Friday morning we said good-bye to the Stevensons. I made a Super Wal-Mart run, and just before 11:00, we left Alpen Rose RV Park. We drove steadily, and I didn’t take many pictures. Once I saw a brilliant yellow field of flowers that ran to the foot of the mountains, but I was driving, so I have no pixels by the million of that scene.
On Interstate 40, when we were about 30 minutes from Flagstaff where we would spend the night, the traffic suddenly stopped. A deadstop. Jerry turned on the CB and we learned that less than a minute ahead of us, an 18-wheeler blew a left front tire, had flipped and now lay completely across the highway. We sat in that spot for two hours. The driver survived, but with severe injuries—had to be extricated through the windshield opening. On the highway shoulders—both left and right—came numerous emergency vehicles—police cars, fire trucks, water trucks, and finally a wrecker.
We watched a helicopter fly in and set down on the highway, then probably 15 minutes later lift straight into the sky. One of the medical crew had performed a tracheotomy before airlifting the driver, whose chest had been crushed in the accident.
It was a first for us: I prepared dinner as we sat in stalled traffic. Jerry and I dined at our RV table, smack in the middle of I 40 just east of Flagstaff.
By now most of the people were out of their cars and as he is wont to do, Jerry went outside and struck up a conversation with those around us. After a while he came to the door and flashing his wide grin said, “What do you think? Some women out here need to go to the bathroom really badly.”
“Sure,” I said. “Bring them over.”
The women smiled when they climbed the steps into our rig, introduced themselves and said how much they appreciated us letting them use our bathroom. “Thank you, thank you,” they said when they were finished. They lingered and we talked a bit. Nice people, a couple traveling together, who plan to retire in two years and then do a lot of traveling. One of them had done a number 5 4-wheel trail. Somewhere in California.
Finally the wrecker had dragged most of the truck from the highway, and in single file, traffic that reached for many miles filed past the wreckage of the truck. It’s the worst wreck I have ever seen.
The sun was setting now, but our windshield was so dirty few of the pictures turned out well. The sunset was striking, and a sliver of moon hung elegantly in the dark, cloudy sky. Planes flew and marked their trail beneath the moon.
Taken in (See more photos here)