Monday, April 30, 2007

Well what has Tina been up too?? This is my week no where near as exciting as the big world or long distance trucking but heres my week.
Monday: Didnt do much but clean, wash and return emails. Went to Friendship group in the evening which is a group for Disabled folk.

Tuesday: Went to "The Mall" looking for shoes, only 40 shoe shops to choose from. Spent several hours following around a film crew and 400 extras watching the filming of the new movie in the mall. Quite interesting really they are still short of extras so are still looking. They have the Mall all set up for Christmas which is really nice. I came across 5 grown men sitting on the floor of the mall wrapping "presents " to be used in the movie. They were having a lovely time, full of cheek.

Wednesday: Went to Bible Study then visited a friends family for a coffee. The lady that we visited is a pupeter. She had a beautiful collection of different puppets that she uses at schools and birthday parties. She has made some many years ago but now just buys them. I love puppets and would love to make some, however coming across puppet patterns isnt that easy, maybe I can addapt some bear patterns etc.

Thurday: Went with a friend for a whole day out. Firstly we went to her sisters farm about 30 mins drive out of edmonton. They used to farm elk and bison. I saw my first Gopher, how exciting that was, they shoot them here because they are a nuisence, how sad. They now have a honey business that they export honey out of. It is a family business and is doing really well. Which makes me wonder about the bees in Australia. Honey was very expensie when we left due to the drought, what is is like now, probably dearer by now. We then went to a patchwork shop which was a real treat. I brought enough fabric to make a tablecloth out of Kerry Swains book "Blackberry Jam and Cream" I am making the Berry Season Table Topper. The fabric I brought is Canadian Autum leaves and pine cones for the centre feature. It is really beautiful and on special for $6.99 from $16 which made it a bargain. Yes ladies the rest of the fabrics are autum colours which are my favourite. We then had supper/dinner at my friends place and went to Bible Study.

Friday: Did Voluntary work at a second hand shop call Bibles for Missions. I enjoy this work and am amazed at what people bring to the shop. I brought 20 DMC threads for $1.00. That night we went and saw the Friendship group preform their end of year play, what fun that was. Then went to a friends pottery and art display, which was just beautiful. I brought Phil for his birthday 2 pottery mugs and brought a cute little tea pot to match. They are the most amazing steel blue colour.

Saturday: Phil got home at 1.00am this morning. We went to the mall for a coffee and cream horn ($3.80 for 2 cakes and 2 coffees) They are made by a chinese cake shop who specialise in wedding cakes. When we were leaving a guy, who owns a greek food shop opposite, said goodaye and asked us to sit down and have a coffee with him. He was a National/Indian/Aboriginal/First National. Each name is appropriate for these people. We went back that night for a music jam and just to chat and eat some greek food. We met several Indian people and learnt a lot more about their culture. They have invited us to a pow-wow in May, which will be fantastic. Some of these folk live on a reserve just out of town. They are a stem from the Sue Indians. Not sure how you spell that though.

Sunday: Went to church and stayed for soup and rolls after church. They have this each week for visitors and fellowship groups. It is a great way to meet folk in the Church and to involve new comers.
So that is my week. I am also ready a book called "The blooding of Jack Absolute" written by C.C. Humphreys. It is just a novel set in London in 1759. I have finish several books so to fill in my time. I do some hand sewing on my Block of the month squares, and watch a bit of Tv. i do try to do some walking, which seems to be offen. As we dont have a car it is sort of forced excercise but I really enjoy it. Otherwise we use the bus.
It is amazing what we take for granted. I was so excited to hear the kids playing outside, the birds singing and watch the animals emerge from there winter homes. The grass is so green and the buds on the trees are just beautiful, also some of the bulbs are just starting to bloom. It is spring here but after being snow and cold for so long it is just fantastic to see all these things coming alive. I also miss being able to ring people and visit, to be able to spend time with my friends, to be able to have patchwork magazines to brouse through and fabric to "play" with. I miss my work and my special friends there especially Anthea who I was Key worker for. I will never take these things for granted again.
Family update, Elijah is starting to get up on his knees, clever boy, but just look at his grandma!!!! Clayton has taken a job in Hobart. He will be working on a kids animation which will be made into half hour tv programs. He drove from brisbane to Melbourne in 3 days and is now just getting of the boat in Devonport to drive to Hobart. How exciting for Clay! Im sure he will enjoy it. I think the company is in the Salamanca Market place on the harbour which will be just a fantastic place to work in. The markets on a Saturday there are just fantastic, most of you have heard of them. Well hope you enjoyed my chipmunk photo, they are so quick i was lucky to get this one. Until next blog. Tina

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Week 8 Part 1

This weeks Touring took me west from Edmonton to Hinton to load, and then through Jasper over the Rockies, south down to Kamloops and then on to North Vancouver docks to unload, reload, back to Kamloops, east over the Rockies, through Golden and past Banff and on to Calgary, back to Edmonton, swich trailers, then North west to High Praire, unload west to Grand Prairie to reload and back to Edmonton

Vehicle dimentions of a typical single truck/trailer combination over here.
23 meters is maximum length without a permit.
Max length in Aus is 19 meters

This unit on the Bridge brings wood chips into the pulp mill, to unload, the whole unit is tipped as you cas see in the next Photo

Up it goes, the unit is at probably 60-70 degrees when at full height, (I was unable to get a picture at full height, hopefully I will next visit). It is suprising how fast it go up, empties and back down .

Week 8 Part 2 near Banff

A frozen waterfall on the way through Banff National Park

no explanation needed to where I was for these 2 pic's

(double click on the photo to enlarge)

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Week 8 on the road part 3 Towards Kamloops

From Jaser you travel west over the rockies to a location called Tete Jaune Cache (pronounced tee zchon, you must use a French accent) and then south to Kamloops (this is the western side of the rockies) and the road is fairly flat (for the rockies), and the next 3 photos show the different landscape in a short distance. (note the mountain peaks are the same peaks in each photo)

The same snow tunnel from last week notice the difference in the amount of snow

Week 8 on the road Part 4 Vancouver skyline

The load to North Vancouver was delivered to the docks, destined for export I guess.

On the return over the Iron workers bridge you get a great view of the Vancouver Skyline

For those who are real geography enthusiasts this map shows location and direction of photo

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More Of week 7

I ran out of picture space on the last post so go to it first as in reality this follows it.

The Alex Frazer Bridge Vancouver,

I thought floating logs down the river was a thing of the past and movies, But it is still a reality here

A tunnel of a different kind, to keep the snow from blocking the road, there are a number on the No 1 highway from Vancouver to Calgary. The rail line has a heap too
(sorry but the pic is a bit blurred but you get the idea)

Heaps of spectacular lakes along the way

A new bridge under construction to take a new part of the highway.

Things seem huge here.

Talk to you all again next week hopefully

Week 7 on the Road

This week I traveled to Vancouver Via Calgary, Fort Macleod, Sparwood, Cranbrook, to Creston, where i unloaded and reloaded and bounced along the US/Canada border to Vancouver (where it is green). And returned via Kamloops, Golden and Bannf to unload at Calgary and back to Edmonton

On this part of the Rockeys there was a tunnel (or 2, cant exactly remember as there is so much to take in)

An unanticipated Snow fall on a realy steep pass.
Another steep learning curve for me, (27.5 tonne load, 45.5 onne gross) it felt as though the trailer was fish tailing slightly as the truck crawled up the steep climb at slow speed, apparently what actually was happening was, the drive wheels were sliding to the left and right as the snow is compressed to ice.

More spectacular scenery

And it is green as you get close to Vancouver


Week 7 on the Road

A BIG week especially when it comes to dump trucks as you can see from the photo's.

Designing of this monster truck started In 1968 at General Motors London Office and was built in the States by 1974

Now located in Sparwood British Columbia Canada

As you can see it is BIG.

Some details for future reference or your useless information file (or if you are organising a trivia night it might be usefull)

169 litre 3300HP turbo charged 16 cylinder 2 stroke

Flat out at 48 Klm/hour

Tare weight 236 Tonne

Load Capacity 317 Tonne

Gross weight 553 Tonne

(for more info click in pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hi All,
Sorry we havent updated the blog in a while we have been fairly busy.

As you can see in the second photo I went on my first trip with Phil in the truck. We went to a town called Kitmat which is on the West coast above Vancouver. You actually go through the Rockies which is just unbelievable. The scenery really carnt be explained. There still was a lot of snow around and the mountains were covered. Some of the frozen lakes have started to melt. Just imagine Lake Keepit or chaffey dam frozen with cars driving on it, ice fishing, ice skating and skidoos instead of sking and boats. Some of the roadside water falls were still frozen and something we have never witnessed before. Where was the camera when you needed it.? It is hard to get photos as we are driving along, focusing isnt the easiest, but of course the minute you put the camera away something else needs photographing. I enjoyed the trip much more than I thought I would. One morning, after pulling in at 2.00am, we woke surrounded by the snow covered rockies. The chipmunks were out and very happy to have a chat, they are such beautiful little critters. I must admit my mind found it hard to get around this scene for Easter.

We had an Easter luncheon at a "Roadside Cafe." It was quite unique, the food was great, the staff friendly and I will call it another experience. Most of the roadside cafes are made in the 60's and never been updated. I love these experiences and look out for "different" places to eat just for the experience. When we are out and about a lot of you come to mind as I think so and so would love this or wait till I bring so and so here. Travelling is such a great experience and with an open mind and a bit of adventures spirit it can be a lot of fun, even the disasters can be fun. I must admit my adventureous spirit was tested when we tried to sleep in the front of the truck as they were loading the back with pallets of paper with a fork lift. Needless to say we didnt get much sleep till they were finish loading.

The first photo was taken as we were driving along. I say a big "castle looking house" which i wanted to take a photo of. It was only after I took the photo that I realise how magical the spot was. We went for a walk up to the bridge, through the snow. Snow isnt always as it looks and we ended up severeal times up to our knees in it. What a laugh. Yes it is spring over here BUT each day has its own surprises. Coming back into Edmonton it was snowing and we got around 3 inches of snow, on the 10th April. I am looking forward to going again and finding another experience!!!
Last weekend I did a Thereapudic Clowning workshop which was a lot of fun. It was quite interesting to be in a room with 25 clowns or wana bees. It was very tiring but benificial. i have to now decided if this is for me, or just visiting folk in the hospital would be better for me. There are lots of rules in clowning and red tape to go through to be a thereapudic clown which has left me a bit unsure. I just need to speak and most people laugh at me. The new word is "chook".
They have never heard that word here, so they pronounce it "chalk" which takes away from the discription of a chicken.
Last night I went to a Crossroads gathering. This is a time when disabled folk come and enjoy some time together, learning about God, singing, craft and supper. They love it and I felt quite at home. They were practicing a play to put on for their families and friends. I was so amazed how similar a lot of the folk looked to my special friends in Australia. I did shed a few tears as it made me miss my friends in Australia especially the ones who I worked with.
Just a person note, Robyn if you have a email could you ring Kerry and give it to her so she can email it to me and I can send an email to you. When is "wild childs" babies due? How many quilts have you made now. They can only use one at a time you know. Ha ha !!! Im still having problems locating fabric shops because they seem to be the absolule opposite side of town which is at least an hour on the bus, but now the snow has melted perhaps it will be easier.
Also Andrew and Deb I havent got your email. I did ask Jenny but she must of forgotten. Dont put email addresses in the blog as anyone can have access to them.
Since we have been in Canada, 8 weeks, our news from Australia has been intersting.
Kylie was hit again,by a car while riding her bike. She is fine now if not still a bit sore. She is started a new job as a physcologist in a school. Kylie graduated from her masters last month. Clayton had a car accident but he is okay and car is now back and fixed. He has a job as a carer for a fellow with Downs Syndrome. He has finished the Tim Finn video and it looks amazing. Tim turned 26, and had a crusty cream donut shop move a few minutes up the road from him, which is Bad news. Soccor has started for both him and Josh again. Katie has been fantastic in keeping us up to date with weekly photos of Elijah. Elijah is rolling over and started eating big peoples food now. Katie has also managed to put together a Noahs ark quilt for Elijah of which she got the pattern for her birthday. When it is finished I will post a photo of it. I miss them all so much. I do love shopping for Elijah as clothing is cheaper here. Josh also turned 20, my baby!!!. He and Jane have been to Coonabarabran for Easter which he loved. They have booked there tickets for the 1st December to Canada and plan to do a little bit of work over here during the winter months. It will be great to have them for Christmas. Phil and I celebrated out 27th wedding aniversary. My Uncle has been diagnosed with Bowel cancer which has spread to his liver and a dear friend from Church has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is times like these that we feel a long way from home.
Okay my friends, please stay in touch, we watch the emails and blog spot each day waiting for news from home.
Until next time

Monday, April 2, 2007

Map of week 4 travels

2 trips this week

Edmonton to Kamloops 800klm, then east 110 klm to Armstrong and back to Edmonton.

Edmonton to Prince Rupert (1450 klm) Back to Terrace down to Kitimat to load, then back to Edmonton.

Week 4 Travels Going West

A saying we are all familar with "Go west" and that is what I did twice this week with some spectacular highs and lows , This blog is of Edmonton -Prince Rupert.

250 Klm west of Edmonton (just east of Hinton) and the high for the week as the sign shows.

Another 1150 klm and the low (topographicly) for the week Prince Rupert, a Picturesque harbour, they had just had an unseasonal dump of snow (300-600mm depending on where you were) and roads were closed due to fear of avalanches, power lines down, cars off the road and abandonded.

To see snow on the boats in the harbour seemed strange

You wont see this at Coffs

On the way from From Terrace there are long streches of lakes with high mountans behind them and the reflections were incredible, and it is suprising what pictures can be captured on the move (point the digital camera and hope for the best)

On the scenery setting it works with reasonable success

Untill next week
All the best


Map of week 3 travels

Another interesting week,
Firstly it was off to Melfort to unload then to Carrot river (a little south and east of Nipewan North east of Saskatoon) to load, through Rosetown to Olds a town between Red Deeer and Calgary, unload of to Calgary load, Prince George unload, up to McKenzie load, through Dawson Creek, Grande Prairie to Edmonton, change trailers back to Grande Prairie unload, load again and back to Edmonton
Again A week of new experiences and scenery

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Tri Drive Tractor at front of load

4 obvious axles front and rear of load

Tri Drive tractor at rear of load

6 or 8 axles under the load????

Click on the picture for a closer look


Week 3 on the Road

Hello to you all again,

Things can catch you unexpectedly in the cold!!!

How cold can it get in the cab, well if you park for the weekend it can get cold enough to freeze the soda water in a bottle in the cab, I must admit I left one of the windows down about 12mm (1/2 an inch) but it was cold!!! and it took a few hours with the heater on full hot for it to thaw

On Monday morning I awoke to a brisk -20 degrees with a wind chill factor of about -30
to unload on a compressed snow/ice surface. All went well getting into the unload area with 24 tonne of paper on the trailer, things were different when I went to leave, the truck moved about 10 meters and then a high spot of ice, a whole 50mm high, all the wheels would do was spin, even with diff lock,

I will allow you to use your imagination for what it is like to fit the chains on the tyres crawling around on the ice. (you soon learn what the expression of "be effecient" and "don't waste time" means!!

Ever wondered how you tip a 53 foot (17.5 meter) long trailer with 20 tonne of wood chips??

Over here they reverse onto a specially designed platform, disconnect the tractor and tip the platform

This is not the best of angles to see this unit but if you look hard you can see it is a

Twin steer
Tri drive

Tri trailer
Not sure of its gross load capacity



3 photos taken over the last 3 weeks



Yesterday 31/03/07