The Fergus Falls Truck Fire

Pioneering west today, I feel like some sort of native American being exiled from my homeland…okay, maybe that is a bit of a stretch. I will say, after going through Minnesota yet again, I feel almost like I’m seeing things that nobody else has. The rolling hills of the western part of the state, the rich tapestry of the sunset behind hardwoods, the glistening snow. Minnesota seemed to be like Wisconsin, only a little more, well, lakey.

Yes, I made up a word. I also wrote a poem today about mittens. We’re going on week two running the new truck and my imagination seems to get more obtuse. It’s a good thing for me, perhaps bad thing for my John Smith. I’ve come up with a few alter egos, a few songs that I sing pertaining to different times of the day, and my constant need to play “guess the population”. We’re having a great time, we crossed someone today however, not having such a good time.

Picture this, a perfect February evening in North Western Minnesota. The moon is shining high in the sky and the winds are coming from the west at about ten mph. After a big dinner, both of our sets of eyes were feeling a bit heavy until all of a sudden a different sense woke us both up like a bucket of cold water. Thick in the air was the distinctive smell of burning rubber, a pungent thick odor that invaded our nostrils and made us look towards the hood to see if something was wrong with our trusty work horse. Alas, no problems with the truck, and the smell seemed to fade after about two or three minutes.

Then, there it was, a sight I can only explain ad being surreal – a car carrier perched haphazardly on the side of interstate 94 with flames bellowing out of the passenger trailer tire area. Flames likes the side of the double decker trailer and the cars trapped on there looked like they were scared for their lives. As we passed slowly, I saw the truck driver still in his cab, looking confused, bewildered.

We didn’t stop, I was afraid to stop, there were just so many things that could go even worse. The carrier was hauling what appeared to be used cars, which could have easily turned into separate little fireballs if and when their gas tanks heated up enough. Those poor vehicles, that poor driver.

I kept peaking back at the Google traffic map in the area as we entered north Dakota, and the red on the map where the fore was spread like piss on concrete. Further and further the traffic went on, complete standstill. If we would have waited five more minutes we would have been smack dab in the middle of that mess. We could have, well, we could have had a not very happy ending.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m a fan of happy endings.


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