Wow. Last weekend (Labor Day weekend), I drove to Austin (or at least started that direction). There were wildfires near Bastrop, and the highway closed — you could see the smoke and flames just a mile or so from where I had to U-turn. Traffic was chaos as about 1,000 cars and I (I’m probably exaggerating) headed up a small road toward highway 290. Soon, traffic was stopped again, and this time as I U-turned, my car was hit in the back right-hand side by a truck coming the opposite direction. Not a huge impact, but a good thump that knocked the car to the roadside. I was fine, and quickly hopped out to check with the other driver (who was also fine).
About 2-3 minutes later, as I stood 30 yards or so from my car talking to the other driver, a gawking passerby pointed at my car and yelled, “That car’s on fire!” Indeed it was. (And completely independent of the wild fires that happened to be raging just a few miles away). Standing there empty-handed in shorts and flip-flops, there was nothing I could do but watch. It pretty much burned to a crisp. Sadly, there are no pictures — my phone (the only camera I’d have had with me) was in the car, whose charred remains were towed away just as I left. I wound up hitchhiking to the next town with the folks I’d had a wreck with. I borrowed a phone to call my friend Scott, who heroically drove 2 hours to rescue me from the Smithville convenience store parking lot.
Adding insult to the injury: it had a personalized Texas license plate. Red and white: “SOONERS”. (Remember: this happened on the way to Austin).