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Longest Trip Yet; Another Wish Fulfilled (Tour of Duty 12 to 26 Feb. 2007)

Longest Trip Yet; Another Wish Fulfilled (Tour of Duty 12 to 26 Feb. 2007)

Old Feb 27, 07, 2:15 pm
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Longest Trip Yet; Another Wish Fulfilled (Tour of Duty 12 to 26 Feb. 2007)

On Monday 12th of February I talked to one of the companies I contract with and was told I would be needed in Montreal to move a truck to San Jose, CA. The company wanted to book me on Northwest going through MSP but was unable to do so. I investigated the options and chose instead to take a rare redeye to DTW followed by a morning connection to YUL.

I got a shuttle to LAX, checked in and checked bags. The bags were not weighed. There was a short line and I cleared security. There was no secondary and my carry-ons were not searched.

Northwest #338 LAX-DTW B-757-200 Seat 24A Cruising altitude 39,000' Estimated flying time 3:39, actual 3:38 Scheduled departure 21h55, actual
21h52 Scheduled arrival 05h12+1, actual 04h48+

Boarding was through door 2L and plane was not anywhere close to full. The middle seat on my row was empty. Pushback was 3 minutes early followed by taxi/hold of 11 minutes. Takeoff was to west, over ocean followed by turn to south then east. I saw the lights of the LA Basin partly covered by clouds.

Smartsnacks were offered for $5; I bought the white box which consisted of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Cashew Crunch, Venus Wheat Crackers, White Chedder and Gouda Cheese, O'Briens Beef Summer Sausage and Oreo Cookies. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:41. There was a drink run and I got the whole can of ginger ale.

There were a few bumps here and there during flight and I did not get much sleep. Descent started at 3:12 and seatbelt sign went on at the same time. It was announced it was cloudy and 27F at DTW. There was a water run a few minutes after descent started. Nothing was said requiring seatbacks to be put in upright position. Gear went down at 3:32 and we landed north to south. After taxi of 6 minutes we arrived at gate 24 minutes early and deplaned through door 1L.

I was impressed by the clean, modern Northwest World Gateway at DTW. The terminal is HUGE and looks a lot better than any terminal I've been on at LAX. I made my way to Concourse B to wait for the next flight and in so doing I transited through a tunnel. I used the moving sidewalks and there was a very interesting light show with colours changing as I made my way through the tunnel.

Northwest Airlink #2927 CRJ-100 DTW-YUL Seat 5A Cruising altitude 27,000' Estimated flying time not given, actual 1:09 Scheduled departure 09h24, actual 09h54 Scheduled arrival 11h05, actual 11h18 Ticket cost: $235.91

This flight was delayed as it arrived late from Moline, IL due to weather and deicing issues. The monitor at the gate showed temperature of -9F at Montreal. Later it changed to -5F. The plane arrived, boarding finally started and the plane was not full. The passenger next to me moved to another empty row. Pushback was 30 minutes late and taxi/hold was 9 minutes. Takeoff was to the south. I saw lots of snow on the ground and we were in the clouds by 0:02 so I did not see downtown DTW. There was a drink run and I got a cup of Pepsi. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:23. Descent started at 0:51 and seatbelt sign went back on at 0:53. I saw lots of snow on the ground and saw the Flying J Truckstop at Vandreiul. We overflew downtown and turned to approach from the east. It was announced the temperature was 0 degrees F. I saw Olympic Stadium and downtown on final approach. We landed from the east and taxi was 5 minutes. We arrived at gate 13 minutes late. There was snow on the ground.

I went to Customs and as has been usual lately was sent to Immigration. I was cleared quicker this time and got my bags and got a cab to the yard. Due to problems with the truck I was unable to take the truck originally assigned to me so I ended up being sent to St. Nicolas (near Quebec City) with a couple other drivers to get trucks there. I ended up spending the night at St. Nicolas before getting truck the following day.

Trip: St. Nicolas, QC to San Jose, CA 3,354 paid miles Routes: Quebec 20 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 403 back to Ontario 401 to Ontario 402 to Bluewater Bridge to Interstate 94 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 (detour California 41 and 180 in Fresno) to California 152 to US101 Maximum elevation: 7,335 feet on Interstate 40 in Arizona

I ended up getting another truck for San Jose and weather conditions worsened as I was at the place to get the truck. It was snowing hard and the first place I went for lodging was full so I ended up having to go the wrong way about 14km to get a place of lodging that accepted truck parking. The roads were completely covered with snow. Conditions were at or near blizzard level with winds and poor visibility along with heavy snow. I felt unsafe driving but there was no alternative but finally I got parked at hotel with some difficulty.

The next day snow was no longer falling but there were strong winds producing a nasty wind chill and snow on the ground was blown around making for bad road conditions. I proceeded slow due to the road conditions and had to stop about every 50km or so to clean the windshield. Traffic was slow through Montreal and there were some accidents and more slow traffic west of the city.

I made my way through Ontario and there was some light snow from Brantford to Sarnia. I crossed the border and was sent to the X-ray barn to be checked then was cleared. There was more snow and I elected to shut down in Flint, MI.

I was unable to contact a church to attend Sunday morning in Flint (no one would answer) so I motored on and encountered some snow flurries that ended by the time I reached Lansing. I continued into Indiana and attended Indianapolis Free Presbyterian Church Sunday Evening. I spent Sunday night in Cloverdale, IN and there was lots of snow on the ground. The snow cover diminished as I proceeded west through Illinois and all but vanished by the time I crossed the Mississippi River into St. Louis. It warmed up to almost 60F in St. Louis.

I proceeded down the 44 to the 40 in Oklahoma City and went west from there. It got up to 78F in Shamrock, TX and I used the air conditioner. There were some traffic jams in Albuquerque due to road construction and I had four areas of brief snow showers in Arizona. The winds gusted as high as 46mph in Winslow, AZ. I finally made my way into California. I suffered my 45th birthday making my way from Needles to Bakersfield, CA.

I got up early Sunday and after a detour made it to Grace Bible Church in Fresno for morning service. I was late due to construction but made it in time for the main preaching. It started raining around Fowler but the rain quit in Fresno. After church the rain started again and continued as I made my way to San Jose where I checked into motel.

Another Wish Fulfilled

I made my way to North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, CA where I attended the Sunday evening service. I was very impressed with what I saw of the facilities there. I was barely able to get the truck in and manoeuvre around the landscaping in the parking area. If I had a larger truck I would have been in trouble! I estimate there were at least 2,000 people attending the service. This church used to be in another facility but outgrew that facility and appears to be about to outgrow the current facility but there is no more room to expand. I heard some excellent music and the pastor Jack Trieber preached a tremendous message. After the service it was still raining but by the time I got back to Motel in San Jose the rain stopped.

It was raining off and on when I made my way to delivery in San Jose but the rain stopped as I made the actual delivery. I was taken to SJC where I went to the Southwest ticket counter and asked for seat on next flight to SNA.

I checked in, checked bags and had to shift some things around and take my jacket out to prevent from being charged overweight fee on one bag. After that was accomplished I was given an "A" boarding pass and cleared security with no secondary and no search of carry-ons.

Southwest #868 SJC-SNA B-737-700 Seat 21A Estimated flying time not given, actual 0:55 Cruising altitude not given. Scheduled departure 13h15, actual 13h22 Scheduled arrival 14h30, actual 14h26 Ticket cost: $128.40

There were only 60 passengers plus 5 crew on this flight. Pushback was 7 minutes late followed by takeoff to the south which is different than the usual northbound takeoffs at SJC. I saw downtown San Jose then we were in the clouds and experienced some bumps. We were above the clouds by 0:03 and there were more bumps then things smoothed out. We leveled off at 0:16and seatbelt sign went off at 0:17.

Breaks in the clouds started appearing and I could see parts of the San Joaquin Valley below and the Sierra Nevada Mountains farther to the distance. There was a drink run and I got full can of ginger ale but declined the peanuts. I saw what looked like Bakersfield as the clouds ended then the far south San Joaquin Valley was clear.

Descent started at 0:25 and seatbelt sign went on at 0:30. I saw a little of what looked like West San Fernando Valley but much of the LA Basin appeared to be socked in with clouds. The clouds broke and I saw the Malibu shoreline and we went over water with Santa Monica in the distance. I saw LAX and the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula to the distance. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach became visible and the coast looked pretty clear with more clouds inland. We made turns and made landfall going northeast over Huntington Beach. I saw Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station to the distance and closer I saw Beach Blvd and Interstate 405. We crossed California 22 and I saw Disneyland through a break in the clouds. I saw Interstate 5, the junction of California 91 and 57 and we made turn over Placentia/Yorba Linda to line up with the runway. On final approach I saw Irvine Lake and the old El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to the distance. There were a few bumps on approach. We made a hard landing and taxi was 2minutes and we arrived 4 minutes early. I went to baggage claim and got my last bag at 14h43 and caught a shuttle to go home.
Loose Cannon is offline  
Old Mar 1, 07, 5:17 pm
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Another great report. Thanks.

Happy birthday.
dhammer53 is offline  
Old Mar 4, 07, 5:45 pm
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Happy Birthday
aisleorwindow is offline  
Old Mar 4, 07, 6:24 pm
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Excellent report-you are so very observant. Hope that you can always get a window seat! It upsets me to see PAX who have one and who pull down the shade, sleep, use their laptop, etc. for the entire flight. What a drive West in foul weather-you are a true "road warrior"!
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