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Old 05-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #1
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Duck a la Alpine

Just a short story to tickle your funnybone. It's true and the ending is a happy one.
So, I'm heading east on highway 90 and then 94. 2 days to get across Montana (I'll never complain about west Texas again). I'm crossing North Dakota, that is, west to east. At the same time, the wind is coming from the south and heading north of course. I do not like this kind of white knuckle driving. After I pass Bismark, I decide not to go all the way to Fargo, to stop in Jamestown. As I move along, I notice the paths of the various birds as they dart across the interstate. It rained very heavy last night (4 hours continuous heavy rain last night at Glendive, MT. There are large puddles in the median. (Hold on, I'm coming to it.)
As I look up ahead, I see two ducks (Mallards) lifting off from the puddle. The first one heads south with the correct amount of FFS (forward, flapping speed) to not be a problem. As I glance back at the 2nd one, to my horror, his FFS is exactly equal to the wind speed from the south. He is basically hovering one or two coach lengths in front of me. I immediately release the throttle and start to duck (in the physical sense). Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that he too is glancing at me and at the same time we both utter those famous Aflac words, AWWWW, SH--!! At which point he downshifts (?) and accelerates up and away.
Now, I don't know what the impact would have looked like but definitely not a pretty sight. I'll leave it to the House Engineer Mike to determine the acatual impact speed. Me at 60 mph and he (it was a male Mallard) - stationery in front of me.
So there, was it worth a chuckle or not? A good ending for me, and for the duck.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
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We try to arrange all road kill to occur each travel day prior to noon. That way EngineerAnnie can fire up the crock pot during the afternoon drive & dinner's ready promptly by 18:00.

Almost took out a good size red-tailed hawk same way, except his slo-mo action was due to the 3"+ x 5' long stick he was trying to lift off the ground for nest building, and his tragically low take off angle put him dead center in front of the rig at +4 feet. If I hadn't braked like crazy, well, they say it tastes just like chicken...

Coulda had some nice fat springtime rattle snake on the drive home from Camp Verde AZ, but EngineerAnnie doesn't like all the little bones. The chile-verde marinated pork chops w/pinto beans made an adequate substitution.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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My DW and I had a bad reaction to the crock pot skunk we had on our last outing.

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Old 05-27-2010, 06:30 PM   #4
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I learned a valuable lesson while in the Boy Scouts about skunks- just because it isn't moving, doesn't mean it its dead.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:12 AM   #5
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Well we did in fact hit a hawk when he/she took off from the side of SR-14 in Washington near Vancouver. He colided with our DS windshield uppper right corner. The collision did not break it, as he was backwinging like all xxxllllll. But it must have strained it some, as the next rock thrown up by that big truck took it out with a long spreading crack in the lower area.

The only live skunk I saw was in Verde Valley, AZ last fall, he was scratching for grubs and I was taking his picture from a very long distance. Never saw that sanke Mike but I was really looking for one as I have never seen one up close, no, not that close thank you so much.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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David, That is a good story, bet it happened in slow motion.

If you would have hit the duck, when you stopped for the night, you might have wanted a "Cold Duck"

I hit a turkey buzzard once (not in the windshield) out on a lonely road in Nevada. Feathers flew everywhere. Patty wanted me to stop and walk back to see if we could help it. That's why I love her.
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