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Travels of a Trucker Another trip to Mt.Milligan

December 18, 2011

So here it was. Another trip to Mt. Milligan. Another load to Tarp and another chain up at the mines. This time I was not so sure about the weather. I had heard there was snow forecasted for areas as low as Vancouver and this usually means dreadful weather in the mountain regions. Definitely not something I look forward to, but something that I have to do.

I had a little problem with my dispatcher. I had worked the previous day a little later than expected. I had things to do at home like doing laundry and perhaps sleep in a wee bit before this trip. I knew how long it would take me to drive there. Basically a full days drive with little stop or little rest except to fuel and grab a coffee at Tim Horton’s in Vanderhoof. anyways, the evening before I had called my dispatcher and asked her to ask the guys in the shop who drive the forklift to put some tarps up on my load. She was of course quite willing to ask them to do it. Then she asked me, “what time are you coming in to tarp your load?” I said “I’ll be there around 9am”. Well her attitude changed and she became quite cold. “If you come in at 9am and tarp you won’t make your unload site tomorrow morning”. I told her. “I got things to do, laundry to do, children to take to school”, so her attitude became “well the guys in the shop are busy right now, they will do it in the morning”.  I told her, “it’s only a 12 hour drive to the mine”. Well the bottom line was I am going to leave when I damn well want to leave. I won;t be late for the appointment so don’t worry about me.

The next day I show up to work at 8:30 am and start with getting my tarps on the load. I have 3 tarps, but the load is only 37 or 38 feet long so I settle on placing 2 tarps. I barely have an inch of overhang from the front tarp to the rear tarp to prevent the wind from getting under and ripping them off. So I settle on placing belts over top in key positions to prevent just this from happening. It was a good thing because I had a little tear in the front tarp and the wind being omnipresent senses this and balloons that spot out a bit and as I drive I can see the wind going through that spot pushing the front tarp out a bit as if a ghost was making their way under a sheet.

by 11am I am tarped, strapped, bungee’d and ready to go. Another of my co-workers was also going to the mine and he had arrived at 10:30 to start tarping. When I was ready to leave he was just getting the ladder I used. I left thinking nothing more, but I knew he hadn’t been up to the mine yet so I gave him a ring shortly after I left. I traveled that day through great roads. Through the Canyon was great road…

Through Spences Bridge was great road…

and then of course all the way to Williams Lake. I had absolutely no problems. Then of course the snow began. I had been trying to get a hold of my co-worker for the whole day wondering why he wasn’t answering. Well anyways, the snow started, just a light irritating wet snow. Not dry snow which makes everything clean and easy to see, but a wet, dirty snow that makes everything harder to see. Everyone was traveling around 80. So my time is cut back. I was on pace for reaching Prince George in only 8 hours, but my time was being lost in the storm. I keep on pushing through filling up fuel in Quesnel and re topping in Prince George for Logbook purposes. I still had hours left to drive so I continued onto to Vanderhoof only stopping to use the internet. The snow was getting thicker and I get a call from Shaun. Seems he had been stuck in an accident in the Canyon waiting for it to be cleared up. He said it snowed all the way down and they had to chain up and further to this he was just reaching Cache Creek which was about 7 hours back from me. It was already 11pm when he called so he was going to bed until the morning. Well weather of course was getting worse. I still had to drive another 40 minutes to reach Fort St. James. Then I would go to bed.

The next morning I get a bang bang bang on my truck. It is another driver who had also pushed through from Calgary the day before. We went up to the mine together that morning.

The road was not clear yet not having been graded as usual, but it was okay. There was some spots that we were a little leery of, but it was not snowing which was good!

A few hours later and we are done, leaving the mine. We traverse our way back down the logging road.

This sign is a little hard to see, but it says…Freedom This Way!

Just over an hour later we are back on solid road. I call the other driver and no answer. So my co worker and I head out. We get a text to head to Hudson’s Hope for those loads. A little while later dispatch is asking if we heard from Shaun. I call him and no answer. She says forget it, he is in Vanderhoof. So as we are leaving we watch for him. No sign of him. By this time it is almost 3 in the afternoon. We continue on our way after eating at a diner in Vanderhoof. No sign of him until we reach Prince George. We pass him on the highway. It was another 5 hours before we reached Chetwynd that night. By the way, on a side note, as we got back and slept in Prince George, the next morning we passed Shaun again. He was sleeping at the scale. A short time later I talked to him and he said he had been stuck in another road closure near Vanderhoof for another 5 hours that day we were loading so he had no back haul. He was going home empty. Talk about bad luck on his part.

Well as always dear readers. Thanks for reading Travels of a Trucker and if you like my blogs, please share the word with other drivers. You can follow with email, using Google Connect or follow me on twitter :!/truckerofbc or on my Facebook Page:

If you are a sponsor looking to have a product promoted, giveaways, or looking for reviews, please send samples or test items to:

Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC V3M2T8



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