Friday, December 8, 2017

Six Days To Laredo And Back.

Six days : 5723 kilometres.

3605 miles in 60 hours 5 minutes.

____ I leave on a Saturday morning; just a short break between trips. It's December and I need to get two trips done before Christmas as it doesn't look like there will be anything happening between Christmas and the New Year. Also it's a chance to get some sun on my back in the warmer climate of Southern Texas. Another load of paper to Laredo with the same overnight stops as the last trip; Missouri Valley and Thackerville then into the TA at Laredo.

____ A warm night followed by one of those calm still mornings with a clear sky and the Sun low in the sky. Reminiscent of the Mediterranean coast of Spain during a Winter getaway from the UK where I would sit and soak up the atmosphere and do nothing all day. But not today; paper tipped and re-load instructions received before 10 o'clock. A trailer switch at Waller, 334 miles to the North-East and they need the empty trailer as soon as possible. Back up to San Antonio on Interstate 35, then Interstate 10 after a quick visit to Popeyes in the San Antonio TA.

____ Just 15 minutes to swap the trailers and check-over the new one while the guy in the gatehouse sends all the paper work to the Ruby Truck Line office and the customs broker. Drivers used to go into the gatehouse but now everything is done through a small slot in a glass window with a speaker and a microphone for communication. I hate things like that as it reminds me of visiting a prisoner in jail but when there is no messing about and things get done quickly by people who know what they are doing, then I can over-look the demeaning and distrust of their system. I have enough time to crack-on up to Hillsboro and the possibility of getting home in two shifts.

____ The road works on the Interstate 35 West at Fort Worth aren't going to finish any time soon and it seems whatever time and what ever direction, there are always some hold-ups and that's without any fender-benders which can ruin any decent traffic flow for hours. Over-night closure of the complete interstate is common, along with a multitude of random lane closures during the middle of the day. So I tried coming through at rush-hour when at least two lanes are open in each direction. Guess what? Two hours ten minutes from Hillsboro to Thackerville, which is about the same as at any other time. I celebrated with a free breakfast buffet at the Winstar Casino. [Weds and Thurs for Over 55, Players Club members.]

____ I knew I had to get to Percival in Iowa to have any chance of getting back to Steinbach in one hit. A long day into a bitterly cold wind from the North and a night under two blankets; just two days after a night on top of the quilt. Then it is all Interstate 29, north through Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Sioux Falls and Fargo. Back across the border before dark with one eye on the fuel filter gauge. But the diesel from the southern states is OK this time; warm air has come into Manitoba from some where and it is a lot warmer than when I left, six days ago.
About as low as a low-loader can go.

Fed-Ex Triple.

Jordan has started running blades.

Two halves of a house.


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