Great American Road Trip: More road kill woes and how to clean a car

The first mishap was when we nailed a possum in Illinois east of Chicago the first night of our road trip to Montana. The critter was lumbering across the interstate about 10:30 p.m. That was a sad moment.

Thursday, driving to and from Regent, North Dakota we had several sad moments. Honestly, there are some things that can’t be avoided.

I already posted about the two pheasants we hit. The chipmunk and the blackbird came later.

We didn’t hit them all at once, but over the course of several miles. Such is one of the realities of traveling on small two-lane highways–but this was ridiculous. Particularly when two raccoons made a mad dash in front of us as I was typing the previous sentence. The second one didn’t make it.

With each thump, I’m shouting out from the passenger seat, a strangled “Arggh!” Seriously, it was a nightmare. “That’s one way to damage a car,” I said.

“It’s not like I’m trying to hit them,” said my husband. It’s true, he wasn’t, and swerving too much is dangerous. He pointed out the deep ditch on the side of the road.

My son, the six-year-old wanted to stop for feathers and fur.

My daughter wanted to know why I’m making such an awful sound.

Turns out, I was onto something. While my husband was filling the gas tank in Miles City, Montana after dropping us off at a McDonald’s so our son could let off steam at the indoor playland, one of the pheasants was still with us. It had broken the grill a tad–just big enough to become wedged behind it.

Two truckers, noticing the predicament, exchanged their road kill tales with my husband and helped him figure out how to remove it. The windshield squeegee handle was somehow involved. I didn’t want the specific details.

When my husband showed up at the McDonald’s parking lot with the pheasant in a plastic bag with grand plans of showing it to our friend in Billings, I shouted, “Arggh!” and ran in the opposite direction. “No dead things in the car. Absolutely not,” I shouted from where I stood, still ready to flee if he stepped one foot closer. I hate dead things.

The pheasant was left in a garbage can in Miles City. There are a couple feathers in another bag behind the driver’s seat, but I’m trying not to think about them.

A woman told us, as she was sliding into her truck after hearing about our pheasant mishap, “Watch out for deer.”

The photo is of my son trailing his hand out the window for a moment to catch raindrops, one of the pleasant aspects of the day. Not pheasant–pleasant.