Tales of an Incompetent Adventurer
Oh Deer Me
by Ram

After a week of canyons in the broiling in the Arizona sun, we awoke early on the slopes of Mt. Humphreys and proceded up, in the face of a bitter westerly wind. The fires we had dodged all week sent plumes of smoke skyward. We reached summit before most folks had their coffee and were down for the long trip home. It proved to be 900 miles. We slipped into Colorado after 10 PM and my vision became bleary an hour later. Sleep. I awoke at 3:15 AM and hustled Aaron into the car. We were off in barely 10 minutes from wake up.

With only 140 miles left and a free pass, past the cities of Colorado Springs and Denver, before their respective rush hours, we cruised with the espionage suspense thriller playing in the tape deck. All seemed well. Then I saw the deer, well off the side of the road. I hit the brakes—not hard, but substantially—and peered harder into the last of the night’s darkness. There they were. Where there is one deer, there are many. These two, strolling one in each lane of the interstate, left nowhere to go. I’m fortunate to have slowed a lot. I veered right, toward the shoulder ... that instant calculation. I turned harder and I sensed I would roll the vehicle, even though I was going under 50 mph by now. I saw Aaron out of the corner of my eye—mouth open and eyes wide. Almost ... almost missed him. WHACK on the front left. I thought to look behind me, but I suspected more deer were about and stay vigilant, eyes forward, as I slowed more. Sigh. We stoped at the next exit. The whole headlight area was a huge crater. I vacillated on what to do. Was it appropriate to call 911 to notify of a deer on the road? I didn’t know the local police number or the state troopers number. Perhaps I should have? There was much construction on the road and it was easy to notify the many police cruisers monitoring the road work.

I call the insurance company this AM and they set me up for an estimate. I ask if I am under obligation to notify anyone in that situation. The claim agent says no, but ... I feel I left a dangerous situation. Anyway, the estimate is $2,200 for the repairs and it will take 4–5 days, with me having to rent a car too. Aaron and I were both fine. We didn’t have a direct collision and we moved smartly through our ‘deer’ friend. There was nothing I could have done, but, but, but ... I killed ‘Bambi!’

Again, I am reminded ... the drive is the most dangerous part of the trip. Be careful out there


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