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The Short and Long of it (Tour of Duty 15-31 January 2007)

The Short and Long of it (Tour of Duty 15-31 January 2007)

Old Feb 4, 07, 2:19 am
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The Short and Long of it (Tour of Duty 15-31 January 2007)

It was time to go to work again as I was told I needed to be in Chino, CA at 07h00 on Tuesday the 16th of January. The previous evening I was taken to the Metrolink Station in Santa Fe Springs, CA. I took a Metrolink train to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. During my layover I had a tasty roast beef and swiss cheese sandwich on a water bagel. Then I boarded another Metrolink bound for San Bernardino that I took as far as Montclair. After a wait I got a cab to motel room in Chino.

Next morning I was up bright and early and was at the place I was told to be before the appointed time. I was frusturated as there was a wait of 4h30min for overweight permit to come through. Once the permit came through I got underway.

Trip: Chino, CA to Las Vegas, NV 240 actual miles Routes: California 83 to California 60 to Interstate 15 Maximum elevation: 4,730 feet

This was one of the shorter but by no means my shortest trip I've taken. I've done trips of less than 100 miles in the past. This was a slow trip due to terrain and the weight of the vehicle. Weather was not an issue and I did not have to refuel this trip. The truck was not a comfortable to drive in. I made it to Las Vegas and delivered where I was told to late the same evening and got a cab to motel room.

Next day I ended up extending my stay another day after being given transportation choices to Montreal where I was to pick up next truck and later that evening I had a brief visit from a friend.

Following morning I got up early at something like 03h30 and was taken by cab to McCarran International Airport where I checked in, checked bags, took the bags to TSA for screening then spent 15 minutes in line for security. The main bottleneck for security was the ID check. There was no secondary screening and my carry-ons were not searched.

Continental #569 LAS-EWR B-757-300 Seat 34A Exit Row Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 3:35, actual 4:04 Scheduled departure 07h00, actual 07h02 Scheduled arrival 14h55, actual 14h31 Ticket cost: unknown

This was my first time in a B-757-300. I've flown the -200 a number of times before. The plane was fitted with the new interiors reminding me of the newer 737's. Boarding started early, First Class then elite then people needing assistance and finally rows 30-42. Configuration on this plane was
24F/192Y for total capacity of 216 pax. My exit row seat was behind door 3L which is only to be used as emergency exit.

Pushback was 2 minutes late followed by taxi/hold of 15 minutes then takeoff to west followed by turn to south. I saw Interstates 15 and 215 and the TA Truckstop. Then there was turn to east and I saw the Strip, LAS, Nellis AFB and Lake Mead. There was some light chop during climb and seatbelt sign went off at 0:21. A movie "Gridiron Gang" was shown and breakfast was served at 0:32 consisting of Cheerios, 2% milk, mini-banana bread loaf and raisins, none of which I cared for so I ended up passing and instead ate a sandwich I bought at LAS. I saw Lake Powell and the Colorado River in Utah. I saw Monticello, UT and junction of US191/491. Seatbelt sign came on again at 0:49 due to bumpiness. I saw Montrose, CO with snow on the ground and the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies followed by Pikes Peak and the Front Range. I saw Colorado Springs and the snow-covered plains of Eastern Colorado. I saw Limon, CO and the junction of US24/287/Interstate 70. Seatbelt sign went off at 1:17 as we crossed into Kansas. I saw lots of snow on the Great Plains. Seatbelt sign came on at 1:35 and off again at 1:45, on again at 1:52 followed by moderate bumps. I saw what i thought was Interstate 35 and Osceola, Iowa. Seatbelt sign went off again at 2:11. At 2:27 the F/A came through with ice water.

There were more bumps as seatbelt sign went back on at 2:43. There was another water run at 3:10 and I felt initial descent begin. There was announcement that there would be turbulence on descent so cabin was prepared. Captain said we made good time so far but we would be put in holding pattern and the weather was 35F in New York. We went out of the holding pattern and into the clouds for awhile and brok through on final. I saw the New Jersey Turnpike and saw the New York skyline but not a good view. We landed north to south. Taxi was 9 minutes and we arrived 24 minutes early. It was cloudy in Newark and I saw a few drops of precipitation as we taxied. It took a while to deplane but when I did I saw snow falling outside.

I found the next flight was delayed in PIT so I got dinner and waited. The delay got longer and longer and finally the plane arrived.

Continental Express #2052 EWR-YUL ERJ-145 Seat 12C Exit Row Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 0:55, actual 0:57 Scheduled departure 16h30, actual 19h03 Scheduled arrival 18h09, actual 20h23

Plane was full. Pushback was 2h33min late followed by taxi/hold of 18 minutes and takeoff to south almost immediately into the clouds and two right turns to head north. We broke through above the clouds and seatbelt sign went off at 0:19. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:19. During the flight I was given a customs declaration card to fill out. There were some bumps en route. There was a drink run and I chose bottled water and got two bags of pretzels. Seatbelt sign went back on at 0:30. It was dark out so I couldn't tell where I was going. Descent started at 0:40 and there was some turbulence on descent. I saw lights of the Montreal area on approach and on the other side I could see the lightsof downtown and Olympic Stadium. Wheels came down at 0:51. We landed east to west and taxi was 5 minutes. We arrived 2h14min late.

At Customs I had to stand in line for the podium and then was told to present myself to Immigration. I arrived at Immigration at 20h45. There was a short line then I explained my purpose for entering Canada. I was for paperwork and said it was in my checked luggage. The officer said that was not good. He asked if I was ever refused entry so I explained the situation when I got bounced at the border trying to get into BC by bus. He asked if I had problems with police. I hesitated and said not really. He picked up on that and said I didn't sound too sure. I was asked if I ever stood in front of a judge. I said years ago for speeding tickets and the like. He asked nothing more than that? I said no so he said he would have to do checks on me and told me where to wait. A few minutes later I was called and admonished to have paperwork next time and told where to go so I proceeded to baggage claim, got last bag at 21h06 and got taxi to the Montreal yard where I was to get the truck but I couldn't get the passenger side door open to put my gear in so I ended up getting another cab to hotel where I spent night.

Trip: Montreal, QC to San Carlos, CA 3,236 paid miles. Routes: Quebec 40 to Quebec 540 to Quebec 20 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 403 back to Ontario 401 to Ontario 402 to Bluewater Bridge to Interstate 69 to Interstate 465 to Interstate 70 to Interstate 255 to Interstate 270 to Interstate 44 to Interstate 40 to Interstate 15 to California 58 to California 99 to California 46 to Interstate 5 to California 152 to US101 Maximum elevation: 7,335 feet

This is my longest trip to date. I was instructed to take a southern route via Interstate 40 as opposed to the more direct route via Interstate 80 in order to try to avoid some possible problems with weather and road conditions. I finally got the truck the next day and found out how to open the passenger side door. This was a slow truck and a very uncomfortable ride. I proceeded and there were a few snow flurries and the snow got heavier in Ontario. I spent the first night in Prescott, ON next to the St. Lawrence River.

Next day I got as far as London and there was no snow but some congestion in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). On Sunday morning it was quite cold at equivalent of 8F when I woke up. I attended Bethel Baptist Church in London, ON then as I proceeded west on the 402 I encountered some snow.

I crossed the Bluewater Bridge to the USA and after clearing the booth I had to wait in line and drive through x-ray machine and that caused delay. Roads were icky in Michigan so I did not get very far. Following morning roads were still icky but after awhile things improved though there were a very few flurries north of Indianapolis.

The trip through the rest of IN, IL and MO was without incident. I did notice damage from a recent ice storm in MO and two rest areas were closed as a result. I saw some trees with branches snapped off. There was still ice in places and some roads were wet in OK and I was told the sun was not out for almost two weeks. I stopped by the Southwest Radio Church in Oklahoma City to get a book then made it to Amarillo. There was snow and ice on the ground, some of which was in various stages of melt.

Shortly after I entered NM I entered the Port of Entry near San Jon to get weighed and purchase Trip Permit. I was told to drive around back and asked for logbook the truck was given a quick inspection. This ended up being a Level 2 D.O.T. Inspection by what looked to be a rookie officer. One violation was found: placards with D.O.T. number were supposed to be on each side rather than just front. I was not given a fine for that. There was snow in the ground in much of NM though I did not see much in ABQ. The next morning I woke up to 14F in Grants, NM. I got as far as Seligman, AZ and ate at the Westside Lilo Cafe and stayed at the American and biker-owned Stagecoach 66 Motel on old Route 66.

Sunday morning I attended Calvary Church (formerly Calvary Baptist) in Seligman, AZ then continued to Lake Havasu City where I fueled. After I fueled the ENGINE FLUIDS and STOP ENGINE light came on so I parked quickly and checked fluids and found out the there was some sort of coolant leak. To make a long story short I pumped the cab up and climbed up and put two gallons of coolant in and got two more spare gallons and that solved the problem temporarily. That scotched my plans to get to Barstow and attend Sunday evening church there. Following morning in Needles, CA the ENGINE FLUIDS and STOP ENGINE lights came on when I was about to crank the truck up. I notified the company and after some other calls a roadside help unit came with coolant and got the truck started and replaced the coolant.

I delivered the truck in San Carlos Wednesday then a friend of mine took me to OAK where I checked in, cleared security after a line and there was no secondary and my carry-ons were not screened.

Jet Blue #317 OAK-LGB A-320 Seat 24A Cruising altitude 31,000' Estimated flying time 1:00, actual 1:03 Scheduled departure 15h50, actual 15h53 Scheduled arrival 17h07, actual 17h07 Ticket cost $89.40

Plane was not full by any means and I had an empty middle seat next to me. I noticed XM Satellite Radio on this plane so I listened and enjoyed. Pushback was 3 minutes late followed by taxi/hold of 7 minutes and takeoff to north. It was a hazy day, not a good view of the Bay Area until after takeoff. I saw San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, the South Bay, the Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula. There was an express service for beverages and I had Coca Cola Classic (whole can) and Blue Chips and Chocolate Chip Cookies were offered and of course I had the chips. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:15. I saw the coast around Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Santa Maria. Later I saw Santa Barbara and the coast and it looked cloudier to the south and east. Descent started at 0:35 over ocean west southwest of Santa Barbara. I saw Pt. Magu NAS but much of Ventura County was covered by clouds. Seatbelt sign went on at 0:42 and most of the approach was overwater. Landfall was over Bolsa Chica as the sun was about to set. I saw Seal Beach and Belmont Shore on approach followed by the Los Altos area. Landing was southeast to northwest, taxi 3 minutes and we arrived right on time as the sun was setting. I got last bag at 17h22 and got ride home.
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