oversize load-flickr-nevada tumbleweedThe editors over at Sightline Daily news have been following this story, but we haven’t had a chance to mention it here on the blog. Last May, several shipments of tar sands equipment arrived at the Port of Lewiston. Destined for Alberta, Canada, they sat idle for months as communities in Idaho rallied to fight them.

Why such a stink? The equipment is gigantic—some as high as a three-story building and nearly the length of a football field. Idahoans worry about the damage to their bridges and roads caused by loads weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds—not to mention the risks it poses to iconic parts of the region, like the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.

In January, ConocoPhilips finally won out and the mega-loads were permitted to make their way to Billings, MT. They were to travel under the cover of night (because they needed to shut down both lanes of traffic to make room) and make the journey in four days.

That was the plan at least. But it turns out somebody forgot to account for snow. In Idaho. In January. The mega-loads have been waylaid by weather, and the trip will take a minimum of eleven days instead of four.

A week’s delay isn’t going to do anything to really slow the colossal mess that’s going down in Alberta, but it does bring a small smile to my face imagining them stuck in the snow. Now if only those were wind turbines on the back of those trucks…

Truck photo courtesy of flickr user Nevada Tumbleweed under a Creative Commons license.