With five and a quarter ton.
When I saw the road so smooth and wide
Says I “Why this is fun”.
So I settled back as I purred along
And lighted up a hill
But my air of ease soon passed away
When I struck Peace River Hill.
Curve after curve and mile after mile
Till I thought my brakes would burn
Then across a shaky one way bridge
And up around the hairpin turn.
Then up and on for ten good miles
And there to make a jog
To Fort St. John with its high crowned street
Like driving on a log.
Then there’s thirty miles of as fine a road
As you’ll ever wish to see,
And on through bush and curves and hills
Till I struck Mile eighty-three.
There up sprung a hill like the side of a barn
And I stared with bated breath
Where dismembered trucks in jumbled heaps
Bespoke a horrible death.
I clawed for gears with feverish haste
But the wheels began to spin,
As I slammed on the brakes and started to slide
I pictured an awful end.
At last with luck I got her stopped
I don’t know just how yet
And started again with utmost care
My forehead beaded with sweat.
As I reached the top I shivered and shook
My sweat turned to a chill
“If I ever make another trip
I mustn’t forget that hill.”
I rolled along till I reached the drop
They now called Suicide Hill
As I inched her down with squealing brakes
It gave me quite a thrill.
The next was the wide-famed Sikanni Hill
About seven miles down grade,
An orange sign on the last steep lap
This ominous warning gave:
Dangerous Hill – Use Lowest Gear –
Beware of Slides and Ice
The chills chased up and down my spine
Like a pair of frolicking mice.
My heart would leap with every slide
As she struck the icy spots
The exhaust was popping out behind
Like the crack of rifle shots.
With an ice-cold motor and red-hot brakes
I rolled up to the pump
My right leg ached and trembled
And my heart went thumpety-thump.
The gears they growled and the motor barked
As I steadily gave her the gun
Up the heavy drag on the other side
On toward the setting sun.
At the top of one hundred and forty-three
Was a scene of joy to behold
The trees below like thistles
And the mountains fringed with gold.
But my gaze of wonder turned to awe
As I started down the hill
For there lay the battered twisted form
Of a tanker cold and still.
Two curves and a hill two hills and a curve
Till I struck one fifty-one
At the sight of its umpteen crooks and curves
My heart sank with the sun.
I’d slipped her into standard low
And started up a rise
When from the top a great white light
Was shining in my eyes.
I’d like to tell you of it all
But space will not permit
But a ways this side of Nelson
I was scared I must admit.
I blinked my lights out and blinked them again
And gave him lots of space
Then I saw ‘twas only the playful moon
Staring me in the face.
At the Army Camp at Zero
Where they stop us for inspection
The colored boys are mighty white
In spite of their complexion.
“Have yuh got a pass?” “Who yur for?”
I showed the yellow slip
“Wilson Freightways” I sang out.
“Hokay boy, let ha’ rip.”
When I told him how this cursed road
Had got me all upset
The soldier grinned and rolled his eyes
“Boy yuh hain’t seen nothin’ yet”.
I swapped him a man-sized snort of rye
For a package of cigarettes
Another eight more miles to Smith’s
Was as far as I wanted to get.
I slept awhile and dumped my load
Made Dawson Creek that night
And swore I’d never pass St. John
Without a hell of a fight.
So I pestered Slim with my tale of woe
And thought his heart was melting
Till he smiled and said, “here’s load of fruit –
“For Two-Ten above Nelson”.