I recently had the opportunity to ride shotgun with my trucker husband on a short trip to Calabogie, Ontario to deliver hardware supplies to a new store ‘The Bogie General Store‘, that recently opened in October 2016.
The life of a trucker can be long and lonely and I am told it is always nice to have a person to share conversation and the sites you see.
It is not easy snapping photos from the window of a moving truck, and your stops are often brief with a rare opportunity to find interesting things to photograph and people to meet along the way. These are the treasures I found on this brief Calabogie trip.
We were sent out on Sunday morning with an expected 8-hour drive which would have us stop in Arnprior, Ontario for a night at The Quality Inn. We left at 11 a.m but only arrived at 10 p.m. as my hubby discovered two tires on the trailer that were in need of repair before taking off.
We left the trailer with the mechanics and took some time for lunch at The Flying J Truck Stop where we indulged in the ‘Pot Roast Grilled Cheese Sandwich’. (Great idea!)
Our 11 a.m start was stretched to 2 p.m and we arrived in Arnprior at roughly 10 p.m.
We skipped dinner and after a shower, settled in for a good sleep. We woke at 7 a.m and were impressed by the pretty view outside of our window, and as my hubby inspected the truck, I took a quick walk down to the river to snap a few photos.
We were scheduled to deliver at the Bogie General Store a full trailer of hardware, over 8000 pieces and 28 skids.
When we arrived at the General Store we were greeted with surprise. They informed us they were not expecting us until late afternoon and the forklift and crew to unload the trailer would not arrive until that time. What a conundrum. We couldn’t take the truck anywhere, we had to wait for the crew to arrive, waiting for this to happen would delay us and put us behind schedule, which meant we may not be able to have enough hours to make it back home later that day. The other problem, I was starving. We had no dinner the night before and had no breakfast that morning. Our plans had been to arrive at 8 a.m and have the truck unloaded in an hour, and then meet up with an old family friend at a nearby truck stop, and grab a visit and a bite to eat then. Such is the nature of the trucking industry. Things seldom go as planned.
Nancy and Dave, who work at the Bogie General Store, were friendly and kind and as they made attempts to get the schedule changed, Nancy handed us the keys to her new pickup truck and said to take it into the little Calabogie Village and get a bite to eat at the local Bistro and see the sites! I am always impressed by the kindness of strangers in small town living.
We had a great breakfast at the Red Neck Bistro. I had the French Redneck and my hubby the Redneck All Star! The decor is rustic beauty and I loved the nice touch of the cut daffodils and cedar in mason jars. As we were eating breakfast we were surprised to look out the window and see a smiling face of a woman who was watering the flowers in the window boxes. She gave us a wave!
After breakfast, I had a quick conversation with the friendly lady with the green thumb. Her name was Barb and I had learned that she and her husband had recently retired to Calabogie and that she had at one time lived in Ottawa and worked at the Grace General Hospital where my one son was born. She had also lived in London, Ontario for some time! She had suggested a few sites to see, which we hope to do when we come back for pleasure rather than business. We also were given the brief story of the old truck rusted amongst the trees across the street from the Bistro. Apparently, a dispute between brothers, saw one brother hop out of the truck and abandon it there threatening to never help or speak to the other brother again. The truck sits there still, a fixed reminder of grudges and stubbornness.
After breakfast, we returned to the store and made a decision to try and hand bomb some of the skids to get a head start. Nancy, Dave, and I managed to hand bomb 4 skids before quitting and waiting for the crew and forklift to arrive. A few more staff arrived and the manager Mike and his son (who incidentally also hails from London, Ontario). As we waited for the forklift to arrive from Ottawa, my hubby and I took a little walk around. My hubby came back with an antique treasure, an old can of some sort, and I took a few more photos of the nearby countryside and an old local fellow named Bobby who stopped for a chat with me as he made his way on foot, with a walker, after recent open-heart surgery, up the hill to the post office in the Bogie General Store to collect his mail.
A message from Linda, a family friend, said that she would drive from her nearby home in Almonte and have a visit at the Bogie General Store with me while my hubby and the crew unloaded the truck. I haven’t seen Linda since I was about 3 months old, so naturally, I don’t really have a memory of that! We are friends on Facebook though and keep up with the comings and goings that way.
The forklift arrived and went to work, only to get stuck in the mud and need a tow out with Nancy’s pickup truck.
Shortly after that, Linda arrived. We sat on the steps of the store and shared some catch-up time and memories and ended with a promise to come back for a longer visit!
We were back on the road by 1:30 and home by 9 p.m. I enjoyed the ride, with the exception of the 401, and snapped photos of small town life there and back, singing and listening to classic rock and folk tunes on my Spotify account through my headphones which helped to drown out the sound of the big rig and the old time radio stories my hubby blasted on his Sirius Radio account. In between photos I worked away at weaving another dreamcatcher that should be ready for my Etsy shop this week.
My hubby had 10 hrs off and is back on the road working his way through the near North. Now that the weather is getting warm again, I hope to join him on a few more road trip adventures. #truckergirl #ontheroadagain #keepontruckin