Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rough roads ahead


As you enter Saskatchewan on 51 highway west of Kerrobert you go by the backside of one of those “Welcome to Alberta” billboards.  The only reason I noticed this one today is because some wag has scrawled “rough roads ahead” on the back of it so that you see the message as you enter Saskatchewan.

I should be offended by the stupid act of vandalism but today I wasn’t.  Partly because it’s the Alberta taxpayers who will ultimately have to pay to have the graffiti cleaned up but mostly because the message is unfortunately and uncomfortably true.  For too many years successive Saskatchewan (socialist) governments have ignored the province’s infrastructure in order to spend money on feel-good social programs.  Now the chickens are coming home to roost. 

The Wall government has been pouring money back into the highway system but it takes a long time to turn that boat around.  Nobody likes to run into construction delays when they travel and for years in Saskatchewan you never did.  Fortunately it’s now much more common to be stopped for construction and in the long run that’s a good thing.

Today we left Lacombe sometime after noon and headed east.  The nitwit at the Petrocan in Lacombe was all alone so he couldn’t pump any propane for us but I found a station in Consort that had more than one employee on duty so we were able to get filled up with Alberta diesel fuel and propane.  Tonight we’re on the street in Kerrobert and tomorrow night we’ll likely be back in Buchanan.

There’s still a surprising amount of crop out, more so on the Alberta side of the border but even here there’s still the occasional field standing.  There were a lot of combines going today and you could see freshly harvested fields in every direction. 

As we were breaking camp in Lacombe I was thinking about how many Thanksgiving weekends I have spent keeping a skeleton crew going so that most of my staff could have the weekend off.  By this time of year we weren’t usually very busy but even in a year where the good guys were all cleaned up there would always be some fool who had to be last and had to go all Thanksgiving weekend.   There are some aspects of the business that I occasionally miss but being a slave to somebody else’s schedule isn’t one of them.  Particularly I don’t miss serving people who couldn’t get their work done on time and then tried to make their crisis my emergency.

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