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August 14, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Road Trip(pin’) – Antelopes, Pirates, and Bears (Oh My!)

We’re in Colorado visiting family this week…hence the slow movement of new posts.  We drove down, even with the price of gas it’s cheaper than flying.  Our trip down wasn’t completely outrageous, but there were some fun interesting moments to note.  This is good.  Sometimes I think I am going to run out of blog topics to write about on here, but then new material occurs.

Day 1:

After driving for four hours, we stopped in Sheridan, Wyoming to get some dinner. Perkins is one of the more family-friendly options.  We were seated in the “solarium,” an area divided from the rest of the restaurant by a thin half-wall of glass.  The solarium had a nifty “echo” when you talked.  I was trying to situate the car seat with my daughter when I heard my son’s loud voice shout “LOOK!  A PIRATE!”  You could hear the Arrrrgh in his voice.  I turned around and my son was jumping on the chair pointing at the man on the other side of the glass. 

The man had a black eye patch on beneath his bifocals.  The rest of the restaurant was looking at us.  I’d say the split between the folks that were laughing and the folks that looked horrified was about 50/50.  After the meal we took AJ outside and had a little discussion about eyesight, blindness, and the rudeness of pointing.  We also instructed him that if it’s really a pirate, there will always be a parrot on the shoulder.  Always look for the parrot.  To my son’s credit, it was a very pirate-y eye patch.  We got back in the truck and hit the highway.

Approximately 40 miles north of Casper, Wyoming, we came scarily close to hitting an antelope at 85 MPH.  There was much braking and swerving.  We were pulling a trailer behind us in order to bring some items back from Colorado with us.  The trailer wasn’t meant to brake and swerve.  My son was watching a DVD (Bee Movie) at the time, and the DVD player flew off his lap.  He exclaimed “My movie!  My movie” as Wasband and I held on for dear life.  The antelope reared up and leapt out of the way with seconds to spare.  “My movie!  My movie!”  Ahh, innocent youth.  It took me a long time for the adrenaline rush to go away.

Day 2:

We couldn’t believe how smelly Wyoming was.  Every time we got out of the vehicle, a strange odor permeated the air.  It wasn’t the stockyards, it didn’t seem to be the refineries.  We couldn’t place the stench.  Whatever it was, it wasn’t pretty.  We stopped to get gas in Cheyenne.  A couple of fellow travelers approached us.  I always get nervous when people come marching toward us when we are traveling.  And they were really booking toward us.  Finally they got close enough to speak.  They informed us that there was a disturbing carcass hanging under our trailer. 

We looked underneath the trailer…and whatever it was, it wasn’t going to have an open-casket funeral.  At first we thought it was an eagle, but the feathers turned out to be highway-dragged fur.  There wasn’t a lot of blood left.  It was unrecognizable.  It seemed too large to be a cat, too small to be a dog, and not smelly enough to be a skunk.  I wondered if something had crawled under our trailer and couldn’t escape in time.  Then Wasband told me that he had hit something not long after we had left Bozeman.  He said that he didn’t see what it was. 

Then we figured out that whatever he had hit 500 miles ago and it got caught under our trailer and had been dragging there ever since.  We couldn’t dislodge the mangled body.  We didn’t want to touch it for fear of the plague.  Wasband took the windshield wiper off the truck and prodded the disembowled corpse for a while, but it was wedged in there tight. 

We stopped again at a gas station just south of Denver to conduct an emergency diaper change.  We topped off the gas tank while we were there.  As we pulled back onto the highway, I glanced back at the gas station.  The thing had finally fallen the trailer right in front of pump #4.  Oops.  A lady was getting out of her car at pump #3 and she was looking at the pile of body that she barely missed stepping on.  Sorry, lady.  We were kind of hoping it would just fall off on I-25 somewhere.

Day 3: 

There is a black bear wandering around Gramma’s neighborhood.  This is pretty normal for this part of Colorado, but sadly it was digging in a garbage can that someone had left outside.  We know that if that bear gets caught, it will be killed as once they start digging in trash, they don’t stop.  We thought about calling the bear in, but since we don’t live here anymore we didn’t really know who to call.  Black bears look awfully scrawny at the moment.  We’ve lived in Montana for just a little over four months now, and Wasband has seen FOUR grizzlies (the most recent one standing on it’s hind legs sniffing the air a mere ten feet away…luckily J was inside his vehicle).  I’ve seen one when we took a family road trip to Yellowstone, but it was safely across the river.  In my entire life I’ve only seen three.  And they make black bears look a bit like teddies.  But I kept my cool and didn’t try to pet it. 

I visited my friend L who has an amazing new home.  She ordered some Thai food and later we sat in her hot tub for two hours watching heat lightning over the city lights of Colorado Springs, catching up on things.  It was great, but:  Life tip: Don’t ever sit in a hot tub for two hours.  I STILL feel funny.



Leave a Comment
  1. Allison / Aug 18 2008 3:27 am

    Double yuck about the mystery carcass!

    Holy Toleda about the eye patch. My daugther did the same thing last Halloween. We were trick-or-treating in our neighborhood and there was an older woman helping her adult woman pass out candy. The older woman was wearing a patch, but absolutely nothing else to indicate that she was in pirate costume. Imp kept saying, “Look it’s a pirate, argh!” and Matt kept encouraging her to repeat it until he got a look of the so-called pirate.

  2. romi41 / Aug 17 2008 6:55 pm

    woah…a carcass along 500 miles!?!??! That is not how you want to kick-off into the afterlife…lol…I hope the smell is gone now! 😉

  3. Miss Virtual Reality / Aug 16 2008 12:12 pm

    Ah, I miss the west. That’s funny about your son and the whole pirate problem, though I am sure at the moment it wasn’t funny.

    At least the animal fell off, poor thing.

  4. smalltownsmalltimes / Aug 15 2008 7:54 pm

    OMG this was so fricking funny.

  5. morethananelectrician / Aug 15 2008 11:42 am

    I managed not to laugh until I imagined the next person coming to the pump nad seeing the pile of death in the middle of the lot.

    Trips are so much fun!

  6. bluesuit12 / Aug 15 2008 6:45 am

    Hilarious! The dead animal would so be something that would happen to me. And I would think the same thing before realizing (if I ever did), “Man this place stinks!! What is the deal??) I have a friend that’s from Bozeman…I think.

  7. Ian / Aug 14 2008 7:14 pm


    And fortunate not to have been drinking anything while reading this. LMFAO!

  8. Carli / Aug 14 2008 3:12 pm

    That’s hilarious…dead body. I once worked with a guy who decided he wanted to collect animal heads. So, every time we passed a roadkill, we would have to stop so he could go out, decapitate the carcass with a shovel, and then proceed to put the dead head in a cooler we had in the back of the truck.

  9. pikespeakdenise / Aug 14 2008 1:44 pm

    I accidentally sat in a hot tub that long once. The bottle of wine didn’t help. Talk about dehydration.

    Wow, I wonder what more can happen before I see you Saturday. Two back-to-school nights for me, but for you, one never knows!

  10. fawnahareo / Aug 14 2008 9:19 am

    OMG, Maleesha, the body at the gas pump, I don’t even know what to say because I’m too busy trying not to laugh out loud. (Also at work – bad, bad, bad!)

    It was so gross. On the bright side, all the blood and guts had been literally dragged out of it. It looked like a four foot piece of beef jerky with hair.

  11. curlywurlygurly / Aug 14 2008 9:01 am

    stop making me laugh at work!!!!!!! the pirate thing…then the dead animal! too much.

    did you visit bozeman? i love it there–visited last summer on the 2007 road trip. have a fun visit! be careful of those scary mountains!

    We live in Bozeman…did you mean Boulder? Tell me! Tell me! Right now we’re mostly hanging out in a little mountain town west of Colorado Springs…

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