Well, I've finally struck a non-flying animal with my truck.
This morning I was driving along a lonely stretch of state highway, almost to the Texas / New Mexico border when a deer bolted from the undergrowth alongside the road. I had enough time to hit the brakes hard enough to take some velocity off but not risk skidding and swerved somewhat to try to give the creature a chance to get out of the way. Nothing doing, as it plowed directly into the middle of my bumper as we met.
My immediate concern was that no one else get involved with the accident but thankfully the one vehicle in sight was a truck behind me with enough distance that it wasn't a concern. I felt a muted "thump", then noticed the deer ricocheting away and to the right, on its left side with its feet splayed out towards me. My momentum carried me past the impact site forty or fifty feet but I saw the deer get back up from where it was bumped off to the side of the road and bolt away. Thankfully it didn't manage to roll under the truck and get squished.
I'm guessing it wasn't hurt seriously, but if anyone bags it this winter and sees the imprint of my license plate on its haunch I would appreciate partial credit.
I pulled over to the meager shoulder and waited until it was safe to get out and assess the damage. Surprisingly, there wasn't a scratch on my truck and I popped the hood to make sure nothing was leaking, the fan shroud wasn't damaged, etc. The damage appears to have been limited to the bumps and bruises visited upon the critter.
Anyway, I finished my driving day in Gallup, New Mexico with a full day's drive ahead of me to the lovely hell-blasted Los Angeles area for tomorrow. We'll see what the smoke situation is up close.
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