Sunday, June 14, 2009

Edmonton to Calgary... via Nogales Arizona (part 1)

Monday June 8th 2009

I wake up in the morning after having saturday and sunday off, 20 minutes later getting a call from Darren to meet him at the Shell truckstop on the west end and he'll show me what was fixed on the truck. I get there 45 minutes later, throw my shit into the truck and park my car in the parking lot and give my keys to the cashier inside a sealed envelope for my parents to pick up the car later in the day, as he does not yet have a yard...

I walk back to the truck, just as Darren pulls up, he shows me a few things on the truck that have been fixed, he then tells me that I need to load in 6 hours in Lethbridge, so get going!

The drive to the bridge is easy, with no slow down in Calgary, and I pull into the customer 3 minutes early, take about 3 hours to load, during which time I have the shipper set up my paperwork with Darren back in St.Albert, and he then faxes me the appropriate paperwork to bring the french fries to the Mexican border, there is no manned scales in Lethbridge around 7pm, so I'll need to hope my weights are legal until I can scale my load in Shelby, Montana. I get into Shelby after a five minute delay at the border (SWEET!!!) I scale my load and find out my drives weight is 1300 Lbs underweight, but my trailer is 900 Lbs overweight! So I slide the trailer 3 holes back and weight again to a perfect weight distributed load! I pull down the road a couple more hours to the Dearborn rest area, and call it a night at 11pm, temperature 13c, Great sleeping temperature! 874km driven today

I have a perfect 9hr sleep and head off at 915 in the morning straight south on the I-15, not much happens today, I head into Salt Lake City during rush hour but traffic is realitivity light, and I spend my night on a ramp in southern Utah 23 miles north of Beaver. Another gorgeous cool night for sleeping. 1124 km driven today.

At 8 in the morning I head south to the Flying J in Beaver Utah and fuel up the truck and reefer, then head another 17 miles south and exit at the Utah state highway 20, Its 21 miles long taking me to the US89 south towards Flagstaff, that 21 miles takes me about 35 minutes to drive, with all the hills and steep downgrades, this was what my entire day was going to be like. The rest of the drive in Utah is a breeze, through Panguitch and Kanab, then straight east towards Page, AZ

I should just say here that I have'nt been on this highway from Kanab to Phoenix In about 4 years, and I'll probably never take it again with such a heavy load!

Once I get into Arizona you drive over the Page bridge, beautiful over the Glen Canyon dam over the Colorado river. The scale is on the right hand side and you must slow right down for it, then after that slow down for the actual town of Page, once out of Page I'm climbing again and about 20 minutes later I am doing 65 miles an hour for the first time since entering Arizona... (45 km ago!) At this point I'm reminded of a huge downgrade ahead, so I slow right down and desend it at 30mph, get onto the valley floor and head towards Flagstaff. I pull into the Flagstaff truckstop on the I-40 2.25 hours later after driving through town, at which point I see that Flagstaff was the first city in the world to comply with the dark nights group of people. Huh! So the whole city has low wattage light fixtures. Hope dark nights helped them pay for the upgrade...

Anyways I stay there only for 15 minutes to go pee and grab a Pepsi, then its south again along the I-17 towards Phoenix, the road is straight at 75 mph for a while then you start the desend, slow down to 40mph, get into Camp Verde, then climb at 30mph out of there! AHH I HATE HILLS! Once I summit, Its downhill again into the desert, at again 30-40mph, until I'm finally on flat land driving 75mph towards Phoenix, at rush hour. Traffic there tightens up around the I-10/US60 split, then after that its full speed again into Eloy,AZ where I call it a day, Temp in Eloy is 90f, about 32c, not bad at all, 870km driven today. I sleep with the truck off with no sheets and I surprisingly am comfortable.

The next day I wake up and drive the 2 hours into Nogales through Tucson, head straight for the Mexican border to US customs, have them cancel my travel bond, and head In for 9am delivery, by 11am I'm unloaded. Usually with Mexican loads, they have a trailer that they put the product right back into, not this time however, they put the frozen french fries on the hot dock and left them there... for how long I've no idea! My bills are signed and I head over to the Pilot for a shower and await my next dispatch.

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