On Monday, one load into the day, Juan Huidoboro thought the driver up ahead who radioed him about an emu on the road was joking around.
"What? An emu? I said. 'No.'"
But, right up the road, at the same spot on the road, there it was.
"Sure enough, there's frickin' emu walking down the middle of the road," he said. "I couldn't believe it. It blew my mind! Oh, my God."
"It was a big bird, huge. At least five feet tall, for sure," he said.
The emu stopped right in front of his truck, and Huidoboro snapped two pictures with his cellphone camera before the bird calmly meandered off the road and up the hill.
Huidoboro says there are farms in the area, but he doesn't know of any that keep the long-legged, flightless, Australian-native birds.
"I personally don't know anyone who has an emu out here," he said.
Later in the day, Huidoboro spotted a man riding around on a quad, towing a trailer, looking for the bird. Huidoboro assumes the man is the bird's caretaker, but isn't sure. Huidoboro says some of the other truckers he works with are concerned for the bird's welfare.
"Fortunately, at this time of year, there's lots of berries and stuff out, so it's probably eating, walking around picking berries here and there," he said.
"We're just concerned that it might be someone else's dinner by now, because there's lots of coyotes out here, lots of wolves, the occasional cougar we see."
Huidoboro said he will is keeping his eyes peeled in case the big bird crosses the road again.
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