Monday, March 14, 2016

Driving the Winter Road

As I sit here in Green Bay Wisconsin basking in the 65 degree weather, it is difficult to envision that just a couple weeks ago I was enduring -20 degree temperatures on my way back from Sandy Lake Ontario. Dad and I completed our yearly migration the last week of February to the northern tundra of Ontario with minimal complications.  For those of you unfamiliar with the ice highway connecting Red Lake to Sandy Lake; the voyage is a 225 mile winding and mogul filled road that runs 90% through the remote woods of NW Ontario.

Pit stop on the Berens River 
A mild winter caused us to delay our journey till the end of February as we waited for more favorable conditions. Typically, we run the road in Mid January.  This year we managed haul approximately 14000 pds of freight to Sandy between our three trucks and one trailer.  Our load consisted of a new floating dock and front door for SW Lake, tongue and groove interior, oven range and entry door for Cocos, and oven range for West. Also in the mix was a new boat, lots of pressure treated lumber and four new Yamaha motors among many many other items .

As I mentioned earlier, this trip was a fairly uneventful drive.  Aside from receiving a mix of ice pellets and rain the first day, the ice highway was in excellent shape due to lack of transport and semi traffic.  We were able to make close to record times on the first three legs of the trip.  On our final leg out from Sandy to Red Lake we met about a dozen fuel tankers.  These heavy vehicles quickly deteriorate the road conditions.  

The first leg up the winter road is usually the most troublesome as our trucks are typically overloaded and we have to crawl at a snails pace.  The only issues we incurred the entire four legs of driving were a bad rim on our trailer and one temporarily stuck vehicle due to a soft spot in the ice on a small creek. Attached is a quick video I made documenting our drive. As you can see the weather was amazing, our first day was approximately -30 Celsius (-22 F) and sunny.  The other three days of driving the temperatures held around -10 Celsius ( 14 F).

Join Big Hook for March Madness

It is that time of year again for March Madness.  Join our yahoo tournament bracket for a chance at three prizes.  Top prize like last year is a $20 Cabelas gift card.  2nd place receives a Big Hook T shirt and third gets a Big Hook baseball hat.  Good luck to all.  Click HERE to join the pool.
Pool: 107271
Password: bighook

Good luck on the water everyone!