Saturday, July 03, 2010

Encounter with "Jane Doe"

We were having a good trip until our run-in with "Jane Doe": camped three nights at Stony (or Stoney) Creek in Sequoia, then a couple of nights in a lodge in Oakhurst (about 16 miles from Yosemite's south entrance). A few highlights:
  • Hiking to Big Baldy, which I'd say is just as impressive as The Watchtower, but with a lot less work;
  • A drive into Kings Canyon -- only the lovely Carol had been there before -- which is like Yosemite, but without the crowds, fancy food, swimming pools, bike rentals, shuttle buses, etc.
  • The hike to Wawona Point, 1200' elevation gain from the Mariposa Grove parking lot and a beautiful, beautiful view. We also saw a marmot (unusual for this altitude) in the fallen tunnel tree.

The teen-ager had work on Monday, and the lovely Carol went home too, so just three of us went to Oakhurst: the ex-teenager, her boyfriend, and me. We went to a barbecue place on Father's Day, and on Monday night we went to "Kyoto Kafe", which also has a sign in front saying «우동» The food was great. The proprietor told me that «우동» is the Korean way to write "Kyoto".

The next morning, that fateful Tuesday, we got a fairly early start; there was almost no line at the south entrance to the park. We took the shortest route toward Tuolumne Meadows, and as we drove eastward on route 120 a little after 10AM, "Jane" came out of the woods from our left. She headed toward the car and seemed to run alongside for a moment. Then she drove her right shoulder into my left front fender. The driver's side-view mirror apparently hit her in the back of the neck (as I found out afterward). She gave the driver's window a whack with the side of her head, shattering it.

Then she ran left, across the road where she'd come from.

We pulled over and took a few photos of the car.

Further down the road, we came to a store which hadn't opened yet. They had some shrink-wrap for us, though, and we more or less wrapped the top half of the door. Then we drove on to the ranger station.

"One of your deer drove her shoulder into my fender and shattered my driver's window," I complained. The ranger made sympathetic noises and took down some information, in case my insurance...

Fortunately, no other deer attacked the car on this trip, though we saw one lurking behind a bend as we descended Priest Grade.

This car is 14 years old, and I have a $1000 deductible. I didn't want to pay $1000, so Wednesday morning I called the dealer about replacement glass for the window: $225 plus tax (overnight delivery). The lovely Carol picked it up for me Thursday. After I bolted it to the regulator, I found I couldn't close the window all the way.

It turns out that when in whacking my mirror, the doe also tweaked the channel that the window-glass glides in. A hammer and a wide-bladed screwdriver fixed that.

I'll never look at deer the same way again.

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