If you have read the previous post, you will know that we have seen a LOT of wildlife on our way through Colorado and Utah – elk, mule deer and pronghorns.
We love seeing deer and always stop to get pictures, but we like them best at a distance.
In the Morning on September 19th we were coming down from Abajo Mountains towards Monticello. We had camped and as we got up in the morning, there was 2 deer right outside our tent. Nice!
As we hit the road, we took it easy. The night before we had seen more than 100 deer on the same road, so no reason to race here.
Like riding through a zoo.
These pictures are all taken within half an hour, the evening before. We must have seen hundreds.
Suddenly there was a deer right next to me in the side of the road. I slowed down. Less than a second later, there was another deer right in front of me. I hit the breaks as hard as I could and heard the rubber squeaking against the pavement. The deer took of and I hardly hit it, but then I was hit from behind.
Lars was also looking for deer, when he registered my break lights. But it was to late. In my attempt to avoid the deer I got over in his lane. He couldn’t avoid me and his left front hit right into my right rear. I went down on my right side, shoulder first and he went down on the left and we both took a slide on the asphalt.
I took a big hit to my head and right shoulder, but was able to get up right away. Lars was laying on his back with his hands against his chest, obviously in a lot of pain.
Two bikes on the ground, scattered broken parts, luggage all over and cooler liquid and petrol was leaking from the bikes. – Not a pretty sight.
After a while Lars got on his feet but was not able to help me raise the bikes.
A German couple in an RV was coming down the same road and stopped to help us. We got the bikes up and to the side of the road.
Lars’ bike had a big dent into the cooler and tank and could not be ridden out of there. Plastic from the fearing and the front fender was scattered all over the road. The German couple gave me a lift to the visitor center in Monticello where I called road service and the insurance.
I felt horrible leaving Lars, but also felt I had to take control of the situation, since he was hurting so bad. So I tried to stay cool, but as I arrived to the visitor center, I just broke down and cried. My immediate reaction might have been “All right we are both relatively OK, no one’s killed, so no big deal”. But your system gets pretty shaken up, when you take a slide on the asphalt and see your loved one lie in pain on the ground.
I called the insurance. They were nice, but couldn’t get hold of the person who would handle the claim and order the tow truck. “They will call you back before 5 pm”! What kind of road service office calls you back before 5 pm?? I wasn’t too happy about that answer and expressed my dissatisfaction with this kind of service.
Meanwhile another driver had called the police and informed them of the accident. Deputy Jamin Bradford came by the visitor center and talked to me and then headed up to Lars. I got hold of a local tow company. They were super fantastic and went up to Lars immediately.
At the place of the accident, they put Lars’ KLR on the tow truck. The Suzuki could still drive, so Lars rode it behind the tow truck.
– When the SECOND deer hit him!!
Just when he passed a cattle guard, a deer came out from the side. It plumped into the cattle guard and therefore just bumped into Lars’ leg!!! Surely that guard saved him. Had it not been there, the deer would have gone out in front of the bike. – This was just too much action for one morning.
Down at Monticello, we waited at the tow truck garage for the insurance company to call us back. When they finally did, we agreed to have the bikes towed to Moab to a place called “Moab Powersports”. We knew this store from our recent visit in the town and were pleased with that choice.
Deputy Jamin Bradford was really nice and helped us the best he could.
Bunny didn’t like the stunt too much either.
At 4.30 pm we finally arrived at the Powersports shop. We dropped Lars and the bikes and all our luggage and helmets and gear off at the ramp to the shop. (The shop was closed on Mondays) The tow truck driver (George) was an awesome guy, and despite the fact that he was super busy that day and other cars were waiting for him, he took me to the airport, where the insurance company had made a reservation for a rental car.
He drove me 35 km North of Moab to the airport and dropped me off there. Now Moab is not a big town and as soon as you are out of town, there’s NOTHING! The airport is a small structures and obviously not a busy place. I was dropped off and when I got to the shed, that had a sign saying “Terminal” on it and pulled the door, I realized that it was closed! Damn! Here I was, way out of town in the dessert with no ride, and a hurt boyfriend waiting for me outside a shop in Moab.
So what does a wise woman do? I started banging doors, walking around the buildings, seeing if any employees were still there. After a while I saw a guy coming out of a hangar, and luckily he was heading in my direction. When he came closer, I bluntly asked if he was going to Moab and if I could get a ride, since I was stuck. He agreed and drove me back to Moab Powerports where Lars was waiting.
We were both tired and Lars was in pain, so we decided to get a room in the motel just on the other side of the street from the repair shop.
From here on, it has been hospital visit, endless talks with the insurance, parts ordering, mending gear and so on. By the time the insurance adjuster came and looked at the bikes a whole week had gone by. In all fairness I have to say, that when he got there, he was extremely efficient and very fair.
On the good side we are in Moab. If you have to get stuck anywhere, this is the place. We are both well, but you don’t wanna give Lars the big bear hug right now. Angie & Paul were still in town and were a great support. Moab Powersport proved to live up to their reputation. They are serious, sympathetic and trustworthy. The kind of mechanic you dream about. So parts are on their way, and if we are lucky, we’ll be out of here by Saturday.
Lessons learned: Wearing safety gear works! Slowing down works! In the future we will keep more distance to each other. Insurance companies will sell you insurance in half an hour – it will take quite a bit longer to get their help.