Thursday, July 20, 2017


Eleven Days - 9402 kilometres.
____ Four days off as I move house from Mitchell to Winnipeg. Only an hours drive but it felt like I had walked more miles carrying cardboard boxes than I had driven. I could never be a removals man; not for all the tea in broken china. I am going back to work for a rest; leaving on a Friday afternoon for a Monday morning delivery in Laredo, Texas. To Watertown, then to Tonkawa and finally to Pearsall, just south of San Antonio. Just the minimum 10 hour breaks between shifts and I roll up to the customs warehouse with my bonded load of peat-moss with just an hour to spare.

____ Unloaded in a couple of hours and a couple of hours later, I am northbound on Interstate 35 with a pre-loaded trailer destined for Quebec City; 2400 miles to the north-east. I gave  an ETA of 12 noon on Friday and maxxed-out the driving hours for the next three days; aiming to cross the border at the Port Huron/Sarnia Bluewater bridge. Late on Wednesday afternoon, the office messages that they have booked the delivery to be unloaded on Monday morning. I now have four days to cover the final six hundred miles. Disappointing to have so much wasted time on yet another trip.

____ A log hours reset of 36 hours at Lancaster is spent wandering down to the St Laurence River and up to the bar at the other end of town. On Sunday. I move on into Quebec Province; parking at Levis on south bank of the St Laurence. I'm back in the same little truckstop on Monday morning after tipping and being told to wait for reload instructions. Eventually, I head back into Ontario; going to Oshawa, 400 miles empty. Loaded for Winnipeg, serviettes, paper towels and toilet rolls; a light load. Up to Cochrane before a long day gets me to Dryden, just three and a half hours from home. Duly completed on the Thursday morning.
Eight axle Peterbilt Heavy-Haul Rig.

Old Ford "Big Lips" Cabover.

Smart Seminole Paint on Kenworth W900.

Kenworth W900 gets plenty of TLC.

Love's Travel Stop Location Book. Fifty new truckstops is one almighty expansion for one year. They do seem to be popping-up all over the place and with a lot more parking spots than their older sites.

Monday, July 3, 2017

One Hundred And Fifty Years Old.

5038 Kilometres - 7 Days

____ Just a few months ago, I was heading South, hoping to get the warm rays of the sun on my back as I escaped from a frozen Manitoba. Now at the end of June, I am dreading the triple digit Fahrenheit temperatures of Texas. My tactic for avoiding a sweltering truck-cab, is to run late into the night; having a a/c chilled cab ready for bed in slightly cooler conditions. There is the problem of finding somewhere to park at that time. Most of the big chain truckstops would be full but having a regular route, I have found the places where a late-comer can usually find a spot.

____ I am leaving the yard at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, so it's a good job that my first night's stop at Watertown is one such truckstop. Iola, Kansas, the second night-out is also a good bet for a spot at any-time. Third night-out is at Lucky J's, just up the road from the Madisonville mushroom farm. Peat-moss delivered and my chances of completing an idle-free trip go down the pan when the office has me reloading at Pasadena on Friday; 13.00 hours. Twenty-seven hours of waiting with the engine running at the Houston Flying J. I refuse to suffer any discomfort while at work; the mercury is reading over 100 degree, too hot and humid to go walkabout. I stay in the sleeper and let the a/c do it's stuff.

____ Eventually loaded and out into the Friday afternoon getaway; swollen by the up-coming Fourth of  July Holiday.Slow going on Interstate 45; but at least the Dallas rush-hour has subsided by the time I go through. Into Oklahoma, just before night-fall and just before the driving hours run out. Into the dust bowl parking of the Chocktaw Travel Plaza at Calera, just before a thunderstorm dampens things down, takes the heat out of the air and let's me get a good night's rest.

____ Saturday is July 1st, the 150th Canada Day, and I would have been back home enjoying beer and fireworks if the office had got it's act together. Instead, it is a full day's driving to Sioux City; followed by another long day back to the yard. Interstate 29 with the cruise control clicked up to 109kph; trusting the trailer tyres will hold out with a full load of plastic granules and another red-hot day warming them up. Into to a strong headwind and the fuel consumption sky-rockets but after all that wasted time, someone has to pay for my bad mood.

A truck from simpler times.

Well loaded pick-up with just the one strap on the back.

Back home just in time for Cruise Night at the Pony Corral on Grant.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summer: Not For The First Time.

It was a hot afternoon, 
The last day of June
And the Sun was a demon.
One-ten in the shade,
 The clouds were afraid.
I was really steaming.
Been backed on the bay,
For most of the day
 With that red light still blinking.
Thought I'd be gone,
Never been here so long.
So much for thinking
I'd be well on my way
And Canada Day
Would be fireworks and drinking.

Inspired by Bobby Goldsboro.

See the tree, how big it's grown,
It was just a twig when I left home.