Sunday, June 14, 2009

6/14 - 10:30pm MDT - Oh Deer!!!

I just found a weak WiFi connection from the adjacent mom and pop motel. Life's good!

A deer ended our chase for the day:

(the Tazmanian Devil stuffed animal is there for good luck)

As we were traveling to McCook, NE to find dinner and a hotel for the evening, a female deer ran out in the road and we hit it on the passenger side, just inches from where I was sitting. Luckly it did not hit the windshield or cause injury, so it could have been worse. We thought that we could make it to Denver or McCook with our damage, but then we saw red fluid rushing out onto the ground from the engine. That was it for the car!

We hit this deer going 50-60mph (it perished instantly) and we think a passing train to our left scared it into the road. There was absolutely no time to brake because the deer was running extremely fast and we only had a fraction of a second to react. It was one of the scariest things that have happened to me in a car and the sound it made as it hit my side was the worst I've heard. There was no cell service from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, or T-Mobile where we hit the deer, just inside the Nebraska border near Wray, CO. We were luckily to have a good samaritan named Joe pull over and help us out. He made trips between our mom and pop motel, carting us and our luggage. We thank Joe and wish him well with his pharmacy here in town.

Our leader Todd is on his way to Denver in the tow truck to drop off his SUV at the repair shop. He'll be renting a SUV tomorrow morning and come back to town to pick us up at around lunchtime. Since Todd's SUV is customized with cellular amplifiers and antennas for web access, we won't have that luxury in our rental. We'll still have access, but it will not be as fast and I might not be able to use it for blog and Twitter/Facebook updates. Most of our hotels have WiFi, so I'll still update the blog nightly with pictures and videos like I have been.

As far as chasing goes, we may chase tomorrow if Todd gets back to East Colorado by early afternoon. Our target area would most likely be somewhere near the NE/KS border tomorrow if we go. We didn't miss anything today because our storms east of Denver were all linear and didn't have any tornadic potential. We'll definitely be back on the road by Tuesday and things should go back to normal.


Matt said...

Red fluid, sounds like brake or transmission fluid. Glad yoy guys made the decision to not head back to Denver.
Hope you can chase today. The outlook seems promising just to your south.

Ryan Hoke said...

Yeah, we're itching to do some chasing today!