Almost had a huge hiccup on my bookstore visit road trip. Close call, perhaps you could say. My last day I had planned on heading back to Seattle from Leavenworth, but then at the last minute decided to go out to Chelan first, stop at a store there, then return to Seattle. Fifty four miles, Route 97 north, east side of the Columbia. It’s beautiful along that river.
Anyway I am driving north and see ahead over some cliffs and rocks a plume of smoke or dust. I think, mining, maybe they are blasting, it looked like the cloud from rock blasting. But then as I got closer I saw it was smoke, not dust, and then I got closer still and saw this:
A big semi was on fire. It had just happened. I was, like, the fourth car in line, and we crept by, somehow, even before real fire equipment had showed up, flaggers, any of that. So I crept by, instead of being stopped, as surely traffic then was, for hours. Took a shot as I passed:
Later at a gas station met a guy who had also been by the fire, he was trucker, told me the brakes had done something and caught fire. I went to Chelan, had a terrific visit with the owner of the bookstore there, Riverwalk Books, then drove back 97 Alt along the west side of the river. I could still see smoke rising where the truck had been, now almost two hours later.