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November 5, 2019

A Deer in the Headlights

It's really hard to imagine what my life is like. This is my 3rd week on the project in Columbia, SC. Last weekend, I flew home to Colorado on United Airlines. Debbie and I drove to Charlotte. She flew to Houston. I flew to Dulles International Airport (IAD) and then had a 7 hour weather delay. I managed to leave my motorcycle at work in the parking garage, where I have a permit, but my plates expired 10/31/2019. And I left my passport in my jeans at the Motel 6 I live at on 1776 Burning Tree Road. And my keys in my office at work. So, this meant that, when I flew out, and then came back on Sunday night, that I wouldn't be able to get my motorcycle keys (as they were locked in the office on Sunday night).

And this is sort of what happens when you get spread out over multiple time zones. Like...it's easy to get it wrong. Hard to get it right.

I renew my motorcycle insurance and print out my new insurance cards at home in Colorado. I figure I'll need proof of insurance to renew my registration. So, I take the BMW and head towards Evergreen, CO to renew my plates/registration. On the way, I get a flat tire on Friday in Marshdale, CO going to renew the registration on my motorcycle (my motorcycle is in a parking lot in South Carolina two time zones over). Got the flat tire on the BMW X3 fixed on Saturday. Margie picked me up when I got a flat. Mark gave me a ride to pick up my BMW when they put new tires on it. Margie tooke mt to Evergreen where I get my registration on the bike renewed. Then, on Sunday, I fly from Denver to Charlotte (nonstop). And realize that I won't be able to ride my motorcycle because my keys are locked up on the 7th floor and I won't be able to get into my office until 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

Debbie and I are to meet up at the airport in Charlotte and, by the grace of God, we both get in on time, or a little early, and so we meet up, she rents a car, and we head off on a 90 mile road trip from Charlotte, NC to Columbia, SC. I'm driving.

So, she's giving directions and we're rolling south on I-77. It's pitch black dark. No moon. And we're running about 80 mph on I-77 when I see, in the left lane (I'm in the right) the scariest thing I've ever seen. It's a male deer (buck), injured, laying down, in the center of the left lane. (I'm in the right lane going 80).

And I see this buck, with a huge rack. The largest deer I've ever seen, laying in the left lane, head up, alert, staring into the oncoming traffic. How we missed him, I'll never know. Just dumb luck that he wasn't in our lane. I'm sure that a car came along immediately after us and crashed into the deer at 80 mph within a matter of sceonds. But it was too dangerous to turn back. There was nothing I could do to save him, without endangering others.

Of course, the experience is terrying to me, and I'm having flash backs to July 5th when a deer hit me on a 2 lane black top road north of Leadville, just south of Copper Mountain.

As we got closer to Columbia, we saw more emergency vehicles than I've ever seen in my life rolling around. Ambulances. Firetrucks. Everything seemed to be chasing after some bizarre accident, but I was never clear why.

Eventually, I drop off Debbie at her Hilton Garden Inn hotel and she lets me take her rental car to my No-Tell Motel 6 on Burning Tree Road.

There, I check into my hotel. I'm scheduled to check out Thursday, it seems. My door keys won't work, so I get the front office to make them work again.

In the morning, Monday, I ride in to work in her car, pick her up at her hotel, and then we ride 1/2 block to work together. In my office, I find my motorcycle keys, and put my new 2020 license plate sticker on my motorcycle license plate.

So now, I have insurance and registration and a valid parking sticker on the bike. The bike is legal. The BMW has new tires on it and the plates don't expire until January, I think. I still don't have my passport, so I guess that it must be in my jeans back pocket in the hotel. I HATE flying without my passport, because it's a 2nd form of photo ID, which is always a good idea to have if you're flying.

On Tuesday, I ride into work on my bike. I think my motorcycle said it was 50F or so, but it didn't seem that cold and it's only like a 10-15 minute ride anyway. Like, it might be better to get some cold weather riding gear, but for now, it seems like I will be OK. I've heard that it pretty much never snows here, so I should be able to make it through the winter on the bike, it seems.

The only problem I really have now is my riding gear. My gloves and riding pants are basically ruined from when the deer hit me on July 5th. So, if I ever get paid, it would be nice to replace my riding gear at least.

On Tuesday after work, I meet Carlisle out for dinner at The Cock and Bull Pub at 326 South Edisto, and then ride back to the Motel 6 on my motorcycle.

I check my jeans and find my passport in the rear pocket of my jeans at my Motel 6. Lord God this ain't easy.

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 5, 2019 at 6:15 PM


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