Kelso, where I stayed for the night, is about an hour and a half away from the west entrance of Mt St Helens National Monument. When I got up around 6 in the morning, I was happy that I could make to the park around sunrise.
It was completely dark when I left the motel around 6:30. As I was driving toward Mt St Helens, the fog was getting thicker. Many years ago, I actually visited Mt St Helens before. It was so foggy at the time that I didn’t anything. It was like I have never been to the area at all. “History is going to repeat itself!” I wondered whether I was able to see the Mountain this time.
The road is steep and windy. With the thick fog and darkness, I was very careful and drove way below the speed limit.
Yet, it was still too late when I saw the deer by my side! It appeared so suddenly! From nowhere! As soon as I had a glimpse of it, I slammed on the break.
“Bang!” I heard noise; I felt the impact; I saw the deer crashed onto my car. It happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to feel scared before it was over.
I sat in the car, for a short moment, not willing to see the damage. But I knew I had no choice. No matter how bad it was, I had to face it. Before stepping out the car, though, I had to take a deep breath to calm myself down. Just a few miles before, there was a sign – “No gas or car repair ahead”. How sarcastic?
After hearing the noise and feeling the impact, I was expecting to see blood everywhere, broken lights, and totally smashed front. Instead, to my surprise and delight, there was only a den on top of the hood! I stood there, with my mouth opened and eyes widened. Then, needless to say, a big smile appeared on my face. How lucky I was!
Although my new car doesn’t look so pretty any more, it is still running without any problem! My car could have been destroyed totally! It could have been pushed outside of the road! The car could have been rolled down the side of the mountain! I could have been seriously hurt or killed! Yet, out of so many possibilities, there was only a minor damage. I couldn’t and still can’t help but to feel so lucky and very grateful!
I just passed 20000 miles mark the day before (all for this trip). Without any trouble for the past half a year or so, when I drove through some of the most remote places, I was very grateful. It is ironic that I just said thanks, silently, to thousands of people I have passed by. Except a couple people honked at me, no one was careless enough to cause an accident!
What I forgot is to say “thank you” to animals! 🙂 If I did, perhaps, the deer wouldn’t even bump into me. 🙂
The day after the accident, I bought a pair of “Deer Whistle”. It is too late for the accident I have already had; but it is not too late for the ones might happen again in the future. Hopefully, the Deer Whistle will help out!
(Seeing Mt Rainier again in the distance)
(More pictures of Mt St Helens coming soon)
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html