The hidden years, 128,ice trucking

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 18 August 07:46

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Ice trucking

‘I'll get straight to the point ,’ Bill began. ‘I need a driver who is not afraid to work hard for a while and  earn a lot.’ ‘I think you've found your chauffeur,’ I replied. ‘What kind of truck is it and where do I go?’ ‘The truck is an Arctic and you know it, ‘cause I was parked next to you towards Red Deer.’ I happen to be a few days in the city, but from tomorrow we start again from there. I do only long journeys Up North. ‘ I  am not allowed to drive Arctics yet, ‘I said in regretful tone, they are18 meters long and then you must be at least 21.’ ‘In this state it is like that,’ laughed Bill, but once above Fort McMurray there is simply no more police and where we go age does not matter.‘ ‘It is an absurd rule anyway,’ continued Bill, ‘you drove a truck with a trailer, then you are also at least 18 meter long '' That's right,’ I said and I was surprised that he knew what I had driven . ‘Additionally,’ said Bill, ‘there are people who should never be allowed to drive an Arctic no matter how old they are. Tomorrow we’ll drive back and forth to Fort McMurray and I'll see whether you're complying and if I like it or not, if I am not satisfied then we are just as good friends and go our separate ways again. ‘

‘So,’ I said, ‘that is some 800 km back and 800 back, that's a long drive.’ It is the shortest journey this month I received from the central office, ‘After tomorrow we’ll go further towards Grand Prairie, if we're still working together and we’ll continue the next ride, even though you might want to quit, you finish the ride with me. You can not leave me dangling, because I work on time and schedule. Once back again after a ride, we take a day or two off and we go on from there again. ‘That seemed reasonable to me and I said that I had no qualms. ‘So we drive tomorrow to Grande Prairie and then I have two days off then,’ I asked to be sure. ‘That's not what I said, I have not been clear, I am afraid,’ laughed Bill, ‘when we get back, then you have two days off.’ ‘When are we back, I asked, not that it matters to me, but just to know it?’ ‘I do not know,’ said the man, ‘that depends on the load and if we come back here soon. Once a month anyway, then I'll get our cheque at the centre, so I’ll want to be here. ‘

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‘We will not  get back immediately after Grande Prairie’ I asked. ‘You're brilliant,’ said Bill, ‘that's right, we unload  and load for Yellowknife. Which lies toward Alaska, I said, ‘or do I have that wrong '' 'Just about right, Bill said,’ it is next to the Yukon territories , some 1,200 kilometers north of Grande Prairie. it is actually the area that is called NT, Northwest Territories. ‘‘ Wait, ‘I said when it dawned on me,’ then we are within a few days, 2000 kilometers from home and if we do come back then we have 4000km behind us. ‘ ‘If you come with me,’ smiled Bill, ‘then you have no place you can call home anymore. I'm pretty sure that if we arrive on time in Yellowknife, we unload it from Slave Lake and drive further north, where there are no roads any longer and you just follow a convoy or cross over a lake that is frozen. ‘Those are the permafrost areas, the areas that are always frozen. ‘ We'll still come back, ‘I asked? ‘Yeah ,? said Bill vaguely, ‘in a month or so.’ ‘So,’ he said, holding out his hand, ‘we have a deal or don’t we?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, 'we have a deal. ‘ Do you not want to know what you're going to earn, ‘Bill asked. I'll tell you, you will share in my money. I’ll explain that to you sometime, I'll pay you food and drink and we sleep taking turns in the truck while the other one drives. What I earn goes into quarters. Half for me, he explained, one quarter to the truck and expenses and taxes, and one-quarter for you. ‘

'Top', I said, 'you have a new driver. ‘ What happened to the last one? ‘ ‘Eaten by a wild Eskimo tribe’ Bill said dryly. ‘He was what,’ I exclaimed! ‘Eaten by a hungry tribe of Eskimos,’ Bill repeated again. ‘You don’t say,’ I said surprised. ‘No,’ Bill said, and burst into a guffaw, ‘I do not think his fiancée would have kept him if he had made another ride. You'll have to get used to me, I have a special sense of humor. Now a  good piece of advice, buy some underwear and socks and I'll see you tomorrow here in the parking lot at 7 am sharp, oh, ‘he added,’ buy at the army dump store a thick coat, you will need that. ‘

San Daniel 2015

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