Jul 29, 2012

No Matter What You Think

No matter what you think, choices can be nearly zero.  I like choices in any situation.

I'm trained, highly trained, educated, drilled, practiced, experienced in emergency response, but today, it was different. Very different.

In the early morning hours, somewhere between dusk and dawn in this Alaska summer on a rural highway, a young moose stepped out from side of the road perpendicular to me, onto a guard-railed bridge over a creek, leaving very few choices for her and me.

I saw her after the other motorcyclist had rounded the corner ahead.  My thoughts, in rapid succession were:  Oh Fuck! Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, a beat of less than five seconds until impact straight-on into her shoulder; no one will see this soon enough to help;  there's nothing I can avoid.

I was directly angled to hit her, then the guard rail.  Seemed like a fatal encounter for probably both her and me; not unusual. My riding companion and I had seen so many moose on this ride since dusk began - we were traveling about 10 miles per hour under the speed limit because of it.

My hands gripped tighter.

I am amazed that I did not lessen the gas, tromp on the brakes, try to gear down, change angle.  I am astonished at myself for holding close, not giving ground to the moose, the moose that was sure to continue to transect the road.

She suddenly turned parallel to me:  I rolled to the left lane, then I was past her, her astonished eyes seeing mine in the mirror, and then she was at a gallop, her feet flying out to the sides.

Sentient moment:  I'm sure she was as conscious of the near miss as I was. She made the choice to turn.  It was the only good choice for both of us.  It kept me alive.

Still, I'm much more afraid of riding a motorcycle in Anchorage traffic than amongst the moose.