Saturday, August 9, 2008

MOOSE! - Tales From the Road

We're home from Vacation!

A week of fun in the sun and rain ... and sun :-)

And as always, home with tales of adventures.

So, gather into the Korner my friends, family and faithful lurking readers, for MOOSE! The first tale from the road.

Last week the boys and I headed towards Northern New Brunswick for a week at the beach. Vacation. Home.

I've traveled that road the past 19yrs, sometimes as a passenger, most times as a driver, but no matter where you're sitting, the last couple of hours of that trip is still - always - nerve wracking.

It's miles and miles of open, tree-lined highway.

and miles ...

And you'd think traveling all those miles, I'd be worried about these ...

Yeah. It's no fun meeting a convoy going the opposite direction, on a two-lane highway, in the rain. LOL And yeah ... it happens quite often. But that, I can handle.

It's THIS that keeps my hands gripping the wheel, the teeth clenched, and eyes sweeping from left to right, then back again, frowning in concentration, ready to hit the breaks at a moments notice ...

I grew up in a province with alot of moose. These awkward, freight trains with horns have been the cause of far too many deaths along the NB highways.

The road my dad traveled to work each day hid many of these silent killers behind it's tree-lined landscape. The weather and flies often drive them out of those trees, onto the roads and into the paths of unsuspecting drivers.

It wasn't uncommon to hear 'so and so hit a moose the other night/day'.

One night, before we were married, the ex and I were traveling home. It was raining - hard, a car passed us, not 5 min later we hit the brakes as we came upon them. They'd hit a moose. Had they not passed us, it would have been us.

Around home, most everyone knows someone who's hit a moose.

So, in order for the boys and I to get home, we have to travel through miles of moose.

So much so, that you'll find signs like the above along the highway.

And they continue.

And continue.

Did you know ...

There are approximately 300 moose-vehicle accidents in New Brunswick every year, many of them fatal, and most of them occurring between May and September.

More people are injured or killed in moose-vehicle collisions in New Brunswick than in crashes with any other animal.

Moose are especially hard to see in low light because they are dark brown and their eyes do not reflect light like those of deer. Due to their height, their eyes are above most headlight beams.

Finally, it seems the NB govt has taken action. It has begun construction of 'moose fencing' along the 'hot spots'.

The boys seemed to pay more attention to the possibility of seeing a moose this trip. Perhaps because of all the screaming yellow signs and penitentiary like fencing?

They acted as my 'extra eyes' along the sections of highway that weren't yet safely fenced in.

And of course, as luck would have it, this morning we're sitting in the Tims drive-thru just before hitting the road, and we hear on the radio "A number of people have been calling in to let us know there has been a herd of moose sighted along the highway towards xxxx. Drive with care! Make sure you slow down, put your lights on and make sure you have a clean windshield so you can see everything coming at you!"

"Where are we headed Mom?"

"Towards xxxx." Sigh.

However, earlier that morning we'd been to visit my Dad, and before we said goodbye, Mom and I asked him to keep the moose away from us on the way home, to keep us safe :-)

Then, when we stopped for gas and slushies, I spotted and picked up a penny by the slushie machine :-D

So when I heard the tentative "Do you think we'll see a moose Mom?", from the back seat, I explained that I couldn't promise we wouldn't have the adventure of SEEING a moose along the side of the road, but that after Dad and the penny, I knew we wouldn't be hitting one today :-D

In fact, the most excitement we saw along the highway on the way home, was a dead bald eagle, and a woman in handcuffs next to a couple of police officers and a sheriff's van at a roadside rest stop LOL.

Not sure which one was having a worse day...

'Nite all! And be careful if you're driving those highways! MOOSE!



Danie said...

Don't you love the moose signs how they show the moose to be twice the size of the car. That always cracks me up.

Kim's Korner said...

Funny ... but true! Those suckers are HUGE! And unfortunately, if it's a Buck against a ... firefly ... accent ... or other small car, they ARE twice the size of it and will most likely demolish it.

Bonnie S. said...

We were in Bathust in July and saw a baby moose on the side of the highway just outside the city. Even a baby was the size of a deer, and butt ugly those things are! But like Kim said, they've almost got it all fenced in now. You see more deer out this way (we have them in our yard now that we live out of the city!!) but the moose accidents always seem more tragic. Obviously!! Glad you didn't have a close encounter of that kind!!