ROUNDING A CURVE along U.S. Highway 14 northeast bound into Sleepy Eye, the pick-up truck lugged a cargo of 14 round bales on a recent Sunday morning.
As it labored up the hill past the Sleepy Eye Golf Club, I wondered whether the top bales would remain in place. They appeared untethered. My husband and I were following two vehicles behind.
But the bales stayed put as the truck and trailer topped the hill, curved past grain bins and bumped along the highway through downtown Sleepy Eye where the vehicle in front of us turned, putting our van directly behind the mound of bales.
I was hoping we wouldn’t have to follow this wide load too far, especially not all the way to New Ulm. Passing along this section of highway is often challenging under the best of circumstances. And this was not ideal with bales hanging nearly over the center line and a non-functioning left trailer brake light.
On the east edge of town, the driver veered his truck to the county road on the right. I was thankful, especially when I visually confirmed that the top four bales were unsecured. The bales, Randy noted, weren’t going anywhere. Maybe. Maybe not.
In the back of my mind I remembered the ice that slid from a semi trailer along Interstate 35 four days prior. That ice missiled across the median and into the driver’s side window of our van. Bam, just like that. The glass didn’t shatter nor even crack. But it was enough to scare us, or at least me. The thought of a heavy round bale tumbling into the path of our van seemed equally as frightening.
Have you had a similar experience on the roadway or observed a situation you considered unsafe while traveling? I bet you have some unbelievable stories. Go ahead. Share.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling