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Lone Star State to La Belle Province; Smoke in the Cab

Lone Star State to La Belle Province; Smoke in the Cab

Old Feb 28, 09, 2:26 am
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Lone Star State to La Belle Province; Smoke in the Cab

Tour of Duty 15th January 2009 to 23rd February 2009
Part I: 15th January to 3rd February


After a spell at home it was time to go to work again. Previous time I got home I went to the TSA to apply for my TWIC card and then I went to another TSA office to provide fingerprints and pay fee to start the Homeland Security Background Check and Threat Assessment which would enable the State of California to renew my hazmat endorsement on my CDL. Finally I went to the DMV and after a wait of almost an hour I took and passed a written test for my hazmat endorsement, paid renewal fee and had my picture taken as my Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL) had an expiry date of 24th February. After all was said and done at the DMV I was given a temporary paper that extended my CDL until 8th of April.

I got word of an Odessa, TX to Quebec City, QC run and accepted same. Company booked me WN SNA to MAF by way of LAS. I got taxi to SNA. Oops, I forgot and left the temporary extension I got from the DMV at home.

I got to SNA and checked my bags using the skycap. Then I cleared security after a short line, no secondary and no hand searches.

Southwest #748 SNA-LAS B-737-700 Boarding Pass B9 Seat 21F Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 0:51, actual 0:45 Scheduled departure 09h05, actual 09h08 Scheduled arrival 10h15, actual 10h06

Plane mostly but not totally full. There was empty middle seat n my row. Pushback 3 minutes late from gate 3 followed by taxi/hold of 6 minute then takeoff toward ocean. I saw downtown LA to the distance and the Hollywood sign as it was very clear. Closer in I saw Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Long Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We went overwater and I saw Catalina Island. Then we made a turn right to head north then back toward land.

As we made landfall I had a spectacular view of the California Coast encompassing most of Orange County as well as all of San Diego County and even northern Baja! As we progressed I enjoyed panoramic views of inland Orange County followed by the Inland Empire. There were some light bumps during initial climb. Later I saw the San Bernardino Mountains then the High Desert. I saw the Salton Sea in the far distance and even farther I was able to see into Old Mexico because visibility was so great.

It felt as we leveled off at whatever unnanounced cruise altitude at 0:17. I forget exactly when seatbelt sign went off but it was not off for long. We crossed Interstate 40 around Newberry Springs at 0:21. There were a few bumps and seatbelt sign went on and descent was announced at 0:22. Peanuts were offered but declined at 0:24 and I got cup of soda at 0:25. I saw Baker, CA at 0:27 and that was when I really felt descent. We crossed into Nevada around 0:35 after turn east and I saw Primm, NV and Interstate 15. We made approach and landed from the south southwest so I did not see the Strip. Taxi was 7 minutes and we arrived 9 minutes early at gate C4. During layover at LAS I rang the customer to let them know I was coming due to schedule.

Southwest #1773 LAS-MAF B-737-300 Boarding Pass A40 Seat 11A Exit Row Cruising altitude 37,000 feet Estimated flying time 1:45, actual 1:42 Scheduled departure 12h10, actual 12h11 Scheduled arrival 16h20, actual
16h04


Plane was not totally full. I got exit row and empty middle next to me. Announcement it was mostly cloudy and 36F at MAF. Pushback was 1 minute late from gate C16 followed by taxi of 6 minutes and takeoff to the east. I saw the Strip during takeoff roll and immediately thereafter and afterwards I saw the Las Vegas metro area and Nellis AFB. I saw Lake Mead then later the Grand Canyon.

At 0:18 FA came through with basket choice of snacks and I chose Chips Ahoy Thin Crisps. At 0:25 there was drink run and I got cup of sida. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:33. We crossed Interstate 40 at 0:42 and I saw snow on the ground in some places. At 0:47 I got another cup of soda and for a little while we sort of followed Interstate 40. I saw the Albuquerque metro area and the Sandia Mountains at a little distance and the Sangre de Christo Mountains to the far distance. We crossed Interstate 25 at 0:59 around Belen, NM and I saw the Rio Grande.

After that I saw the Eastern Plains of New Mexico and felt descent begin at 1:23 somewhere over southeast New Mexico. Seatbelt sign went on and descent was announced at 1:31 and it was announced MAF had cloudy skies and 36F though I saw clear skies until 1:36. Then came a layer of clouds. We went into the clouds at 1:39 and broke under the clouds less than a minute later. Gear went down at 1:40 and I saw Midland to the distance on final. We landed to the southeast followed by taxi of 3 minutes and we arrived 16 minutes early at gate 3. I used the washroom and bags were waiting for me when I arrived at bag claim 14 minutes after arrival. I was picked up and taken to the shipper a short distance away.

Trip: Odessa, TX to Quebec City, QC 2,267 paid miles Routes: Interstate 20 to US277 to Interstate 44 to Interstate 270 to Interstate 70 to Interstate 465 to Interstate 69 to Blue Water Bridge to Ontario 402 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 403 back to Ontario 401 to Quebec 20 to Quebec 73 to Quebec 40 Maximum elevation: unknown but at least 2,890 feet in Odessa, TX
Lowest US fuel price: $2.039/gallon at Flying J Tulsa, OK
Highest US fuel price: $2.29/gallon at BP Imlay City, MI
Highest Canada fuel price: $0.828/liter (CAD) Flying J London, ON


Weather was unusually cold for Texas. It was 36F and the high got up to 41F in Midland. I'll just say the truck was a utility truck with an automatic transmission. The make was International. I got the truck and got started and got as far as Big Spring the first night. Second day I made very good time and it warmed up and got up around 50F in the Abilene area. I made it to Tulsa for the second night. Third day was pretty though temperature dropped some as I headed into Missouri. I made it to Bridgeton, MO in the St. Louis area.

Sunday morning I made it to morning service at Faith Baptist in Bridgeton, MO. Sermon was on Psalm 147:3-5 and the theme was abortion as this was the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision. Then I crossed the Mississippi and started encountering snowflakes around Casey, IL. I attended Sunday evening service at Bible Baptist Church in Terre Haute, IN where the sermon was on Deuteronomy 13:1-5 Walking with God. After the service I got into the snow again though this time it was steadier and I shut down in Plainfield, IN. Next day it was 10F when I woke up but sunny fost of the day and no snow until after Flint, MI. I got as far as Imlay City, MI.

Tuesday 20th of January Obama was being sworn in at nearly precisely the time I was crossing the Blue Water Bridge into Canada. The crossing went totally without incident as I did not need to see a broker; the agent at the booth scanned my paperwork and I was sent on my way. Snow started falling immediately after I entered Canada and there was a narrow band of snow I got out of within 34km and it was clear the rest of the day. I got as far as Belleville, ON.

Wednesday I got as far as Cornwall, ON and shut down early due to heavy snow. I was taken to midweek service and prayer meeting at Calvary Baptist Cornwall, ON. Thursday I got started before sunrise (very unusual as I am not really a morning person) and encountered traffic jams due to construction west of Montreal. Also the weigh scale entering Quebec was open but the lights stopped flashing just before I got there so I did not have to go in. The roads were icky due to previous snowfall and I had to get washer fluid. When I crossed the Pont Pierre-LaPorte, it started snowing and it was snowing very hard by the time I arrived at the destination. Delivery took some time but was done and I got taxi to motel in nearby St. Nicolas as the next truck was not to be ready until next day. Following day I took taxi to shipper.

Trip: St. Nicolas, QC to Portland, OR 3,096 paid miles Routes: Quebec 20 to Quebec 25 to Quebec 40 to Quebec 540 back to Quebec 20 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 403 back to Ontario 401 to Ontario 402 to Blue Water Bridge to Interstate 94 to Interstate 69 to Interstate 96 to Michigan 6 to Interstate 196 to Interstate 94 to Interstate 294 to Interstate 80 to Interstate 84 to Interstate 205 Maximum elevation: 8,640 feet at Sherman Summit on Interstate 80 about 10 miles east of Laramie, WY.
Highest Canada fuel price: 0.978/liter at Ultramar St. Nicolas, QC
Lowest Canada fuel price: 0.806/liter at Flying J London, ON
Highest US fuel price: $2.299/gallon at Tulip City Truckstop Holland, MI
Lowest US fuel price: $1.979/gallon at Pilot Ontario, OR


It was -20C/-4F when I woke up earlier in the morning. Though it warmed some it was still quite cold and started snowing just after I made the pickup. The truck was a garbage truck and an automatic transmission. The truck was built such that the ride was not terribly comfortable. Unfortunately the make was Peterbilt so I was a "peteyboy" for the duration of the trip. The roads were not good and I had to stop about every 50km to clean the windshield and more importantly clean off the headlights. My windshield and windshield wipers iced up around Beloeil. I made it to Vaudreuil, QC for the night after doing 175 miles in 5 hours of driving. That is only driving, not counting all the stops I had to make. Following day it was cold but dry and I covered about twice as much ground and ended up in Burlington, ON for the night.

Sunday morning I was taken to New Testament Baptist Church in Hamilton, ON. The sermon was on the three "bears" a church ought to have: Fruit Bearing, Burden Bearing and Forebearing. Then I got started and crossed the Blue Water Bridge into Michigan and got as far as Imlay City, MI.

Monday I got started and a light came on indicating the the Exhaust Aftertreatment System needed a regeneration. Normally the system regenerates itself while the vehicle was being driven but the light stayed on and did not go off. I ended up diverting to a dealer near Grand Rapids, MI and the problem was fixed. I got going and encountered some snow showers and ended up in Portage, IN for the night.

Tuesday I got started and soon after I got on the Interstate I smelled something strange. Soon I understood it was smoke in the cab and got concerned and turned off the fan for the heater/defroster. I was able to make it to truckstop in Gary, IN and it turned out the fan for the heater/defroster quit working. I did some other checks and was satisfied the vehicle was not on fire. I located the nearest dealer which was in Portage, IN so I went there and after several hours I was good to go and got started. I went through some more snow and got as far as Princeton, IL. Following day I got as far as Walnut, IA then next day gained good ground and got as far as Big Springs, NE and day after that I got to Rock Springs, WY. Day after that I got to Heyburn, ID.

On Sunday morning I attended service at First Baptist in Rupert, ID. The sermon was on Conditional Grace to the Believer. I drove some and attended evening service at Treasure Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, ID (west side of Boise) where I heard a guest preacher deliver a sermon entitled "Looking Unto Jesus and Considering Jesus". I spent the night at motel near Caldwell, ID located next to the Stinker Station.

Monday I got as far as The Dalles, OR and got word next trip would likely be from Dixon, CA to Coquitlam, BC. Tuesday I delivered the truck in Portland, OR. Paid mileage was 3,096 but actual milage was 3,189 making this the third longest trip I ever accomplished. I was then taken to PDX as the company booked me on a flight to SMF. I checked in and checked bags then cleared security with no secondary and no hand search.

Southwest #890 PDX-SMF B-737-700 Boarding Pass A60 Seat 22A Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 1:10, actual 1:09 Scheduled departure 15h40, actual 15h38 Scheduled arrival 17h05, actual 16h56

Plane was not very full, only 74 of 137 seats taken. It was announced it was 64F at SMF. Pushback from C14 was 2 minutes early followed by taxi of 5 minutes and takeoff to the east. I saw the Columbia River, Interstate 205 and Mt. St. Helens immediately after takeoff. Northbound 205 was congested. I saw Mt. Rainier behind Mt. St. Helens after we gained more altitude then I saw Mt. Adams. Then we made turn south and I saw the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood. After that I saw Mt. Jefferson and the high desert of Central Oregon to the east and then saw the Three Sisters and Bend, OR farther out. I felt that we arrived at cruise altitude at 0:16. At 0:33 I saw Klamath Falls and at 0:38 I felt real good bumps soon after entering California airspace. Captain apologised for ride and announced descent of a couple thousand feet. I thought I felt descent at 0:43. At 0:48 I saw Mt. Lassen and Lake Almanor. Descent was announced at 0:57 and it was 70F at SMF. We landed north to south followed by taxi of 3 minutes and we arrived 9 minutes early at gate A12. I got bags 17 minutes after arrival and got shuttle to motel in Dixon, CA as truck was not to be ready until following day.

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Mar 2, 09 at 1:05 pm
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Old Mar 5, 09, 1:07 pm
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Thanks for the report, LC-I always enjoy them.
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Old Mar 10, 09, 9:47 am
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Another nice report.

Two questions:

Is "peteyboy" a perjorative?

Stinker Station??????

Last edited by follonica2; Mar 10, 09 at 10:29 am Reason: spelling
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Old Mar 10, 09, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by follonica2 View Post
Another nice report.

Two questions:

Is "peteyboy" a perjorative?

Stinker Station??????
peteyboy = anyone of the male gender who owns or drives a Peterbilt. It is a descriptive term; read it any way you want. Peterbilt is my least favourite make of truck.

In regards to Stinker Station there are some filling stations in Idaho that have the name Stinker. The story I heard was that the person who opened those stations undersold the nearby competition so people from the nearby competition called that person (whoever it was) a Stinker.
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