Tok, Alaska (Part 2 of 2)
“No, NO, nooooo!” MacGyver wailed from the driver’s seat.
“CLOSED. It’s closed. How can it be closed?”
The 24/7 Tok, Alaska Weigh Station sits empty, looking abandoned, at 7:00 PM on the second Sunday in April this year. Alaska advertises the scale as open 24 hours, just not 24 hours in a row.
Truck drivers, even by-the-book owner-operators like us do a mental happy dance when we find a closed Weigh Station, relieving us of exposure to a Department of Transport inspection and the Book of Possible Violations and Fines. It’s like going through US Customs after an overseas holiday. You’re not doing anything wrong, but you’re nervous. A big truck’s gut is a mysterious black hole. Continue reading
Our year began with a 2,599 mile deadhead, driving from Quebec to Washington state, burning fuel on our own dime, because we couldn’t find a westbound load.
Normally, we’d wait. Or we’d follow the freight. But last January, we couldn’t. A plane was waiting. Not any plane, the Dreamliner. And not just any seats. Champagne-swilling, Business Class points rides to India, through Shanghai and Bangkok.
We try to fly through Shanghai to Asia because during the layover MacGyver likes to ride the 431 kph MagLev into the city for Dim Sum. This time we were foiled by a mysterious Shanghai rule. Unlike traveling through Beijing, where bags are checked to the final destination, in Shanghai, we were forced to not only clear customs but collect our bags and check in again, closing the MagLev time window.
That was the harbinger of freight. Or more accurately, fright.
Looking back six months, we can see that freight fell off the cliff on January 2, the day we delivered a diesel engine to Rifle, Colorado.