Our old and character riddled car broke down on the mountain, on a 60 mile trip from town to home. A kind local couple offered us a ride back home.This is small town out here, with a series of small towns clustered together, all of us attending the same stake within the church (a local congregation is a ward, and a cluster of wards is a stake). So everybody knows everybody, nobody is afraid to stop and help. Good thing, it was COLD out (below zero up there), and I had no coat. It was not that cold when we left, and this has been a mild winter until the last week or two.
A mile and a half after we got into their car, they hit an elk with the front corner of their car. Cars are not safe around us tonight. Apparently the change in weather has the elk migrating. This is the only time I've ever seen elk on that mountain. Lots of deer, but elk are more rare.
Details: We are fine, nobody was hurt but the elk. Their car has a broken front windshield, a flapping side view mirror, and dents in the door and front side panel. For hitting an elk, it is pretty minor damage, and they didn't hit it front on at least, that would have thrown us and killed the car.
The elk were in the ditch, and the lights startled them, and the whole HERD with adults leading, jumped up into the road! A bull elk headed for the car, and missed - literally reared up and turned just in time, a whisker from the driver and Kevin (on that side of the car). It was really a magnificent sight, seeing that bull elk pivot on his hind legs.
Driver swerved, but a cow elk kept right on coming, and slammed into the side. The broken windshield was caused by her head (sorry about that image), so we doubt she made it. He called it in, but kept on going. I think he was afraid that if he stopped the car might have damage that would sideline us. Fortunately it did not, the elk managed to miss everything vital, even the windshield in front of the driver - all the windshield damage was in the lower left corner, just completely fragmented (still holding together) in a spot about 12" around, and radiating UP about another 6", but NOT across the windshield.
Our car has been picked up. We put towing back on it two weeks ago. We made the first payment on the increased amount just hours before we had to call the tow truck. We are still just BARELY profitable for our insurance company... JUST.
The next day our son was rear-ended in a minor accident. But I MISSED two deer by a narrow margin while heading back home on the same road as the night before - slammed on the brakes, and swerved a bit, and both managed to move in time. I'm not sure if the car coming the opposite direction was as lucky, I saw their brake lights go on, and they stopped for a moment before continuing on more slowly.