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Travels of a Trucker “Haulin Ass”

June 10, 2012

The one thing I have always loved about trucking is being in a nice truck. There is nothing better than having people eye your truck up and make comments on it. I guess you can say I have an average truck. It’s nothing special to look at. It’s a Train Truck is what it is and an addict. It is addicted to Diesel as bad as any junkie out there addicted to drugs. A Peterbilt with a 550hp Cummins 18 speed pulling Tandem and Tridem boxes. It has full lockers and is wide open. It has a few little quirks that I can hear and see and they will be fixed at the next CVI which is due at the end of the month, but for the most part she seems a reliable beast having had an inframe and a tranny rebuild in the last year or so.

So my first trip was off to Calgary. Rain had been falling day and night for a couple of days before I had left and the forecast called for rain which would get even thicker the farther East I went. I barreled through. Chilliwack for fuel, then off past Hope, past Merrit, past Kamloops, past Salmon Arm, past Sicamous, past Craigellachie, past Revelstoke, past Golden, past Banff and into Calgary. One shot and I was there with only a couple of Timmies to keep me going the whole way. I had just gotten into Calgary and heard that highway 1 had been shut down due to a mudslide. So the next day I do my delivery and reload at H & R Transport. It had been a long day since my delivery wasn’t scheduled until 2pm and I am an 8am faithful riser. I just cannot sleep past 4am. regardless if I go to bed at 4 or 5am I am up at 8am. So by 4pm I was loaded and headed out with a glimmer of hope that Highway 1 was open again. No such luck. Earlier in the day Highway 3 had been shut down also due to a vehicle incident and extreme weather. Extreme weather in June???? Well I thought it will be a snow day in June before I stop!! So by the time I reach Banff I see that highway 1 is shut down until noon the following day. I make a decision to go through Highway 93 and up through Radium and down to Cranbrook and take the lower route of Highway 3.

As I wind my way through the 93 I pass 6 Black bears grazing at the side of the road, 1 Grizzly bear and 1 Kootenay pass. Reaching Radium I jump onto Hwy 93/95 and continue uneventfully down to Cranbrook.  I am wondering what is going on as I still don’t know if Highway 3 is open. By 9pm the highway is open again. I reach Salmo and talk to the locals who tell me that it snowed a foot of snow through the Salmo-Creston the night before. Ok, it snowed in June! Well I continued on thinking I may catch the ferry only to discover they are detouring as the road had been washed out. So up and over the passes I go. The road had been heavily sanded and obviously it was freezing conditions. I was hell bent on making a dent in this journey or going this route would have been for nothing since I could have waited in Golden until noon and made the same distance without wasting fuel or time the next day. The whole night I drive on passing Creston, passing Grand Forks. On and on I drive until I reach Keremeos at 4am. I need sleep but geographically I am only 4.5 hours away from Vancouver instead of being 10 hours away in Golden. The next day I wake up and cheat a little bit getting into Princeton to have coffee and check the roads. Golden is still closed and now I am 4 hours away from Vancouver. So I sit in Princeton letting my log catch up to me a bit more. I drive on still a bit ahead of my log and get into Hope where I wait the last hour and a half before my log book is actually legal to cross the scale. A shower later and I am fresh and good to go.

I call my dispatcher and he has another trip ready for me to go with. It is a 3 dropper. Starting in Penticton, going to Kelowna and finishing at Kamloops. So off I go after grabbing supper at home and taking my son with me. Off we go to Penticton reaching there just around 1am when my log book ends. The next morning we finish Penticton and head off to Kelowna and then off to Kamloops. We finish Kamloops around 3:30pm and the dispatcher says come on home. By the time I reach home in 4 days I have logged just over 3300km of which almost 2900 had been mountain kilometers. A tough pull of a week to be sure. I’ll be happy when I get to pull those Prairie miles instead of humping the mountains days in a row.

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Trucker.

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