Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Move Over, Darlin’


Before I begin, I apologize for all the highlighted words that trick you with advertising. Just try to ignore them.


Nearly at our destination in eastern Montana, driving with the sun in our eyes, we spotted a flagman on the highway, just in the nick of time. He was only a small silhouette, but the stop sign he held up alerted us before we could see the colour or lettering on it. He waved our truck and trailer over to the side of the otherwise empty highway.

“An extra-wide load is coming this way,” he said. “He’s about nine miles from here. Should be here soon. Stay on the shoulder until it’s gone by.”

“What kind of load is it? Farm equipment?”

“No, it’s a boiler, going to Canada. It’s a big one. The load is 27 feet wide.”

As we settled in for a bit of a wait, I marveled at how quiet it was. No traffic. No activity of any sort that we could see or hear. I took out the camera and pointed it out the side window. One of Montana’s many abandoned buildings sat in the high grass.


As the time came for the boiler to come down the road, I thought it would make an interesting photo. I stepped out onto the shoulder and got ready. As the monstrosity appeared, I was reminded of the disaster movies of my childhood — The Monolith Monsters, The Blob, and such horror shows. I snapped a hurried picture just as my driver yelled at me, “Get in! I think we should have pulled off the road more. Holy smokes!”

I wanted to take a close up photo, but didn’t dare get out and our windshield was too full of splattered bugs to take the picture through it. With a sigh and a shudder and a “Wow!” I sat and gaped at the huge boiler rolling past us with inches to spare.


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

28 thoughts on “Move Over, Darlin’

  1. Don’t see that every day, now, do you?


  2. What’s it going to boil?


  3. Yikes!!!! That is a bit frightening!
    I am surprised you managed to take a photo after all that!


    • Yeah, it was done quickly and with the zoom, but I really wanted to get a closer one – you know, the kind where I’m lying on the ground taking a picture of the front bumper just before leaping out of the way. 😉


  4. OMG You should have been in the ditch!!!


  5. I have serious objections to those huge loads, but in Montana the powers that be have no concern at all for the feelings of the people.


  6. Don’t you just love the Montana Sky? You can reach out and touch! Canada calling boiler??


  7. one does not want to encounter such traffic… on our way to the city last week we encountered such a wide and long load… towed by three trucks and pushed by two this was more of a train than a road vehicle… we had to follow for 6 odd kilometres before they pulled over to let us pass… I still don’t know what it was, as we were first in line to pass and as there was a convoy of note all irate travelers, I took off at high speed to avoid being mixed within the herd of cars and trucks… and that is what it looked like to me in my read view mirror …. a herd…


  8. Gee, Anneli, that sounds more like my camera experiences than yours. I am always in the wrong place at the wrong time or irritating my husband by snapping at inopportune times (e.g., “Put the camera down; you’re attracting the attention of the cop.”). Abandoned building pix are my favs–beautiful one here!


  9. I´ve never seen such a monster vehicle. I would have parked my new truck right in the ditch!


  10. You were probably wondering if this was going to appear at all – it’s really wide after all!


  11. Good grief! Don’t we make our own boilers in Canada?


  12. Wow!! There’s a load that merits its sign! Those Montana colours are so soft and lovely.


  13. I love Montana. Reminds me of the Peace country.


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