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Travels of a Trucker Picture This Moment

December 17, 2011

I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to write about the last few days with being away on a big trip and all. For Four grueling days my nerves were tested as my dispatcher didn’t believe I would make it to my unload spot at Mt. Milligan for my delivery with my rather late start at tarping my load. Well tarped load later and many, many kilometers and hours under my belt, I actually did make my delivery for the next morning after a long push to Fort St. James. I was rather lucky this day…but this is for another story…for now let’s go back to to the main theme at hand.

Anybody who drives whether it’s a car or a truck sees some pretty awe inspiring scenery. Sometimes we believe the scenery is so good that we just have to share it. There are other times though when we are so busy we don;t have the time to take the picture or we think we can get it later and this is what I am talking about. I was on my way to Hudson’s Hope if you’ll recall and the scenery there was absolutely superb. The view from the bridge, the Dam site, it was all so great that I made mental note to myself to take a picture later. The only problem was later never came. I arrived on the job site at 9:30 am and by the time the trucks ahead of myself and I being the last had gotten loaded it was already dark and I was the last person to leave the work site. Literally! all the workers disappeared back to town. They asked me to turn the Genset off to the main lights that were so gallantly lighting up the surrounding darkness so I could see well enough to chain down my load and throw belts over it.

So there you have it. The pictures I wanted to take were now gone since now it was pitch Black and I would never get my shot of the pictures I really wanted to take. I did get some other shots that I wanted throughout my trip, but the majority of the good ones as in fishing were, “the ones that got away”. Just like in every job, what you see is not everything. If I could picture every moment you would see some scary moments. For example the snow as it begins to stick to my windshield making visibility hard. The Freezing Rain sticking to my truck and making everything frozen around it including the roads making them treacherous. You would see how poor visibility is when my high beams are on during a snowstorm. There would be so many pictures my poor Blackberry device I use to capture them would be fried from a lack of memory. (much like the place I am headed when I can’t even remember where I put my lighter and hunt all over the truck to find it later in my chest shirt pocket!)

So let’s begin shall we before memory fails me. I had a load up to Mt. Milligan again which I will relate next post. But for now, I had to backtrack out of Mt. Milligan, back down the logging road 75km and back to Vanderhoof. I stopped for lunch with a driving buddy who was headed to the same place as me. We stopped at Twin’s Restaurant in Vanderhoof for some great home style cooking and then we were off. Back through Prince George and up the 97 North Highway towards Hudson’s Hope. Before we could get there we of course had to pass through The Pine Pass (Pine Mountain) and we also had to pass through Chetwynd and then take Highway 29 through to Hudson’s Hope and then we headed towards the W.A.C. Bennet Dam. The problem was all the scenic pictures that I wanted to take were of course too late to be taken with a simple Blackberry 😦 so no pictures of the pass area. We stopped before we went through the pass at a little place called “Windy Point” which is on the 97 headed North just before you enter the pass area. It is owned by a great chap who could probably talk your ear off about anything. He had a great collection of money both old and new bills (of low denominations) from foreign countries posted to the wall. He could also talk your ear off about any of the hunting knives that he sells. His coffee came highly recommended from a fellow driver we were chatting with on the VHF and our conversation was actually quite stimulating. So there we were on a nice crisp evening with little snow falling. The snow that was falling was hard and crunchy making the windshield wet more so than anything if traffic was ahead of you. It was actually very irritating as I went through a lot of windshield washer fluid. So a few hours later we come down from the Pass area and start our lower ride portion. It is dark, so I can’t take any pictures. We arrive in Chetwynd a little early that night, but we decide to stay there. We have no cell service outside of Chetwynd and we have no idea where our load is in Hudson’s Hope. So an early bed time…forget it. I go hunting for WiFi and all the signals are locked. So as usual I find a nice juicy signal for a hotel and I call them and explain my predicament. The lady there reminds me that this service is for paying guests only, but feels my pain as I sit in my truck for the night so she gives me the username and password after asking me questions to ascertain I am who I am and not some hacker hellbent on disrupting service to anyone so that I could use the internet for the night. By the way, no names mentioned, but a huge shout out to The StageCoach Inn in Chetwynd for their gracious internet hospitality.

The next morning we phone the dispatcher and she doesn’t answer our call. we decide to take off and travel the 68 kilometers to Hudson’s Hope on Highway 29. An hour later we are there. We cross over a few bridges on our way and I can see some great pictures but I don’t have time to stop so I tell my coworker I am going to take pictures later on our way back. Never did I think it would take the whole day to load. We arrive at Hudson’s Hope and call the dispatcher again getting directions to a place 15 kilometers out of Hudson’s Hope and close to the W.A.C. Bennet Dam. A short drive later and we see the loading site. It is of course off road, but the road is covered with Glare Ice and we travel slowly making our way down towards a beach area that is filled with other trucks loading. The news is grim. The day before they only managed to get three trucks out and some of these trucks have been here since yesterday. Well the loading was rather fast. There were three Ranger Transport Trucks, One Eclipse Truck, One Local Truck, my Co Worker from Shadow and myself. The main body of an open water excavator was being loaded when we arrived on site and was just being chained down. The next piece was the turret, followed by a B Train for the tracks. Eclipse would get the float and the anchors bound for Seattle while my coworker and I would pick up all the little left over pieces like Generators, 2 Containers that were used for office and Storage and other miscellaneous parts including (don’t ask me)…a metal bathtub. All of these were headed back to Burnaby to a company called Golder Construction.  By 5pm I am the last guy there on the site. The workers all having left for the night until the arrival of the last two trucks the next day. Everything had to be removed for environmental reasons. Not so much as a cigarette butt could remain on these grounds was the words of one of the workers. So you can imagine. Pieces of steel, rubber mats, pieces of wood. Anything that could be shipped on our decks was going. A mixed bag load.

At the Load site near Hudson Hope, BC

Getting Closer!!

Almost there!!

anyways, I could ramble on about our return trip which I will talk about in the next post, but back to the main theme. A lot of the pictures I wanted to take I was not able to.

So dear readers, I ask you this. Has there been a moment when you wanted to take a picture but were unable to? Was there a shot you missed? Please by all means share your tales of missed pictures with your fellow readers. I would love to hear them.

As always, drive safe, keep em Sunny Side up and thanks for reading Travels of a Trucker. If you like what I write, follow along through Email, sign up with Google Connect and be sure to like my Travels of a Trucker Facebook Page located here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Travels-of-a-Trucker/256861804368734

If you are a sponsor looking to promote or have a product tested for review, please send them here:

Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC V3M2T8

Canada

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