WINTER `99 - TRIP ONE,
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

copyright '99

Well I just know you are all dying to read the next episode of my life as a trucker. Did he get that load to San Francisco (California) ? Jan. 28

No. I didn't take the trailer, that I loaded, with beer for San Jose (Just South of San Francisco). Instead I took a trailer loaded with rolls of paper to Los Angeles, California. January 29

Feb. 1 Just a few blocks from where I unloaded in L. A., I reloaded with some plastic trays for Pepsi in Canada.

My load wasn't' ready but they loaded half and were waiting for the rest to come out of the assembly plant. Then we learned that the injector nozzle on the mold machine cracked. There was plastic all over the place an drying fast, and hard. A new injector nozzle would have to be ordered from Germany and the machine would have to be cleaned of the plastic spillage. In total, about a three month wilt for the rest of my load.

So they unloaded me and loaded me with another type of tray, for the same customer.

Feb. 3 Back in Vancouver, B. C. I loaded a trailer with barrels of frozen fruit pulp for California. I left the trailer in Vancouver and took the trailer of Pepsi trays to Edmonton, (the Provincial Capital) Alberta (the next Province East of B. C.).

It was late at night and fifteen below in Edmonton but you just drive through big doors at Pepsi and back into a warm, dry loading dock. Within two hours I was South of the city on my way to pick up a load of peat moss at Olds (just North of Calgary).

It was a bright sunny day but cold. It was warm in my truck. I was in and out of the truck all day. Being susceptible to colds I caught one.

After loading, weighing, and adjusting the axels on the trailer, I went to a truck stop, got some fuel, and crawled into bed.

I was very sick, like pneumonia or something. I slept till midnight then getting out of the truck I forgot there was no running board and lost my footing. I grabbed the handrail to keep from falling and twisted my back.

It was late at night and I drove to a truck stop in Calgary. It only took an hour but I barely made it. I had trouble keeping my mind on the road. All I wanted to do was pull over and crawl into bed. But like most freeways there is no place to park.

The next morning was sunny and the cab got overly warm so I turned off the heater and open the window. Clouds then covered the sun and I woke up chilled. I closed the window, started the truck, and turned on the heater.

This happened several times and I was getting sicker so I rented a room, soaked in a hot tub, and crawled into a bed with steady temperatures. I hadn't been so sick since I had the mumps on both sides when I was six years old.

Two days later when I was feeling better I headed South West to Highway 3 and the Crowsnest Pass. There are only four ways to cross the Rocky Mountains between B. C. and Alberta, the Pine Pass in the North, the Yellowhead Highway West of Edmonton, the Rogers Pass West of Calgary and the Crowsnest pass in the South.

At that time the only credit card I had was an American Express. but it wouldn't work. From the truck stop I phoned American Express and asked the to re-open my card so I could call an ambulance to take me to a hospital. No matter how much I pleaded they wouldn't let me use the card. Since that time I have never used, or promoted, anything to do with American Express, in any way.

The peat moss went to Hubbard, (just South of Portland) Oregon (USA). I unloaded Feb. 8.

Feb. 9. At a truck stop on the I-5 I met one of our trucks and traded trailers with him. He had a load of Oriental Instant Noodles that he had loaded in Sacramento.

I went North East through Washington and Idaho, the same way I had gone South, and back to the Crowsnest pass into Alberta and followed Highway 3 into Saskatchewan.

I took the noodles to the Safeway (a large chain of grocery stores in North America) warehouse in Winnipeg, (Provincial Capital) Manitoba and unloaded Feb. 12.

The trailer, on each side, on the back half, in big letters says, 'Super Natural British Columbia' and then has an 800 number you can phone for information.

On the passenger side, on the front half, is a mural of kayaks on the Bowron Lakes (central B. C.).

On the driver's side of the trailer is a mural of a desert and it says, "It's high time you visited our desert."

I enjoyed pulling that trailer through the high plains deserts of Oregon and Washington.

People, particularly Canadians, would say to me, "I didn't know Canada had a desert." I would then explain to them that it is the world's smallest desert and is in the Southern part of B. C.'s Okanagan valley.

Feb. 12. At Giroux (South East of Winnipeg) I loaded peat moss (same company as the one in Olds. They have three plants in Canada and one in the US).

I stopped in Moose Jaw, [West of Regina (Provincial capital)] Saskatchewan to pick up some stuff for a friend in Vancouver.

Ahead of me, going to the truck stop, was a truck from a company called `PB' (Paul Bryant) out of Morris, Manitoba. He turned into a driveway and I turned into the next one. He came to a dead end and parked. I turned around and backed into a space.

The next morning when I left the PB truck was still where he had stopped.

Later that day I passed the PB truck sitting on the side of the road. I'm not sure how he got ahead of me.

That night I stopped at a truck stop in Cranbrook, (South East) B. C. When I got up the next morning the PB truck was parked beside me.

Feb. 15. I got to Gilroy, (about two hours South of San Francisco) California, too late to unload. I left the trailer at the customer's and as I couldn't find a truck stop in Gilroy I bobtailed (no trailer) to Salinas (next town South) and spent the night at a truck stop. I found a mall and went to the movie `Payback' with Mel Gibson. It was very good. Mr. Gibson is such a good actor. I wish I could write a movie for him.

I unloaded the peat moss Feb. 16 then went looking for a truck stop and found a cafe with a big parking lot full of trucks. The PB truck was there. I got talking to Jake, the driver.

On Feb. 17 Jake got sent South to Bakersfield to get a load.

I sat in Gilroy for two days and then went empty to Yuba City, (East of San Francisco. Just North of Sacramento) California where I loaded bottles of peach flavoured Snapple. (a fruit drink).

Feb. 19. In Selah, [near Yakima, (near the center of the state)] Washington, I unloaded the Snapple.

This was an illegal load as, being a Canadian, I am not allowed to load and unload a product within the states. All my trips must originate in the USA, and end in Canada, or originate in Canada and end within the USA.

I was worried the entire trip that I might get stopped by the police and spend some time in jail. I told myself that when I got back home I would find another job. I don't interstate.

I did that last spring for another company (see my website Trucking Spring `98 - Trip one, Nogales) and I quit them when I got home, for the same reason.

It was too late to pick up my next load so I went to the Gearjammer's truck stop in Yakima. After supper I was wandering around, and, surprise, there was Jake. His load in Bakersfield hadn't panned out and his company had sent him to Yakima, 900 miles, to get a load.

Feb. 20 I was up early and went to Warden, (two hours East of Yakima) Washington and loaded potatoes.

When I got to Vancouver the place was closed so I couldn't unload. I took the truck to the yard and cleaned out my stuff.

The company wanted me to go out Sunday night but I wanted to spend the week looking for another job.

Monday I took the trailer, got it unloaded, took it back to the yard, and then went to find a chiropractor and a better job.

THE END

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