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Cranes and Carbeques

That huge black plume of smoke looming over the Dulles toll road this morning was a CAR ON FIRE westbound between Hunter Mill and Wiehle -- or a "carbeque" in the local parlance because horrifying, devastating accidents happen about six times a day on the roads around here and people are pretty jaded.

It's ... quite a thing to see something like that in real life. This isn't a TV stunt car that explodes after skidding, this isn't a videogame car that flies through the air, lands with a bang, and keeps on rolling. This is a real car that had real people in it, rapidly reducing itself to a black pile of twisted slag. That gray haze we drove through? That was rarified pieces of somebody's car! Cripes. I sure hope they got out of it okay -- but I have no way of knowing.

But the morning commute wasn't all horror. On our back route (for when the toll road is a mess, like today), at the intersection of Beulah and Old Courthouse, is a small pond of the "fishin' hole" variety that is usually populated by various types of migratory waterfowl. Year round you can find ducks and Canadian geese ("Honk, eh?") congregating there; in the summer months it's not unusual to find the occasional blue heron. Today we encountered a large, gangly-but-still-graceful variety of crane, with a light gray body and a long white head with black stripes over the eyes. So that added a nice, peaceful moment to what was otherwise a scary ride.

-The Gneech


Mar. 2nd, 2007 09:27 am (UTC)
That reminds me of the time I was driving back from Atlanta with my mom when we stopped in Anderson, SC to get milk shakes. When we got back out to my truck we saw another truck pulling a trailer loaded with hay bales off to the side of the road and the guys out and working over the trailer. Then a South Carolina state trooper pulls up and starts working with the guys, at that point we where noticing a bit of smoke rolling out of the rear-most bale. Wasn't five minutes before the bale was well on its way of becoming a smoke cloud, though we didn't stick around to see the finale of what happened, though I thought I heard the fire truck coming.

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