Driving Through My Memories for January/February 2023

Ed Murdoch: Ed has held a commercial drivers license for 65 years and has spent the better part of 50 years on the road.
Posted By Ed Murdoch: Ed has held a commercial drivers license for 65 years and has spent the better part of 50 years on the road. On 2023-01-19 18:29:21

Happy New Year one and all, and I trust '23
will be somewhat more friendly to the industry that we all love and hate
simultaneously. I hope the festive season of giving was a truly memorable time
for you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, the winter to date has not been
particularly user-friendly, with more snow than usual and bitter cold both on
the flatlands and even in places not used to such extremes.



 



If we Canucks had nothing else to talk
about, we'd still have the weather. We can't leave home without it. It
dominates our thoughts and our conversations. The weather consumes significant
amounts of radio & TV news time, too. It is the number one topic of
discussion wherever two or three are gathered, especially this time of year. Let's
face it; our country enjoys as many climactic characteristics as it does ethnic
backgrounds. Canadians champion the weather. If it were an Olympic event, we'd
win gold every time. Of the three weather networks worldwide, two are in
Canada. We've even invented a vocabulary dedicated to it. "Cold enough for
you….eh?" Which is not so much a question as a statement. Or "Warm
enough for you…..eh?" "Geez…. it's raining cats and dogs!"
"We're snowed under." "The frost is on the pumpkin…."



Our neighbours to the south improperly
accuse us Canadians for their adverse weather systems, for instance, "a
cold front from Canada is headed our way." or "a storm is moving in
from the Canadian north-west," etc. We have weather watches, alerts, warnings,
and advisories, sometimes preceded by the word "severe." There are
Alberta Clippers, storm surges, wind chill factors & humidity indices as in
"…….it feels like minus 40 or plus 110.



 



I think the weather brings us together as a
community and nation. It gives us common ground. No matter in what diverse
geographical region one lives or toils, the climate provides an 'ice-breaker,'
a subject for water cooler chit-chat or CB chatter. "We're going camping
this weekend. Whad'ya think the weather will be like?" or "I have to
drive to Calgary tomorrow. Do you think it's going to snow?" Advice often
accompanies wishes for a pleasant weekend or trip: "take along an extra
sweater, don't forget your gloves, scarf, toque, sunglasses, umbrella,
sun-screen, etc."



 



Together we celebrate great weather, and
when Mother Nature gets mad and deals us a bad hand, we commiserate with each
other, offering a helping hand where possible and staging money-raising events
to assist those who have experienced a disaster. We depend on the weather to
feed our families; when there is a drought or flood, we all suffer.



 



A spectacular weather calamity also affects
trends in the transportation industry. For example, when there is a significant
event such as the tragic losses experienced in Slave Lake Alberta or Hurricane
Katrina a few years back, new construction requires supplies to meet demands,
and the best way to move large shipments of material is by truck.



 



Fifteen years ago, after unloading a load
of newsprint from Port Alberni in Chino, California, one blistering August day,
I was 'urgently' dispatched to Tempe,
AZ, for 9:30 pick up the next morning. It was a load of styrofoam forms (say
that ten times really fast) for construction in Edmonton, Alberta. Stopping
overnight at Buckeye, I phoned the shipper early in the morning. He said, "Oh,
you weren't supposed to be here until tomorrow morning." So much for the 'urgent'
part of the mission. However, the shipper, being a practical man, offered to
load my trailer as the product came off the line, although it would take pretty
much all day, which it did. Now on that particular day, it was 125 F (51 C) in
the shade in Tempe, and as most of you are aware, there isn't much shade in
southern Arizona, so yes, it was warm enough for me!



Once loaded, I found a degree of relief,
literally a degree, in the shadow of a building down the street and waited
until after evening rush hour when it would be safe to pass through Phoenix and
head north to Flagstaff. With the trailer totally cubed out, the entire cargo
weighed a staggering 1,700 pounds. It didn't take my CAT very long to reach the
6,000 feet of elevation gain between Tempe at 1,100 feet and Flagstaff at
almost 7,000. It was noticeably cooler there at my favourite truck stop, Little
America.



After fuelling, followed by a shower and dinner,
I pointed the Eagle north on Hwy 89 for Navajo Country, found a beckoning
turnout to accommodate my rig and settled down for a few zzzzzzzzs. When I woke
up in the morning, there was a noticeable chill in the air and, lo and behold,
a dusting of snow on the hood. It had gone from 125 F (51 C) to 28 F (-2 C) in
less than 24 hours! It must have set some sort of world record!



The coldest I've ever experienced was -65 F
(that would be -54 C) in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Up north, the atmosphere is
generally quite dry, so it doesn't seem as cold as when the temperature is
lower, but the humidity is higher. In the mid-'50s, when we moved from Kirkland
Lake to Long Branch near Hwy 27 and the Lakeshore west of Toronto, my first wife
thought she would be in heaven, doffing her full-length muskrat coat and
walking around in shorts and t-shirt all winter. I assured her that compared to
the dry cold in Timmins and Kirkland Lake, where she taught school, she would
never have been colder than she would experience near Lake Ontario with the
dampness. Disbelief turned excruciatingly into resignation by the following
spring.



While stranded on the barren wastelands in
mid-winter, changing a headlight or fixing broken wiring without gloves,
accompanied by sub-zero values and howling wind, plays havoc on one's fingers.
It becomes most notable upon reaching the twilight of one's sojourn on this
planet, a stage which I have achieved with mixed feelings and considerable
joint pain. But, on the other hand, suppose you are a younger aspiring hi-miler
or just venturing out in your 4-wheeler to pick up milk and a loaf of bread at
the corner 7/11 (I wonder what 7/11 is in metric?). In that case, you might
want to consider investing in a high-end pair of skin-tight gloves to offer
even a fraction of protection to avoid the discomfort of arthritic joints later
in life.



 



Meanwhile, it's so cold even the brass
monkey is bundling up. It's so cold lawyers are putting their hands in their
own pockets. It's so cold when a police officer yells, "Freeze!" you
do! Are you still repeating 'styrofoam forms'? Ten times? Motor with care,
perform a random act of kindness every day and all the best in the New Year …
10-4!




Previous Blogs

Bella Coola by Glen Mallard

Hole in One by Dave Madill

On The Wrong Road by John Maywood

Wildlife by Colin Black

On the Road Again by Myrna Chartrand...

Cooking Class by Scott Casey

Know Your Limits by Ed Murdoch...

2020 Vision by Greg Evasiuk...

Jokes

With 35 years of combined publishing experience, you will see this unique and much improved trucking magazine called Pro Trucker Driver's Choice Magazine

Getting Started

Lawful Torture

Little Star

It's Now Or Never

Winter Blues

Sheep

The First Time

Let's Block the Road!

In the Face of History

Human Trafficing

Nature’s Child

Distracted Driving

WE EXIST TO ASSIST

The Virus

"What do you look forward to?"

“Fuel Tanks”

You want me to go where?

From Zero to Hero to Zero

ELD’s and Speed Limiters – Are They Really Safe?

The Dream (July 2005)

The Lonesome Camaraderie of the Transportation Industry

Strange Times

Lockdown Toilets

Life goes on

The Czech Invasion.

A Steep Learning Curve

Fools Casting Calls

We Are All In This Together

How to get Time Off

A New Year

Added Benefits of Trucking

An ill Wind

Loving the Road

Insecure Loads

Memories

All Things Shiny and New

B-Trains

The Good Ol’ Days

Cold Trip

Brexit

A Moment’s Distraction

Have or Have not

Music and Me

Travels With Ringo

Distracted Driver

Changes

ELDs, Roads and Covid

Female of The Species

The Switch

Flood of 60

Crimes Against Humanity

Training Hours

In the Truck’s Clutches

Attitude & Altitude

Wide Open Spaces (and closed in places)

Trucking is a Trade

A night to remember

Loading Heavy Equipment

CLIMATE CHANGE & TRUCKING

Truck Routes

Then and Now

Attitude & Altitude

A Girl Just Wants to Have Fun…

The Weekend!

Unity

How I Write

In The Beginning Part 3

Tires and Unions

Stay Safe

My Rant…

Isolation

I learned a New Trick

It ain’t the years - it’s the miles.

It’s Time, Gentlemen, Time

Coincidences

The Brain

Blind Man's Buff

Editor's Note

The Flitting

Eastbound

What I Did This Summer

Pictures

Adventure

Show Ready

Trolls

Big Rig Weekends

Love and Trucking

Books and Covers

Like a Boss

It's a Wonderful World

Common Sense By Glen “The duck” Millard

Dad meets a “Bear.”

All Experience isn’t Good Experience…

The Weather Outside is Frightful…

Common Sense

Bad Breaks and Good Luck

Driving Through My Memories for January/February 2023

Service???