Thursday, May 15, 2008

Captain! Deer on the Runway

This post will make more sense after reading this post.

Another plus to flying; Planes never hit deer. (or so I thought)

We decided to take advantage of our new found flexibility and spend the morning re-visiting the Biltmore Estate. Even though we've seen some amazing palaces in Europe such as Versailles, Hampton Court and the Dodge's Palace we were still impressed with Biltmore. We had a lovely morning stroll through the gardens sniffing the flowers. It was a beautiful day. I knew we would be getting home much later than initially planned, but I felt the trade was worth it. With no plane to catch, we could putz around as long as we wanted. Nice.

Plus to driving; Flexibility without obscene surcharges.

We finished our Biltmore visit and headed home. It was a great day for a drive. Gorgeous sunny day without a cloud in the sky. I was really grooving on the scenery of Southern Virginia. Despite the moderately heavy traffic, we were cruising right along having a great time.

BAM!

A suicidal deer bolted from the median right in front of the car. We were in the left lane, a car was next to us and a moron was right on our ass. No where to swerve and no way to jam on the brake. Sure, deer with a death wish are common enough. In the evening, on a small road. This just happened to be in the middle of the afternoon. On the interstate.

Once out of traffic, we pulled over. The headlight was mangled, the fog light and signal lights were dragging on the road, the lower grill was beat. There were blood streaks and fur stuck to the car. Yuck! I bucked up my courage and looked under the car. No dreaded puddle. No drips. Relief. We could finish the drive home. We took the fog light off and shoved the signal light back in its socket.

The seatbelts however, were locked up permanently. They can't be fixed, only replaced. We had to drive another 500 miles without belts. Some safety feature. Who ever engineered that has never hit a deer 500 miles from home. I shudder to think what would have happened if the air bag went off.

We finished the drive home with one headlight and no seatbelts. The cops left us alone.

I was told that the shape of the Beetle is what mitigated the damage. Considering we hit a large animal at 65 miles an hour, the damage was relatively small. And here I thought the VW claim of arches being safer than boxes was all marketing. Hmm, it's ended up to be true. If I loved my Bug before, I love it even more now.

I don't know what happened to the deer or the car next to us. Everything happened so fast, it's impossible to say. As they say, it could have been way worse. We were unhurt and able to get home. I suppose that's what really counts. Will this set me off driving long distance? Probably not. After all, hitting a deer at the end of the driveway is possible. I've seen deer run down the street in front of our house.

3 comments:

NWJR said...

You should put a little antler sticker on the driver's side door, kind of like fighter pilots used to do to signify a "kill"!

Glad you're both OK.

grrrlions said...

Hahahaha Picture this: Your mom turns the corner to your house and hits the neighborhood deer. Should we call your brother to butcher it and have a barbecue for the entire neighborhood? Would they string her up for murdering their wild pet deer?

Eclectic Dilettante said...

The neighborhood might appreciate it. It's run into and bowled over several people already.