Second day of vacation, and we needed to go into town (Watertown) to get groceries and fishing licenses (yay!). We made the 45-minute drive in, got our stuff, and headed back to the lake. Fernando drove both ways, because all the fresh air and fun had wiped me out and I was drowsy.
I dozed on and off, and just on the east side of Natural Bridge--about ten minutes away from the lake--I was alert but with eyes still closed when Fernando hollered, "Crap!" My eyes snapped open and I heard BAM and saw white and "smoke" and I thought something was coming at me (I remembered only later the panic I felt).
My first thoughts were Did we hit a car? A deer? Did something hit us?? And then Fernando shouted, "It's a bear!"
The truck in the picture below was one of the first vehicles to stop to help us. The driver was a volunteer firefighter from Carthage! God is good. The man parked to slightly block the westbound lane for safety.
We hit the bear doing around 50-55mph. Thing thing was--we were driving my parents' Pathfinder, which is what we used to drive up to the lake (Danny was driving our Suburban, and Thomas was driving our BMW).
The EMT, Molly, checked me out (I was fine since I had been dozing), then Fernando. He had an elevated blood pressure, plus his legs and back were sore--all understandable effects of trying to halt the car to avoid hitting the bear.
Below, that's Trooper Wheeler handling the situation, as firefighters got the bear to the side of the road.
Someone came by and took the bear on the back of his pickup truck.
Fernando took this photo below of the inside of the Pathfinder. The "white" I saw coming toward me (and what I thought was going to end my life) was just the airbag. It never touched me--the seat belt did its job--but the damage to the dashboard and front were enough that the insurance company will probably total the car.
I had used my phone to call 911, and Fernando used his to call my dad. Both Dad and Mom came in their other car. They got everything out of the Pathfinder (all our groceries, too!), and Trooper Wheeler offered us a ride back to the lake in his squad car. We took him up on his offer, and he followed my parents back to the lake.
Thanks to texting, my family and our friends anticipated our return, and a group of "paparazzi" greeted us with cameras! My family uses humor to handle things, and this was a perfect way to do it.
We cracked up at the below when we saw that my dad photobombed us!
We will have to deal with how to get home from the lake, my parents will have to deal with the lack of a car (their other car is only a few months old!), but for now, I'm so thankful for life.
Back to life,
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