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Old 12-05-2007, 09:55 PM   #163
squonker OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
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Anatomy of a Trip Pt. 4

Originally Posted by awryders
As galute said a couple of posts back,"I'm still with ya".

Back in my younger days we did a lot of winter mountaineering.
Week long trips,snoshoes,igloos,telemark skis,frozen nose-toes-fingers etc.,etc.

However,,,, you guys are at another level...........
Oh man, if you were camping, using wall tents that you had to cut down trees to make frames for....I had to that last winter in -30c. We were only out there for two nights, but this winter I have to do it for 12 nights. I am not happy at the prospect...anyway, if that's what you were doing you had it 100X tougher than I had it sitting on my arse in a heated cab with a CD playing...kudos to you, dude.

Originally Posted by galute
I'm still with ya squonker, great thread as always. Loved the snow plow pics. Keep em coming.
10-4, man.


View of the road south from Lockhart

Why did I take this picture?!

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone falling asleep on Gordon Lake, but some people do complain that at 1.5 hrs to get across, it’s boring. Funny, I’ve never once had a problem of any kind with it, but within the first hour of being on Mackay Lake I’m stir crazy. Strange. I always have a big selection of CDs with me, and there’s Sirius too – also your mates to bullshit with, or new friends to make if you’re running with people you haven’t met before. Often a voice from somewhere behind you will start yakking at you on the longer lakes, and most of the guys you meet up there are top notch.

There are some who want to speed, but don’t want to lead (and therefore risk being busted), so they start to call you and say, “You’re only doing 23, pick it up will ya?” They’re hoping to make better time of course, and know full well that it’s you as leader who’ll get the grief when security catches you. But you’d have to be pretty insecure to fall for that, I reckon, and anyway on the first trip each time I’m in a new truck I get Security to ‘zap’ me with a radar gun, and I can get a handle on how accurate my speedo is, so that’s what you can counter them with. And even those guys are pretty good guys most of the time, they’re just seeing what they can get away with – and who here doesn’t do that every once in a while?!

At the far end, portage 19, you might want to make a pit stop if you didn’t on number 18, and then there’s not much of interest until Charlie’s Hill, which is number 25 if I remember correctly. Coming off 24 is often a little slippery, then it’s about 1 km until you make a right hander, and then you’re on the approach to Charlie’s. It’s about another kilometer to the base of the hill I’d think, maybe a little more, and about half way across that I’ll get on the radio and ask if anyone’s coming down Charlie’s. “Ok then, five trucks up Charlie’s Hill”, and it’s time to grab a couple of gears and get some speed up. Oh, and lock all the diffs up, too, first. Usually 40 km/h is ample to make it, but I guess it depends a bit how many horse power you have and how heavy your load is. The first time I drove that Western Star I had an extra trailer to pull, but 120hp less than I was used to and I was doing at least 50km/h I’m sure. The thing is to make the least number of shifts possible while you’re climbing the hill (and preferably none at all), ‘cos that’s where you’ll come to grief. Security won’t stop you if you need to take a run up at Charlie’s – it’s the one place you can blatantly disregard the speed limit and not have to worry about it (although I will confess that the idea of 100,000lbs rolling along at 50 km/h on the ice does concern me a little for those few moments)! I used to wait until a few minutes after I’d made it up and then call the last guy to see if he had too, but these days I just figure someone will let me know if they didn’t make it.

And now you’re up Charlie’s. One guy I know always stops at the top (where’s there’s ample parking) for ten minutes to let his dog out for a piss. Some guys just stop for five for a break, and I’ve done that before – stretch the legs sort of thing. It depends how I feel. There’s a little…pond, I guess it is…at the top in the middle of the portage there which sometimes has a 10km/h speed limit on it, and when that’s the case there will always be security there with a radar gun. You have to be on the case when you come flying over the top of the hill because if that reduced limit is there you have to slow down in quite a hurry. But it’s very do-able, I think most of my problem with it is just that I don’t like slowing down.

The most handsome man on the road!

Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here

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