Friday, October 21, 2011

On The Blood Red Roads Of Minnesota And Wisconsin.

____Day 1: A midday start on a Tuesday; running up to Beausejour to load peat moss before crossing into the States at Warroad. East to International Falls before picking up Highway 53 southbound. Then BANG. Animal strike. I saw something flash across the headlights of an on-coming pick-up truck. He clipped the hind legs of Whitetail doe and sent her spinning into my path. I was on the brakes in an instant; but at 55mph with 44,000lbs of dirt on board, 18-wheelers can't stop on a dime. It's a sad fact of life that truck-drivers don't swerve $150,000 worth of equipment into the ditch to avoid an animal; so Bambi's mum got stamped on the butt with a Manitoba license plate. Fortunately for Flying Eagle #31, the creature was on it's knees and the bumper took the impact; saving the hood, grill and lights from damage.
Raw peat-moss being brought in from the mine.
____Day 2: Late away from the Nemadji Truckstop, on the outskirts of Superior; heading to the Flying'J at La Salle in Illinois. The peat-moss is for the near by town of Granville; so this going to be one of the rare sub-1000 mile trips that I've done for Flying Eagle.
____Day 3: A good tip at the huge greenhouse complex of the Mid-American Growers site before heading north to the Il-Wi border and place that sounds like a question, Genoa City? Apart from glider engines and rocking-horse pooh; probably the lightest load that I have ever carried: 64 giant rolls of bubble-wrap filled the trailer to capacity. Going to Winnipeg; I reach Hasty for a night at Olson's.
A cracked bumper was light damage compared to what could have happened if the deer had been standing-up.
____Day 4: Back to the yard; to show them the damaged truck. Nobody is too surprised. For high mileage drivers, it's not a case of IF you hit an animal, it's a case of WHEN. At over a million kilometres and five years, here in North America, this was my first deer strike. My last was in 2001; a little AX Citroen took the antlers off the head of a young buck, along a country lane in deepest darkest Dordogne. My animal-loving lady picked up the stunned creature and put it in the car. Back at the farm; I was just lifting the thing out of the hatch-back when Marie-Odile's eldest daughter came out of the house and screamed,
"Eeeeeeee, une biche!"
The startled deer kicked me in the balls as it exploded into life and then ran off.
____Overall Distance: 3052 km.
Seed-carrying bulker, off to the fields, where winter wheat drilling is in full swing.

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