Deer: The Reckless Roadtrip Story Part 1

28 Dec

6 men + 1 hell of a drive is an equation destined for a story of epic proportions.

Yea, that’s an understatement. This story is so detailed filled that it will require multiple parts. 

Early in the fall, a good friend approached me with an idea: Combine the best of the both worlds into one, single road trip –> grind our bodies into submission on the treacherous slopes of the Rockies and then recover with sleepless nights in the desert oasis of Las Vegas.  You’re only young once, right? After much wavering back and forth, the trip was coming together, and soon enough we were counting down the days to our departure.

With nothing but the open road ahead of us, we set out to make December 16th ours.  Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska…. all was well (Just ask Gabe and Dennis who actually slept the majority of the 16 hours that we were on the road).  Literally driving like a bat outta’ hell in our 98 white Astro Van, we were on pace to arrive in the mile high city by 3:30 AM.  In our slap happy mindset, we apparently lost our perception of right and wrong and left the keys with Dennis.

I kid you not, 15 minutes after Dennis was in the drivers seat (about 2:00 AM), the most unfortunate turn of luck happened to our sausage van.  Let me paint the picture.  It is pitch black outside.  Even though you can’t feel the wind, you can hear its stinging cold whizz against the window.  As it is so early in the morning, all of us are awake, but far from alert.  From nowhere, Dan says (does not yell) “deer”.  See how it is not in caps, or bolded, or does not have an exclamation point. Yea, that’s because it accurately depicts the emotion of what he placed around our immediate peril.  So we all looked out the windows and at each other, basically everywhere but in front of us.  Within the blink of an eye, the breaks were screaming and we hit something big.  The car died immediately.

“Everyone OK?” From the first glance, everyone was still intact and no one had problems moving.  Whew. What a relief. Wait a second….. we were stranded in the middle of the middle of the passing lane with no lights on in the middle-nowhere-Colorado. “GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW!” Sprinting to the sides of the express way, we tried to single the speeding semis with the lights of our phones.  Thankfully that worked as we watched one semi literally miss the Astro by maybe 2 feet.  When were unable to see any more headlights oncoming, we rushed to the deceased van and pushed it to the side of the road, where we were able to catch the first glimpse of it’s killer: a MONSTER 10-pointer. Although it lay dead on the side of the road, I can honestly say that it more damage to us that us to it.

The local sheriff arrived with the fire department not far behind.  Freezing in our van, the Cop graciously told us to “keep warm, fellas” as he sat in his toasty vehicle and waited for our tow to arrive.  Apparently everything is a monstrosity in Colorado.  Our tow truck pulled up and I was certain that I was witnessing Optimus Prime in person. After the driver hopped out and told us all to get in, I knew it was a fact.

So westward we continued to head, without entertainment value either.  Luckily, because of AAA, we had 60 miles of free inappropriate, racist stories that put us all in tears.  Let’s just say that this tow truck driver had a sharp tongue.  In hindsight, if we weren’t so busy laughing, we probably wouldn’t have agreed to being dropped off in the parking lot of a Super 8 at 4 AM.  Great. We were freezing. Had no place to go. No way to get there. And hell, the McDonald’s didn’t even open for another hour.

So what in the world were we going to do?  Into the lobby of the Super 8 we tipped-toed and we started to weigh alternatives:

1. Rent a car from Ft. Morgan, CO…. not possible on the weekends

2. Get a van fixed up and make it the rest of the trip…… good joke.

3. Take the bus into Denver and rent a car….. possible, but not realistic .

The irony of the situation is during the whole time trying to find a way out of this dumpy, Podunk town, we actually were asked for a ride from a stranger.  I’m seriously laughing just thinking about it.

So we decided to try our luck elsewhere and to the McDonald’s lobby we went. In and out of sleep we all fell as the sun rose and we realized that our possibilities were running out.  No dealership or shop would take a look at the van (which wouldn’t even start) and no one that we told our story idea could even find a way out of this stinky town either.  But seriously, the town smelled distinctly of shit (pardon the language). AAA to the rescue again.  Apparently we were golden for another 100 miles of free towing as it wasn’t consecutive.  I really don’t understand the policy, but I honestly think they made a mistake and we lucked out.  By 10 AM, we were once again Denver bound.  This time sitting in complete utter scilence….. probably because Dennis kindly mentioned “The last tow-truck driver had some great stories”. 

But I have to take a second to mention that as we walked out of the McDonald’s, the people that we told our sob-story to had returned with a large van used for their local Methodist Church and asked if we still needed a ride to Denver.  Although we couldn’t accept their offer, I can’t be thankful enough for people like this no matter where I go and I will make sure to pay it forward soon.


One Response to “Deer: The Reckless Roadtrip Story Part 1”


  1. Reckless Roadtrip | danjeong - January 23, 2012

    […] Part 1 […]

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