We are now in the third week of our adventure and I am still going it alone. We will be moving whatever is left of our mementos and of course, my Big Ass Television, back to Ontario on the 28th of November. That will be the official start of our homelessness.
For week one I ran a nice trip to Sexsmith, Alberta with a reload of lumber from Grand Cache, Alberta back to Winnipeg. It was rather uneventful other than a huge dumping of snow to make the roads a little treacherous.
Loaded at The Foothills Lumber Mill, Grande Cache, Alberta
The Aurora Borealis along the Yellowhead Highway west of Edmonton, Alberta
Week Two brought me to make my first trip to the USA since 2009.
For a little context as to why after 30 years of cross border trucking, I would suddenly stop and stay in Canada only, here goes. Quite simply I got very tired of all of the hatred directed at Canadians, truckers especially by a huge number of people south of the border. This unfathomable attitude and vitriol from Law Enforcement, Shippers, other truckers and the general public finally took its toll on me and I decided, rightly or wrongly, to stay in Canada for a while. My decision did not change my fondness and love for all of my family and friends there, you guys were always awesome.
OK, back to trucking.
I took a quick load, so I thought, to Iowa with a reload in Shaumburg, IL. This is where the quick part ended. The load was delivering on the west coast in Delta, BC. The trip went very well and only small instance of someone targeting me and it was just a D.O.T. Officer in South Dakota, I forgave her very quickly because she must have been bored… being South Dakota after all.
I made my delivery in BC and was given a reload to pick up whenever I wanted in Castlegar, BC so I took my Government mandated 36 hour rest period and then went to load my lumber. This was my first trip ever to cross the southern tier of BC along Highway 3 or the Crowsnest Highway. What a fantastic ride. It starts just east of Hope, BC as a skinny 2 lane twisty road through the rain-forest and very quickly turns into some fantastic mountain driving. The mountain roads take you up and down extremely twisty turns and 30 KPH switchbacks for 10 and 20 kilometer climbs and drops. The snow-capped mountains, fast moving rivers and streams along with towering redwood trees provide a breathtaking backdrop for such an adrenalin inducing highway.
Note to self; get a bike.
Seven hours later I loaded at Castlegar and started my trip home. I checked my BC mountains App for road closures and chain-ups and found out there was an avalanche on my route home. Park the truck, go to bed. The following day my trusty App told me all was good so I headed east to explore more of this awesome highway. The road was dry, the sun was shining and it was 10 Celsius… until I hit the elevations. At around 5000 feet the road was ice, the sun was gone and it was -13 Celsius, quickly zip down into a valley, through a couple of small towns then onto the wonderful Kootenay Pass.
My Nav system climbing the Kootenay Pass. My apologies for the crappy quality of the image but I was driving up a mountain and taking the shot with my heavy D300s.
Top of the Kootenay Pass
Top of Kootenay Pass looking west
After a safe crossing of the Kootenay and Crowsnest Passes I was hit with the dreaded CHECK ENGINE light and my Nav System was screaming at me to check for malfunctions. Of course the system does not tell you what’s wrong, it just give you a code. I limped my truck into Lethbridge Peterbilt in Lethbridge, Alberta and checked in with Curtis the Service Manager. I gave him the code, he couldn’t find anything on it so they hooked up the computers to the trucks ECM. Curtis got back to me about a half hour later with a confused look on his face.
‘It’s your Ammonia Sensor’ he said
‘What’s an Ammonia Sensor’ I questioned
‘Don’t know, never heard of it’ he muttered
‘Huh, well can I limp it home’ I wondered
He fired up his computer to do some research on our NFG part…
‘It’s a sensor for your DEF System to spray the correct amount into your exhaust, no you can’t drive, no there are no sensors in Canada, we ordered you one… see you Friday’
Insert huge F-Bomb here.
So here I sit blogging, tweeting, re-tweeting, sharing, liking and plus 1-ing on all of my social sites driving people nuts.
See you next time