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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINEe

heading north to the Territories. Anyone who has hauled up there knows it’s not exactly the best place on earth for communication. It is however a beautiful and quiet place to contemplate life and I’ve always appreciated that. It seems as though we are supposed to make a big deal of our “milestone” birthdays, 18th, 20th, 30th, 40Th … as if we change somehow the instant our odometer ticks past on more year. The road is great place to consider such things especially when you have the bonus of not having a phone to ring and bother you or traffic to distract you. I never entirely knew what was planned for my birthday but I had it planned perfectly to be home the day before so I could see what epic things were in store for me. The trucking gods had other plans as they usually do. On my way up I parked to go to sleep and my tires were hot so when I woke up they were not. Froze down to the ground… now I’ve had frozen brakes that’s an easy fix provided you have a big enough hammer but a whole super train frozen an inch down in the ice I was gonna need Thor’s hammer. Now I’ll make a long story short and give you the ingredients to get out, if you want the directions step by step you’ll have to wait for the book. What it took was 2 jugs of windshield washer antifreeze, 2 sets of chains, one sore shoulder from cranking cold dollies, four bumps with the truck and three hours! Suffice to say I was tired and behind schedule when I got rolling. Oh well if I put the hammer down and kept the log books secret, I would still make it in time. Almost in to Enterprise, I stopped to water the foliage and give it the once over before the scales, when I notice some not so nice colored snow near the front diff, not good. As I limped it into town not wanting to chance heating up a diff that was obviously low on oil it dawned on me that I may not make it back in time for my epic birthday. Suspicions were confirmed when I hit town and cleared the snow away from the diff to find a hole in the filter. Now Enterprise doesn’t have a lot of things like a diff filter for an RT46-160 but at least they have phone service which was nice when I had to call my wife. I explained the situation and that anything planned would have to be called off. She surprisingly didn’t sound concerned. Hmmm, what were all of those people going to do at a surprise party without a guest of honor? What if they’d travelled far? Obviously she was keeping calm to spare me any more stress, what a great woman! Well after getting another truck to bring me the required filter and some 75-90 up from High Level I continued on up to my destination. I didn’t make it into Yellowknife until afternoon on Saturday the 19th one day before my birthday. I called home after decking off and reloading, no answer. Nothing else to do but turn south and hope people would maybe stick around for Sunday. dec 2017 / Jan 2018

As I drove south into the night I wondered if maybe no one cared enough to come and that’s why my wife had been quiet about it. The funny thing was when I laid down that night, alone and isolated under the northern lights, I suddenly knew that it didn’t matter who had been there for one night to help me celebrate. All that mattered were the people that helped me get to this point. I woke up in the morning and drove back towards civilization and as I got towards civilization my phone started dinging. Notifications from Facebook one after the other so I pulled in at High Level and checked it out. Before I got to that I read a text from my mom that said “Happy Birthday, loved the video” then some hearts and an emoticon with a single tear. What video? I never posted anything, couldn’t have I’d had no service! So I checked and sure enough there on my Facebook page was posting from my wife, flipagram. I clicked on it and watched 40 years go by. I saw all of the people who had come and gone from my life. It choked me up, it still does. Karen has given me some amazing gifts including two great kids but what this left me with was possibly the greatest. What I realized from watching those faces flip by, seeing myself and my kids grow up to a tune by Locash, is that it’s the experiences we have every day that matter. A person shouldn’t feel bad for not being there on any one specific day to celebrate but celebrate every single day you have. Pay attention to right now, be present whenever

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Profile for Pro-Trucker Magazine

Pro-Trucker Magazine December 2017/January 2018  

December 2017/January 2018 Rig of the Month Featuring Toby Doyle Starting on page 22

Pro-Trucker Magazine December 2017/January 2018  

December 2017/January 2018 Rig of the Month Featuring Toby Doyle Starting on page 22