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Quick Visit to Canada

Quick Visit to Canada

Old Dec 22, 09, 7:29 pm
  #1  
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Quick Visit to Canada

Tour of Duty 16-21 December 2009

I informed the company I needed to be home for the Christmas holiday so they were understandably reluctant to fly me or give me any trips to the east side of the USA or Canada. I was expecting to do some Dixon, CA to Coquitlam, BC runs but those trucks kept getting delayed and alas, a garbage truck in Baldwin Park, CA going to Langley, BC became available.

I hired a taxi to Baldwin Park and made the pickup on a nice warm and sunny afternoon.

Trip: Baldwin Park, CA to Langley, BC 1,271 paid miles
Route: Interstate 210 to Interstate 5 to Washington 543 to British Columbia 15 to British Columbia 10
Maximum elevation: 4,310 feet at Siskiyou Summit on Interstate 5 4 miles north of the CA/OR state line
Highest diesel price USA: $2.919/gallon at TA Santa Nella, CA
Lowest diesel price USA: $2.489/gallon at Jubitz Portland, OR
Permits Required: OR fuel permit, WA and BC trip permits


This garbage truck resulted in a slow and uncomfortable ride. After I got the truck I got on Interstate 210 and once I got into Pasadena I ran into congestion as I had to take an interchange to stay on the 210. Traffic was heavy through the Magic Mountain area and I stopped in Castaic for my evening rations before proceeding up the Grapevine.

I encountered some fog in the Central Valley starting around Buttonwillow. The fog got denser then lighter and I was in and out of the fog and elected to shut down in Lost Hills.

Next day I proceeded and the fog burned off and it was a routine day. I got more fog after sundown south of Sacramento then more fog from Willows to near Red Bluff where I shut down for the night.

Friday I stopped in Redding to get chains as large trucks are required to have chains available in the mountain pass areas in Oregon and Washington this time of the year. Even though I did not use or intend to use the chains I still had to have them in my possession or else I would have been subject to a citation and fine if I was caught without them. I made it over Siskiyou Summit without any trouble. Once I cleared Grants Pass I ran into some fog and drizzle and shut down in Roseburg, OR.

Saturday I continued north and there was some heavy drizzle or light rain starting in the Portland area. I ended up shutting down in Kelso, WA.

Sunday morning I attended church at Cowlitz Way Baptist Church in Kelso, WA. The message was on Christmas from Luke 2:1-20 then a comparison with some of the modern "Christmas" traditions and their pagan roots. As an aside while it is traditional to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25th December there are many who believe He was actually born in the fall and some say
29th of September or thereabouts.

I continued north and got into rain around Federal Way. Traffic was jammed going through Seattle and it rained pretty hard north of Everett and as a result I did not make it anywhere for Sunday evening service. It was not raining when I shut down in Bellingham for the night.

Monday morning dawned grey and rainy. It took a considerable amount of time to defrost the windshield and I got started to the border. It stopped raining by the time I got to Blaine, WA. I went to US Customs where I got the title cleared then I queued to reach the border.

Once I crossed the border I went inside to Customs then saw the broker then back to Customs and I got directions to the customer. Once released I proceeded to make delivery then the company booked me a nonstop on AS from YVR to LAX.

I hired a taxi to take me to Vancouver International Airport. Once I got there I checked in, checked my bags after paying $39.68USD to check two bags. I was able to get a reclining exit row seat. Then I dropped off my bags and cleared security after a short queue with no additional screening and no hand search of carry ons. Afterward I precleared US Customs after a short wait and the total time from arrival at the airport to the gate took 45 to 50 minutes. I got some evening rations before it was time to board the flight. I was in Canada just under 6 hours total.

Alaska #706 YVR-LAX B-737-800 Seat 15A Exit Row Cruising altitude not announced Estimated flying time 2:18, actual 2:23 Scheduled departure
18h30, actual 18h38 out of E83 Scheduled arrival 21h20, actual 21h30 into gate 31B


Plane was almost but not totally full. I was in the reclining exit row which meant extra room. Pushback was 8 minutes late with taxi/hold of 18 minutes then takeoff to the east. I saw lights of downtown Vancouver and the metro area then we made turn to south and I saw Annacis Island and the Alex Fraser Bridge. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:20.

There was drink run at 0:46 and I got cup of root beer and Gourmet Party Mix. Seatbelt sign went on at 0:49 and off again at 1:16 at which time I got another cup of root beer. Seatbelt sign went on again at 1:24 and off again at 1:37. Because my view was partly blocked by the wing and because it was after dark I did not see where we were during most of the flight.

I felt descent begin at 2:01 and seatbelt sign went on at 2:10. I saw West LA and Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. We turned south then west at 2:18. I saw Interstate 105 on final approach and we landed east to west. Taxi was 10 minutes and we arrived at gate 10 minutes late. I got my checked bags 26-28 minutes after arrival.

Alaska had a guarantee of 25 minutes or less for checked bags so I went into baggage service and advised the agent of the time it took my bags to arrive and I was given a voucher with a code that I used to go online and get an extra 2,500 miles to my account.

I took a shuttle home. LAX was very busy so it took a considerable amount of time to go around the airport and finally exit. I arrived home in time for the holiday. A very merry Christmas to everyone.
Loose Cannon is offline  
Old Dec 23, 09, 6:14 am
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A very merry Christmas to you too! I've enjoyed reading your TRs this year.
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Old Dec 28, 09, 6:36 am
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I really enjoy reading your trip reports, Loose Cannon.
I take it many of these vehicles do not have cruise control, no?
Do you also drive traditional “big rigs” (53’ 18 wheelers)? What about wide loads?
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Old Dec 28, 09, 6:40 am
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Oh, and to add, you have outstanding geography!
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Old Dec 28, 09, 9:44 am
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Thanks for the nice report!
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Old Dec 28, 09, 9:58 am
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Went thru Willows and didn't call?

Shucks you could have stayed overnight. We're 12 miles west of Willows up in the hills. Lots of space to park a truck :->.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by RoyalFlush View Post
I really enjoy reading your trip reports, Loose Cannon.
I take it many of these vehicles do not have cruise control, no?
Do you also drive traditional “big rigs” (53’ 18 wheelers)? What about wide loads?
In the earlier phase of my driving career I was a company driver and did drive a big rig "18 wheeler" tractor pulling (almost always) a 53' trailer. Though I did once pull a 57' trailer on a load from Ft. Worth, TX to Tyler, TX. And a couple times I pulled doubles a.k.a. "wiggle wagons".

Many of the vehicles I drive DO have cruise control.
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