning before running empty to switch trailers in Laredo. A bonded-load for Bolton, Ontario, a familiar job but without a Louisiana detour. Crossing over into Canada by way of the Blue Water Bridge at Sarnia on the seventh day of the trip.
____ About the worst thing that can happen to a driver who has just done a long trip into the US? To be asked to go "South" again without a log-hours reset. But this is what the office expects me to do after I am unloaded. There is a load for Winnipeg waiting at Clawson, a northern suburb of Detroit; it has to wait another day before I can legally go and get it. When loaded, I have 5 hours 30 minutes to do the 528 kilometres to the Canadian border at Sault Ste.Marie. A thrash north-bound on Interstate 75, crossing with 2 minutes to spare; slowed only by the 20 mph limit on the Mackinac toll bridge. Once through customs, the more liberal driving hours of Canada allow me to get to White River in a sixteen hour spread-over; all in day-light on the longest day of the year. But I am within a days drive of Steinbach and a city-driver will deliver it on Friday morning.
|Stormy night in South Dakota|
|Tornado warnings from the cell-phone.|
|Made-to-measure tarp on oversize load.|
|Another day, another unloading bay.|
|Useful hours information on tablet.|
|The locks at Sault Ste.Marie.|