Eat my shorts
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Bee Cee
Anatomy of a Trip Pt. 3
Originally Posted by galute
I'm still with ya squonker, great thread as always. Loved
the snow plow pics. Keep em coming.
Hey galute - I knew you'd like those pics when I posted them! Glad to see you're still around.
These are carcasses left behind by 'Weekend Warriors' - local hunters.
Almost a whiteout
So we’re on the move. We left town at so it’s probably 7.15, maybe when we pull out of the Meadows. The first few lakes are all small ones, and you’re sort of settling in to the trip for the first little while. I always found I was on portage 8 or 10 or so before I was in the right headspace.
The first thing you’d look at, once moving, is your speed. It is the leader of the convoy’s job to set the pace at 25km/h. Of course no two tachos are going to give identical readings, and some are analogue, some are digital…some guys go by GPS rather than the tach…whatever you want to use, you are the one setting the pace, and everyone behind you needs to understand that. I remember one trip when back at Nuna Logistics I’d asked, “Who wants to lead” and everyone said no – which was fine with me – but when we got onto the ice I noticed the truck behind me dropping further and further back. After a while he called me on the radio and said that if I were to look in my mirrors, I’d notice him way back, and that his tach said he was doing 25 km/h, and why was I going so fast and would I slow down to let him catch up? Oh boy, where do I start? Well, first of all I’d asked this guy if he wanted to lead and he’d said no, so that’s the first reason he should shut up. Secondly, I don’t care what his tach reads or how fast he thinks I’m going, it’s not his job to monitor speed, so that’s reason number 2. His job, as second in the convoy, is to maintain the correct 0.5 km spacing between himself and the truck in front – i.e. me. If I am speeding and he’s worried about being busted, he needn’t be because as leader it’ll be me that is written up, not him. So I replied, with amazing diplomacy, I thought, that he needed to do his job, not mine, and that he should pick it up a bit and close the gap between us when we hit the next portage. I said it nicely, but I wasn’t impressed. A friend further back in the convoy complimented me when we got to Lockhart – he said he’d have told the guy to fuck off, outright! Although the speed limit is the same on ice or land, it is accepted that you can pick it up a klick or two on a portage if you need to.
So that would be your second job – to make sure that the guy behind you is the correct distance behind you. Sometimes if you’re going in to a corner and there’s a long straight stretch behind you, you can see the whole convoy in your mirror and you can see if there are any gaps that are too big or too small, and ask someone to open or close it up. It's really neat to see four trucks even spaced out behind you in the mirror - always makes me smile. Security will tell you if they think a gap is too big or two small, too.
Portage 10 is a few kilometers long and it's a nice drive through a wooded area. One evening in '05 it was dusk and I was heading south on 10 and there was a pack of wolves feeding on something just 10 feet off the road. Dome Lake maintenance camp is on #10, too, and occasionally one of the workers will be out for a stroll along the portage. Brave man!
Portage 18 is an important one. It’s only very small – it may fit three trucks parked nose to tail on it at a stretch – but it’s the last one before Gordon Lake, which is a 90 minute ‘one movie’ lake, and usually the leader will ask if anyone wants to stop on 18 to make a pit stop. Or if he needs to go himself, he’ll tell you you’re stopping. The convoy will always stay together, so in most circumstances you’re either all going to stop, or no-one is.
Ok, Gordon Lake is a good place to break right now. Let’s all stop on 18 and pick it up in a few days!
Typical view out of the window...when it's not frosted over....
...like this, and you can't see anything at all!
Begging for food
Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2011 here