When the new I-40 Crosstown opened this morning to motorists, one of the first people to drive on it – well, wasn’t even a person. It was a bison.
Our own Rumble, safely following a police escort, led the caravan that broke in the new stretch of highway following an opening ceremony for the “40-Forward” project that included local, state and federal officials.
Before the ceremony began, though, Rumble did his share of working the crowd. Folks who had gathered for the event – from media to kids, from state troopers to crash-test dummies – clamored for hugs from and photos with the furriest onlooker in attendance.
Rumble kissed the ground a bit, gave some high-fives and tried to share the spotlight with one on-camera reporter before taking a look at the big map of the area in an attempt to chart out his course along the highway.
Back in the Rumble van and ready to lead a caravan that included semi trucks, antique vehicles and patrol cars, Rumble took the driver’s seat and couldn’t wait to start moving. He inched the car forward, staring down the semi driver next to him and revving the engine a little – getting some friendly waves in return. They weren’t about to take on Rumble in a race.
When the caravan finally began, some of the other cars and trucks honked; Rumble, of course, blew the air horn out the driver’s window.
It’s not every day that you expect to find yourself being driven down a brand-new highway with a bison at the wheel. But rest assured that Rumble, though he is all about having fun most days, takes every safety precaution when he drives. He buckled his seatbelt, he used his turn signal and he even pulsed the van’s sirens a few times as we drove to make sure nobody missed the fact that the Rumble van was on the road.
Well, maybe that last one was a little bit about having fun.
Whether you’re curious about what it’s like to ride along with a bison or wanting to see what the new I-40 Crosstown looks like, check out this in-van video from this morning’s ceremonial caravan ride:
- Karina Henderson