Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Very Eventful Travel Day

The day started with a beautiful sunrise.


Today we were only going to travel about 100 miles to Coffeyville, Kansas. We weren’t in any hurry, so we got up, packed up and were on the road at about 10:00, planning to arrive at around noon.

About 15 miles before we were supposed to reach our destination, we saw a huge cloud of smoke ahead of us. At about the same time, I noticed all kinds of loose hay scattered along the side of the highway. Traffic on Highway 169 came to a stop. This is what I saw about 100 yards ahead of us.


I also noticed that the grass along the side of the road next to us was smoking.


Pretty soon I saw actual flames in the grass. The wind was blowing the smoke and ash towards our camper, and the fire was growing. I kept thinking a fire truck would come, but as the fire got bigger, I got scared. So, I called 911 and reported it. The dispatcher connected me to the Sheriff’s Department, and they did not know about this grass fire. They only knew about the truck that was on fire ahead of us.

Within a few minutes, a pumper truck came driving up along the shoulder and began spraying water on the grass fire. I’m sure glad I called. It would have been a really bad day if our RV caught fire!

After waiting for about 1-1/2 hours, a DOT worker came and told us it would be another 30 minutes or so to clear the debris off of the road. We weren’t going anywhere. There was no way to turn around. At one point, there were two semi-trucks stuck across the road while trying to turn around; one on each side of the accident. We were thinking we might never get out of there.

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Luckily, both trucks were able to get themselves turned around before traffic started flowing again. Our total wait time was 2-1/2 hours. Here’s what we saw when we finally were able to get past the fire. The driver of that trailer was not having a good day!!!


We’re staying at Big Chief Campground which is across the street from Amazon. Sharon checked us in, and she was very nice. We’re in site E-10. Last season was the first time this campground was open. It’s basically a big field with pull-through sites with full hook-ups. They are in the process of building a new  bathhouse which will have laundry facilities. That’s a plus.

But, the location is great, and Amazon is paying for our stay. Sunday the campground is sponsoring a cookout after we get back from orientation. Tomorrow we’ll do a little exploring. Right now it’s time for Happy Hour!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!