Oh man, if you were camping, using wall tents that you had to cut down trees to make frames for....I had to that last winter in -30c. We were only out there for two nights, but this winter I have to do it for 12 nights. I am not happy at the prospect...anyway, if that's what you were doing you had it 100X tougher than I had it sitting on my arse in a heated cab with a CD playing...kudos to you, dude. 10-4, man. Lockhart View of the road south from Lockhart Why did I take this picture?! I dont think Ive ever heard of anyone falling asleep on <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace><st1laceName>Gordon</st1laceName> <st1laceType>Lake</st1laceType></st1lace>, but some people do complain that at 1.5 hrs to get across, its boring. Funny, Ive never once had a problem of any kind with it, but within the first hour of being on <st1lace><st1laceName>Mackay</st1laceName> <st1laceType>Lake</st1laceType></st1lace> Im stir crazy. Strange. I always have a big selection of CDs with me, and theres Sirius too also your mates to bullshit with, or new friends to make if youre running with people you havent met before. Often a voice from somewhere behind you will start yakking at you on the longer lakes, and most of the guys you meet up there are top notch. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o> </o> There are some who want to speed, but dont want to lead (and therefore risk being busted), so they start to call you and say, Youre only doing 23, pick it up will ya? Theyre hoping to make better time of course, and know full well that its you as leader wholl get the grief when security catches you. But youd have to be pretty insecure to fall for that, I reckon, and anyway on the first trip each time Im in a new truck I get Security to zap me with a radar gun, and I can get a handle on how accurate my speedo is, so thats what you can counter them with. And even those guys are pretty good guys most of the time, theyre just seeing what they can get away with and who here doesnt do that every once in a while?! <o> </o> At the far end, portage 19, you might want to make a pit stop if you didnt on number 18, and then theres not much of interest until Charlies Hill, which is number 25 if I remember correctly. Coming off 24 is often a little slippery, then its about 1 km until you make a right hander, and then youre on the approach to Charlies. Its about another kilometer to the base of the hill Id think, maybe a little more, and about half way across that Ill get on the radio and ask if anyones coming down Charlies. Ok then, five trucks up Charlies Hill, and its time to grab a couple of gears and get some speed up. Oh, and lock all the diffs up, too, first. Usually 40 km/h is ample to make it, but I guess it depends a bit how many horse power you have and how heavy your load is. The first time I drove that Western Star I had an extra trailer to pull, but 120hp less than I was used to and I was doing at least 50km/h Im sure. The thing is to make the least number of shifts possible while youre climbing the hill (and preferably none at all), cos thats where youll come to grief. Security wont stop you if you need to take a run up at Charlies its the one place you can blatantly disregard the speed limit and not have to worry about it (although I will confess that the idea of 100,000lbs rolling along at 50 km/h on the ice does concern me a little for those few moments)! I used to wait until a few minutes after Id made it up and then call the last guy to see if he had too, but these days I just figure someone will let me know if they didnt make it. <o> </o> And now youre up Charlies. One guy I know always stops at the top (wheres theres ample parking) for ten minutes to let his dog out for a piss. Some guys just stop for five for a break, and Ive done that before stretch the legs sort of thing. It depends how I feel. Theres a little pond, I guess it is at the top in the middle of the portage there which sometimes has a 10km/h speed limit on it, and when thats the case there will always be security there with a radar gun. You have to be on the case when you come flying over the top of the hill because if that reduced limit is there you have to slow down in quite a hurry. But its very do-able, I think most of my problem with it is just that I dont like slowing down. The most handsome man on the road!