From the 5th to the 9th of this month, I drove 5000km (a bit more, in fact) across a good chunk of Canada via the Trans-Canada Highway. Some things happened, and I tweeted about them (in a safe way, of course).
And with that, the 5(ish)-day journey to Waterloo begins!— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 5, 2014
I was guessing between 5 and 7 days to do the trip. I had to stop in Edmonton briefly, but aside from that I had no plans to visit anybody or stop unless the truck needed gas, or for sleep as required. Google Maps showed 59 hours of driving total, for an average of about 85km/h. I was aiming to average a full 100km/h, and actually came extremely close to that most days.
HI MY NAME IS RYAN I ALMOST DIED TODAY WHEN A TRANSPORT TRUCK TRAILER FISHTAILED INTO MY LANE AMA— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
Off to great start – 350km out of Yellowknife (about an hour away from cell service), a transport truck seemed to hit a corner too fast, causing his trailer to fishtail into my lane. I was able to pull right and time my passing such that I went past in between oscillations into my lane. I doubt I would have actually hit it, especially since I pulled right, but that didn’t make the experience any less… exciting, shall we say?
Yellowknife to Whitecourt - 1318km - in one day. Now to sleep. In the front seat of the truck. In a Tim's parking lot. Because I'm classy.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
Having only ever really made it to Peace River in one day before (about 300km before Whitecourt), this was what I’d consider a successful first day.
Apparently truck seats aren't overly comfortable. So, 4am start to day two!— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
…and then this happened, resulting in a much-less-successful day two. After only three hours of sleep I tried to drive again, but within about 50km knew I was still far too tired, so pulled over for an hour-long nap, which helped immensely (along with the second nap in the afternoon).
It's no Yellowknife sunset, but an Alberta sunrise ain't half bad. pic.twitter.com/XQGQcShYhu— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
Of course, waking up at such an hour did have its benefits!
huehuehue. (Lloydminster is on the border between the two provinces.)
Saskatoon's Circle Drive is just as congested as any other "expressway" in any city. Except with more farm trucks. And farm equipment.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
It was almost surreal to see a crop sprayer tractor cruising along at nearly highway speeds (once the congestion cleared up, that is). You expect to see this out in the farm fields (and you do), but seeing it in the city was pretty… odd.
NO TRANSPORT TRUCK YOU MAY NOT MERGE INTO MY LANE WHILE I AM THERE AS IT VIOLATES THE RULES OF SPACE-TIME.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 6, 2014
Second close call with a transport truck, happened in Saskatoon. Started merging, but then saw me and ceased their attempt at murder. Too many witnesses, I presume. I feel compelled to mention that, despite two close calls with transport trucks on this trip, I passed hundreds of them without issue (if not thousands), and they are very generally extremely good and courteous drivers.
Upon initial impressions, Regina is a bit like Kitchener. Only… flatter. 100% flat, in fact.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 7, 2014
It really is. It’s almost creepy.
Winnipeg? More like Windy-peg! http://t.co/L5RRArv5RR— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 7, 2014
It was windy. I am hilarious.
Bought doughnut with sprinkles. Ate doughnut with sprinkles while driving. Front seat is now 28% sprinkles by mass.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 7, 2014
I am also not very smart.
A fact for @stats_canada - 94% of Kenora's GDP is bait and tackle sales.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 8, 2014
I don’t like to rag on cities I haven’t lived in, but this place is honestly the most kitsch, fabricated place I’ve driven through in a long time. Every second store sells bait.
Sleep location for tonight: Thunder Bay, in front a conditional No Parking sign with the most confusing conditions I've ever seen…— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 8, 2014
Specifically, it stated “No Parking odd calendar days between 9am and 5pm from November 15th to March 31st”. I would presume this has to do with snow removal, but goddamn. That said, since I didn’t park under a street lamp this time, I had a much better sleep. (Although I did use a suitcase full of books as a pillow.)
Sault Ste. Marie? More like windy-Sault Ste… wait never mind.— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 8, 2014
Sault Ste. Marie was also windy. I am not very good at jokes.
Thunder Bay to Waterloo in one day yesterday, finishing the 5000km in four days. AND THEY SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE.. or was it shouldn't?— Ryan Mahler (@ryantmer) June 9, 2014
For context, that was 15.5 hours of driving on the fourth day, stopping at only the 6 hour and 12 hour points it was rough. Managed to do it in a day less than my least guess though, so it was worth it!
But anyway, managed around 14L/100km in fuel consumption (which for a 2002 Yukon XL ½-ton isn’t bad), an average speed of nearly 100km/h, and spent $918.04 on gas along the way. Trivia: the most expensive gas was in Thunder Bay. Weird.
This is a weird post.