Tuesday, October 27, 2015


We We We began to notice it mostly as we entered Pennsylvania.   Along the road shoulder every few miles lay animal carcasses. They were mostly deer, but there were at least two that seemed to be coyotes or even wolves.  The deer were large. I saw at least ten of them and Peter saw several I missed, including a buck with antlers.

 As the sun's rays weakened and dusk approached we saw live deer standing in the median strip or on the side near groves of trees.  We decided to drive as long as the daylight lasted, but the sun set shortly after seven, and it was finally dark. Since we needed both fuel and dinner, we stopped.  

We made it quick intentionally, and got back on the road before the truckers had finished their break. It was dark and lonely, and we kept thinking of all those dead deer. We were kind of spooked, and Peter honked the car horn in the more desolate stretches like he does in Maine to warn the deer.

But before long the truckers were back on the road. Peter came up with a clever strategy. He found a particularly massive truck and followed behind on the theory that the truck would hit the deer first and run interference for us.  It made us feel safer, and we encountered no deer for the last couple hours of the ride. The moon shone full and we arrived safely at Karen and Mack's. 

This morning we drove through eastern Ohio through rolling hills, small towns and farms on our way to join up with the interstate.  Here we found a different sort of roadkill.  Along both sides of the road, and sometimes even in the road, were dead raccoons and possums. The animals were smaller, but even more numerous.  And in the trees and soaring overhead were hungry hawks looking for fresh meat.  

We finally made it to the interstate, and the roadkill phenomenon seemed to end. We saw no more deer, coyotes, raccoons or possums. But there were other hazards. Large chunks of truck tires, ripped to shreds by blowouts littered the shoulder and lay as hazards in the roadway. These massive beasts crisscross our land shedding shredded tires like roadkill in their wake. 

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