Sunday, March 17, 2019

The great pothole

You peoples out in the weather gentle states might not know so much about potholes. But out here in Minnesota, especially as the Spring comes, and the frozen ground opens up, we get real potholes, legendary potholes, potholes that nearly made the great buffalo herds go extinct. Let me put it this way: We are known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but they're not lakes really, they're just really big potholes. We got one pothole up here that is 1,332 feet deep and 350 miles across. You hit that sucker and guaranteed you will crack your axle in two.

One of the worst problems with these early Spring potholes is that there is so much water everywhere from the melting snow and frequent rains that half the time one can't see the potholes to avoid them. The road is a shallow river and one drives blindly on the tar road until, BAM! you nosedive into a crater that'll either crack your jaw with the impact or leave you to struggle to undo your seat belt in time to allow you to swim for the surface. 

Out on the river road we've memorized all the really bad invisible potholes, but there's one that's worse than any of the others. My wife and I have both hit it once and it's not something we'll easily forget. I'm surprised our car is still intact. It's not terribly wide, but it's deep, deeper than one would even think possible.

The other day I was out walking and slipping and splashing, as I do, along the river, and I was thinking about this deep pothole. I thought I might like to have a look at it seeing as I was so nearby. I thought I might like to see just how deep it went. So I waited till the road was all clear of cars, and I carefully found my way to the edge of it. A few clear, slightly colder days had cleared some of the waters and I had an unobstructed view into this epically deep hole in the road. I peered down.

It was dark in there.

I peered down and down and down and down.

It was a deep pothole!

I searched for the bottom. I dropped in a pebble that never made any sound. I looked and looked for some sign of the floor. And then, at the very end, way down below, I finally saw something that blew my mind:


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