Awesome Blossoms by YVR

Vancouver, British Columbia

Unexpectedly, this weekend, we found ourselves in our beloved hometown enjoying brilliant blue skies, snowcapped mountain peaks, vibrant pink cherry blossoms, in various stages of sun salutation, lining the avenues and armed with my new Starbucks Gold card.

Awesome Blossoms by YVR

Brilliant Spring sunshine in Vancouver. Snow-capped mountains looking down on frolicking sailboats in False Creek. Next rain on Monday when we are gone.

Approaching the door at the Arbutus and 33rd location, tall non-fat latte in one hand, medium black Pike Place in the other, MacAir under my arm, sun streaming through the glass obscuring my view, mid-lean forward to push the door open and suddenly it pulls back. A white male, late 40s, bankster, broker, businessman, I don’t know, but affluent and educated, wearing Bermuda shorts, leather flipflops, a la Cole Haan, and a ball cap storms through the door brushing me aside.

Behind him, an elegant woman in her early 70s, silver-gray, chin-length bob, burnt orange wool swing coat, reaches out a black-leather gloved hand and grabs the door to prevent it from slamming in my face.

“I’m sorry,” she said apologetically, “I guess he wasn’t brought up that well.” Was he her son?

In four years of frequenting truck stops that has NEVER happened. I can still count on one hand the number of times I have opened my own door.

At a truck stop, the man who was sitting near the door would have jumped up and opened it, in Starbucks he barely looked at me.

Truck drivers wait for me so they can hold the door, if they catch a glimpse of me as they exit a door they turnaround, go back and hold the door. It may be that there are few women at truck stops, sometimes, I wonder if they think I’m a driver, or if I’ve lost my RV — shipper guy at our last pick up told me I looked like a schoolteacher and that it was a compliment — but overall I think it’s their standard procedure for women.

Old, young, black, Hispanic, white, pressed jeans, dirty beard, it doesn’t matter, truckers are well brought up by their mammas and the ones who aren’t must pick it up by association. The rudest behavior, no surprise, is the big city. But it’s the big city, big money, ivy league, New York, Wall Street, don’t-let-the-door-hit-your-ass-on-the-way-out and in laid-back Vancouver.

We are back at the truck, parked just south of the border, looking for loads. Friday morning we thought we had a good one, team load, Oregon to Kentucky. It evaporated.

The wheels ain’t been turnin’ for some time and we need to get earnin’, but since we had a brutal winter drive from San Francisco to the Okanagan region of British Columbia, through Washington state, we decided to stay the weekend and visit family in Vancouver.

While winter is MIA in most of the US, it’s presence was felt last week in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. It snowed giant flakes, big as saucers, reflecting in the headlights. We drove Washington 17 North from Moses Lake to Oroville to cross the border, through Canadian wine country into Summerland, then south on the Coquihalla to Vancouver and Blaine, Washington. We would have loved to stop for a Tim Horton’s coffee, a look around, but there is almost no place to stop and park a big truck in B.C. — drivers in Canada are heroes, roadways are small, signage is lacking, conditions are terrible and then there’s winter — so we returned to the U.S. as quickly as possible.

I was behind the wheel on 17 and it took two axles of chains — OnSpot auto chains, flip of a switch in the cab — to drive the 20 miles over the highest pass, clenching my teeth, gripping the steering wheel, virtually no visibility, no place to stop, because the road melted into the ditch without a shoulder, but thankfully no traffic, except for a couple bull haulers.

AD95-064Awesome Blossoms by YVR

We found winter. Snow-covered Zopkios Brake Check and Rest Stop on the Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia.

The snow stopped just before dawn, the clouds slowly burned off, leaving brilliant sunshine over Southern British Columbia for the weekend. The rain returns when we leave.

7 thoughts on “Awesome Blossoms by YVR

  1. Welcome home ! We are back in the northeast as well. Deliver to rock island, wa. On monday a.m., passed a level one d.o.t. in Montana today. Looking forward to more great posts ! Gary.


  2. So close, yet so far. Keep us posted, love to meet up sometime. A DOT in Montana!!! I've almost never seen a Scale House open, they must really need money. Congrats on passing. Did they give you a write up that says you passed or just wave you on? I've heard lots of DOT officers aren't doing the official pass, which should be included on our driving records.


  3. Now THAT is my kind of scenery!! (the second photo, not the first). As I sit it hot, humid (thankfully with A/C) San Antonio, I am dreaming of taking a load to ANYWHERE that has snow. I'd like feet of it but will settle for inches. I can't believe there has been no winter. I need to go north. Glad you're back. Can't wait to see you. Let's try to cross paths soon!!


  4. Vacationed,health checkup,family and friends.Yep time to go back to work:-) So on spot actually fixed the problem and it still works.I now have to get them before next winter.I hope you find a bunch of $$$$$ loadsDave


  5. It's behind time to get back to work. Yes, OnSpot stood by their product. Turns out, for whatever reason, and they weren't sure why, maybe in installation, two of the arms were slightly bent. They were replaced. We have used the auto chains five times, and the ability to flip that switch in the cab was worth every penny of the $5K. My next post will be on the automatic snow chains.


  6. Oh man, I remember coming back from Big White over the Coquihalla about 10 years ago in white out conditions – scariest freaking drive EVER! White knuckles, near tears, and bitter towards any community east of the Coq from that day forward… but I don't dwell 🙂 So sad to have missed you guys… hoping MacGyver wasn't teasing when he mentioned something on the answering machine about another visit in the near future. Can't wait!


  7. We plan to "keep the doors locked and the wheels turning" until early June when it's Formula One time in Montreal. So I figure mid-to late July we'll be back looking to see the baby bump.


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