Once we accepted the load to Edmonton it then occurred to us that we might want to check the weather for up there. So Pops got on the weather channel and saw that they were not calling for snow but the temps were to dip below zero during the nights. Oh well, we have warm coats.
So we shopped and stocked up, I brought a good supply of water inside our truck so it wouldn’t be frozen when we needed it. And then we got moving. It was going to be about a 45 hour trip if all went well.
I started the trip and we picked up and then made our trek up and over the beautiful Smokey Mountains into Tennessee and up through Kentucky, into a little of Ohio and Indiana. I stopped my driving somewhere in Indiana and Pops took over. I went to sleep while he drove us through Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin and into St. Paul, Minnesota. This is where I woke up and got us something to eat and made coffee.
On trips like these we usually utilize our crockpot. It is so handy to throw ingredients in and then eat in about 6 hours and usually there are leftovers. We also have been eating a lot of healthy protein bars in place of breakfast or lunch. We are trying to stay away from truckstop food. Both of us have gained back some weight with this job and we need to try to lose it.
Anyway, I drove us through Minnesota and North Dakota and reached the Border to Canada about 11 hours later. We got there around 7:30pm and was through in less than 2 minutes. Our company really does a good job of pre-clearing us to cross. That is why we have so much to do with the Canadian paperwork when we first pick the load up, but it sure does make things easier.
Once we crossed in I drove to first town with any size to it, Weyburn, and then Pops started to drive again. After 11 hours of straight driving, I went right to sleep and slept like a baby until 6:30am when we were driving through a city which sits on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is called Lloydminster. The roads through there are so incredibly bumpy that we determined that they do it on purpose to control speed. But it about shook me right out of the bed.
So I got up and read us our morning devotions and made coffee, washed up the dishes and made the bed. After about another hour Pops parked at a roadside “break” area and we took a little break.
We were getting closer to Edmonton and it was really rural. We saw a lot of buffalo right along the road. They were rooting their big heads in the snow looking for food. It still amazes me to see them in the wild. They are massive beasts.
Both of us saw a lot of coyotes and magpies and other animals.
Finally we reached the city of Edmonton. We were looking for 76th Street or so Gypsy said. But when we got to that address it was a catholic school. So we pulled in across the street and noticed a taxi cab there with the driver inside. Pops went and asked him and he drew us a map and we realized that we needed 76th Ave, not street. Way to go, FedEx. Oh well, it took us only about 15 minutes to drive over there. And then the delivery went very smoothly.
So now we were unloaded and ready to drive the long, long drive back to Minneapolis.
There isn’t hardly ever loads coming back out of Canada so when we got this load offer we asked them to increase the pay so we got enough to cover the fuel back to the US. We got an extra amount that we asked for and so we started the long deadhead that would cover over 1200 miles.
I was driving now and I passed a town somewhere in Alberta that had a sign stating that they had “The World’s largest Pysanka.” I had no idea what a pysanka was and wrote the word down so I could remember to google it later. Hmmm, my imagination was trying to figure out just what that might be.
I drove through so many prairies. The wheat had been cut to a stubble of about 4 inches and the snow laying the golden fields looked so pretty. At one point I saw a coyote running circles around a round bale of hay in the field. He was onto something and wanted it bad.
I saw a beautiful red fox. His fur was so thick and red. It was gorgeous.
I smiled to myself as I bumped Pops out of the bunk as we drove back through Lloydminster. And then I drove us through Saskatchewan.
Our GPS, Gypsy, sometimes gets a little confused when you come into new construction and she will tell you that you are “out of route.” And then she will try to re-route you. Well this happened to me at a place called The Battlefords. It is a river valley in the low mountains. They had just built a brand new cloverleaf to their highway and several routes came together in the same area.
Well, she pronounced me out of route and while she re-routed I ended up in the city. So I got turned around and followed her “new” directions across town and then she again called, out of route. So now I was running in circles. Pops woke up and together with the map we figured it out and I got on the right track again.
Pops stayed awake and talked to me for a little while and I was telling him about the fox and about the coyote running circles around the round bale and he said maybe it was out of route. Haha, he is so funny.
We reached the border at 12:45am. I was tired. I had been driving all day. So once we got back inside the US Pops took over the driving. We hoped to get back to Minneapolis by early Wednesday morning. It would be the day before Thanksgiving and we were hoping to get another load this week.
We made it to Minneapolis and got parked by 11:30am and I was just beginning to shake the salt and dirt from our floormats and wanting to clean the truck when we did get a load opportunity. It was a good one too. But it picked up right away in Iowa and was going to North Carolina.
So we didn’t eat, we didn’t clean and we didn’t shower. We got moving toward Iowa. It took us a little over 2 hours to reach our destination.
We were supposed to be hauling one piece of equipment which turned out to be 5 pallets. When I called Fedex and our owner to tell them this, we got an additional amount added to our pay. Cool.
So Pops and I are making our way across the states again toward North Carolina. It is now Thanksgiving day and I have a turkey breast in the crockpot and it smells so good. We will be stopping in a little while so that we can shower and eat and rest. We don’t have to be there until tomorrow morning at 8:00am.
Oh and by the way, while driving last evening we got a predispatch that picks up in Virginia as soon as we get this unloaded and it goes to Missouri, near Memphis.
This has been a great work week and I am thankful for that. I sure do miss my family and friends today though.