Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometime Life Happens in 10 Seconds

I am sitting in the Best Western in Livingston, MT. Four days ago around 8pm, life got very exciting. This journal will describe what happened and other things.

We left Red Lodge, MT after doing the Beartooth Pass. We managed thru some construction on MT 78 hitting some wet dirt roads on our way to I90. GPS was indicating Exit 340 to head north on US89 to White Sulphur Springs, our planned sleep stop.

Running across I90, the 1/4 moon was bright in the sky, very little traffic and the temps were in the 70's. Perfect conditions.

We hit Exit 340, turned right. I slowed our pace, since the road was unfamiliar and it was very dark. There were not alot of houses or buildings on this road.

We, Willie and MeAsWe, have had 4 days to contemplate what happened. My first observation of US89 it was very straight. No turns, no sweepers really to speak of. I had no clue what the area was like, we are not locals.

If you are old enough, I want you to remember those round photo flash bulbs that had the curly stuff in them. Looks like fine steel wool. When fired they would put an immense amount of light out very quickly. Imagine you are in a closed room with no windows. Total darkness. The only light is directly in front of you from the mounted flash light you have.

We are moving right along, someone pushes the camera button and that bulb fires off it's light. You see a head, an ear, a brown eye and then the lights go out.

The next thing I felt was my left knee joint be pressed against the bike. It is a hard compression.

I then hear MeAsWe, saying I think my leg is broke, was that a deer. My response, Yup.

I then feel the bike wobble right, wobble left. wobble right and straighten up.

It is over.

We have been hit by a deer. MeAsWe is saying (thru the Cardo intercoms we have) pull into one of these houses. I said no, I am continuing on until we hit a town. My rational is we are located in a very rural area, with the houses probably a quarter mile off the road, and their drive ways are more than likely dirt driveways and maybe gravel. I didn't want to chance driving up one of these and creating another opportunity for a get off.

We hit the center of Clyde Park probably within a minute or so. I see a package store with that familiar blue neon Bud Light sign on the right. Next was the Post Office on the left with a car parked in front of it. Next was a bar with lights on and this was where I decided where we were going to stop.

I came to a stop, put the kickstand down and Crystal says go in and get help. I will sit on the bike. I dismounted, walked thru the door, helmet still on and there were 3customers and the bar tender. I asked for help, telling them I just hit a deer and need immediate assistance.

I took off my helmet and left it inside and at least 3 people followed me outdoors. We were about to lift MeAsWe off the bike, when one of the people said stop, leave her on the bike, the EMT's are on their way. We backed off and left MeAsWe sitting.

MeAsWe nodded in agreement with that approach and never let out even a whimper or cry. What an unbelievable trooper.

A couple of first responders were there within minutes. They checked out MeAsWe to see if she was bleeding, which she was not. It was then I realized the left saddle bag was no longer attached to the bike. It must have been knocked off at impact.

The lady patron asked me how far back did this happened, to which I estimated within 3 miles. She hopped into her car and took off for the missing saddle bag. She is back with the saddlebag in hand. She stated she found the dead buck on the right side of the road and the saddlebag was directly across the road on the left.

Again for those that are old enough, there was a Samsonite commercial on TV, where a gorilla throws one their bags all over the cage. Well I think that gorilla was there that night.

About this time the EMT's and the Montana State Police show up. The EMT's tend to MeAsWe and the trooper questions me about the incident.

I was also checked out by the EMT's, but all I felt was my normal bad knee pain.

The EMT's haul us to the Emergency Room, passing the dead deer. The EMT makes the comment that although the young buck is not big by Montana standards, it weighed at least 150 pounds and is as big as the FJR. Needless to say I did not shed a tear at all for deer.

What amazes me, even as I write this, was we never went down. I don't have a clue how we stayed up. I will not claim talent, skill or anything else but SHIT LUCK and a bunch of angels having nothing better to do that night but fly with us.

I will say I never hit the front brake, rear brake, or abruptly changed the throttle. I simply drove thru the hit and let the bike do its thing.

We are two very very very lucky individuals.


MeAsWe was right, the large weight bearing bone has a clean brake about 3" above her ankle.

The pics

MeAsWe Xray

The Injury

The Bike

The Landing

The area. When I drove up to the bike the next day to get some pics, it came to mind that this area was like a Deer's All You Can Eat Smorgasbord in Las Vegas or Atlantic City / 2 for 9.95.

The Plan going forward

We have rented a car for 7 days and will travel to Glacier National Park and then to Spokane. We will return to Bozeman and figure out how to get to Salt Lake City to return to Mass.

Plans for the bike
Still pending


Kate said...

I am so glad that you both are still with us!

Richard said...

WOW! Are you guys lucky. Nuff said

Runner said...

Unbelievable!!! So glad to read that you both stayed upright and that MeAsWe suffered only a simple fracture. Enjoy the rest of the trip...nothing wrong with doing those great locations by car. Enjoy!!

Anonymous said...

Happy you are both realitively OK. Enjoy the rest of your trip. It may not be what it started out to be but it can still end well :)


matarheel said...

glad to hear that nothing more serious happened. a broken leg will heal, but at our age slowly. we're glad you guys are continuing with your journey and get to salvage some good memories along with the bad ones that are now past. will be good to see you when you get home. the FJR can be repaired.
Sandi & Ken

Anonymous said...

Bill you finally got your chicken. Mom was waiting for the appropriate time to deliver it. BTW so glad u2 are ok

Fleeter said...

Glad it wasn't worse and you didn't let it completely ruin your trip.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Glad it wasn't any worse and enjoy the rest of your trip


PatnWilton said...

Bill, tell Crystal I am amazed at the calm you describe from her. And you too! With sense to make it to someplace with signs of life for help.
BTW: Did you get the names of the kind folk at the bar and the lady who retrieved the bag?
Just curious.