Sunday, October 13, 2019
Moab 2019

I decided to take the slow route home - a bit of I-70 to get into Colorado then jump up to US-40. Once I get to Walden I'll decide if I'm taking CO-14 east down the Poudre Canyon or if I'll jump up to Laramie. Those two routes are about the same time thought the Laramie route is straighter, faster, longer distance. After dark, the scenic and twisty Poudre Canyon isn't of much interest - it'll be the Laramie route tonight.

Moab lists one Catholic Mass on Sunday - 9am. I'll pack a few things at the campsite before Mass and will check out of the campground after Mass. Church today will be a curious day. I arrived early for prayers and reading. At the opening song I was paying more attention to singing than watching the procession. When I looked up I saw a female standing in front of the congregation. She looked a bit old to be a server (of which girls now serve) but perhaps that was her task. Then she addressed the congregation. This is curious. A female priest? Her opening statement answered the questions. The priest is not able to say Mass today and she, a lay lector now participating as a lay minister will present a Communion Service. This will not be a Mass but it will fulfill the Sunday oblication.

The service was the same through the offertory collection (she read Father's Homily (or is it Sermon?)). There was no presentation of gifts. Communion was offered with a closing song and prayer for growth in Church ministries (more priests, nuns, ministers).

Downtown Moab - Side-by-Side's on the street, some with license plates, with regular street vehciles.

Railroad tie train?

I-70 eastbound into Colorado

Shortly after crossing the state line I turned north on two-lane for the slower trek home. Rarely a car in site for the first half of the day.

Changing scenery - Utah scenery on the left, Colorado on the right.

Jumping north towards Rangely but first will be Douglas Pass.

Closing in on the pass.

At the pass there's a gravel road that heads further up. I had the time so I visited a couple miles of it before returning to the highway.

Looking down at the pass.

On the north side, heading down.

Fuel stop at Rangely completed, I'm jumping north eleven miles up to US-40. We're heading under the private railroad that connects a coal mine in colorado with a generating station in eastern Utah.

More empty roadway - enjoyable.

An old section of US-40 that remains after a re-route.

Nearing Steamboat Springs

About eleven miles west of Steamboat there are traces of snow

Downtown Steamboat Springs with white coated ski runs.

Up near Rabbit Ears Pass - deeper snow remains.

Dropping into North Park heading towards Walden.

The sun is just dropping below the ridgeline. Ample cattle in the fields.

...and the closing accident photos for the trip.

I've occasionally wondered what would happen if the jeep and deer met on the road. Would the whole front end be pushed back, radiator broken with no cooling leaving me on the roadside? Tonight I found out. The jeep brushed it off with scant little damage. While the deer died, it at least didn't show any signs of suffering.

The time of day was typical - sunset. The jeep was rolling well meaning it was cruising 65 in the flats. This was a slight uphill so it was likely 60-ish. Finishing the slight right hand bend a group of ten or so deer were running to cross the road from my right. On the brakes. There was no oncoming or trailing traffic. The lead deer was in my way with one right on its tail. I couldn't steer to its right to avoid contact and I couldn't steer left enough to get ahead of it. The deer and the front end of the jeep met square - head to driver's side, tail to passenger side, straddling the yellow line.

The impact was perhaps 45 MPH. It wasn't as shuddering of a bang as I'd imagine - but a good thud - and then came the jeep hop - front tires up and over then the back. First thought - not the radiator (putting me at the roadside). I pulled over - both headlights intact. Front grill not bent. Radiator not leaking. The fairlead bracket wasn't even bent - and it was heavy into the side of the deer. The jeep was running - no serious damage. The only item I've found damaged is the small bracket for the winch's solenoid box - it's bent - a trivial item.

A couple pickups going my way were slowing and looking to pull over to help (thanks folks!) but I gave'm a thumbs up and waved them by.

I drove back and pulled the deer down into the brush. I imagine animals will be looking for some food and this way they won't be on the road.

In all - sad for the deer - good for the jeep. I don't need to wonder what would happen if it would have been a moose, I went via Laramie instead of Cameron Pass [high moose area] for the next leg of the trek.

Winch solenoid box mount is slightly bent. That's it - no damage and I can drive home.

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