FJ Cruiser vs. Elk. FJ wins but not unscathed.
We have been here in Kelly Wyoming leading a very scholastic life. Days begin with us getting up at four or four-thirty AM and end around ten PM with the entire time in between devoted to classes or studies. I have never been such a dedicated student in my life as I am these days. It has been like finals week, but now going on three weeks!
Grand Teton National Park, where we live, is full of wildlife. Buffalo roam by the hundreds, Elk by the thousands and there is a smattering of Moose, Coyote, and other animals. We made a rule at the beginning of this trip to never drive at night and have mostly adhered to it. But this weekend we had Emergency Room rotations so we had to make a trek out to Riverton, WY.
It happened on the way from Jackson at 18:55 on Friday. A huge bull Elk weighing over a thousand pounds awaited the FJ around the bend on Route 89. I took evasive action but I didn’t see him till the very last minute. The FJ struck him on a glancing blow on the driver’s side, flipping him over the roof and back down. The windshield was smashed and the A-pillar mostly held but might be compromised. The one inch tubular steel tubing of the GOBI rack was bent back and most of the PIAA lights were smashed.
Incredibly both Neena and I were completely unharmed. The local policeman was astonished that not only were we uninjured but that the FJ was drivable after the impact. This car is nothing short of amazing for we now owe it a large debt that we cannot repay. I hope that the damage to the A-pillar is superficial and the car is not totalled.
I consider myself to be the most fortunate man alive, to be able to continue having experiences, to enjoy the company of my wife, and to have such caring friends. Our fellow students Christine (Nean), Linda, and Emily stopped to help, their faces full of concern. With our escort, the FJ limped back to the Teton Science school…