Monday, September 23, 2013

Deer Montana, part one

Justin and I picked up our bags and headed out for a long wedding weekend in Montana on Friday morning. We drove for approximately 9.5 hours which though scenic, proved to be quite lengthy. To keep ourselves occupied we played the ‘which Harry Potter character am I thinking of?’ game. I won, would you expect anything else from me? Actually we weren’t keeping track so I am not sure who “won.”

We were on the final road before the turn off for our destination in rural Montana. Periodically throughout the trip I had undone and redone my seatbelt to get comfortable or to fish necessities out of the back seat. I, thankfully, was bucked up. The road was quite winding and it was lined with dense forest on both sides. The speed limit dropped from 55mph to 45mph and then the next thing I knew there was a deer right in front of our vehicle. It hit us on the driver’s side headlight and caused us to fly off the road towards the left. As contradictory as it may sound; it all happened so fast yet everything went in slow motion. I saw the trunk of a tree as it was coming towards us so fast yet so slow. I literally thought to myself, ‘well this is it,’ as we closed in on it. Miraculously we narrowly avoided it.

We were both quite shaken and asked each other if we were okay. The poor deer was lying in the middle of the road, motionless with the exception of its blinking eyes. Its tongue was hanging out of its mouth and I seriously thought its neck was broken. Justin got out and petted the deer then pulled it off to the side of the road so other drivers would not hit it. Someone pulled over to make sure we were okay at which point Justin was able to drive his car out of the ditch/forest on the side of the road. I was standing there talking to the man when the deer got up and ran into the forest making the saddest noise I have ever heard. I was happy that it got up, but I hope that she is still alive. There wasn’t any blood anywhere to be found. We are hoping that the car was low enough to the ground so that it just took the deer’s legs out from under it causing it to be stunned. I guess we will never know.

We drove a little way up the road and then my friend drove right up to us from the campground. Neither my friend nor I had cell phone service, and as I stated before Justin and I had been driving for about nine and half hours. Somehow my friend knew that something was not right so she had come to look for us. I feel, with the timing of everything, that she got that feeling right when the accident happened which is quite something.

Once we got up to the campsite some friends looked at the car and fortunately only the headlight was damaged substantially. The fender and hood are a bit crumpled but the damage could have been so much worse; not only to the car… but to us and/or the deer. I am thankful that everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. A second could have made a difference. We could have hit that tree, we could have hit the other two deer that were with the one we did hit, I could have been unbuckled and flown through the windshield.  We were very fortunate. 

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