When the phone rings in the middle of the night in a cheap hotel room in Cody, Wyoming, you
|Actual hotel phone.|
“Rob? Did I wake you?”
My sister’s frantic, wavering voice came over the line.
“What a stupid question,” she continued without letting me answer. This really isn’t new for her. “It’s 1AM in the morning. Of course I woke you.”
Well, that answered that question. The bed was surprising comfortable for one of the cheapest hotels in Cody, Wyoming.
“Rob,” Kaleen continued, “I hit a deer.”
|Actual photo of Rob|
My mother’s direst prophecy had come true. Not—slow calculation—four hours earlier, she’d said that Kaleen would certainly hit something, and lo it had come to pass. Of course, my sister has a history of hitting things in the middle of the night on dark, deserted roads to nowhere. Wyoming pretty much qualifies as that and then some, so it was the confluence of two inevitabilities.
My brain didn’t snap into action, but lurched, like one of the walking dead from “The Walking Dead” television show.
“Are you ok?”
Good. Good big brother. Your first concern isn’t getting back to sleep. You didn’t calculate that you’re going to lose at least three hours helping here, or that you have to be up by 6 AM. It’s that your little sister is ok. Well played, sir. Well played.
“I don’t know,” Kaleen stammered out. “The car is a wreck. They told me to call someone to get me and you’re the only one I could think of.”
“Ok. Ok. Where are you?”
|All Wyoming Roads|
“I’m between mile-marker . . .”
Exactly. In Wyoming, and neighboring Montana, you don’t describe the town you’re near, but the rural road and the mile marker. All instructions are given this way. Sign posts are limited as well. You either know where you’re going or you leave the state.
This is also the point where I found out that my sister left on this long journey without A- Charging her mobile phone, or B- Remembering her charger.
Ladies and gentlemen: My Sister!
Also, Kaleen didn’t hit a deer. She hit an elk. Not just one elk, but a herd of them. She managed to find the only elk in all of Montana/Wyoming who decided to stroll across the highway at night, and took one of them out at the knees. The police officer who arrived on the scene had to put three shots into the animal to put it down.
This is her official account:
|Elky the Elk Ninja|
I don't know if you've ever been out in Big Sky Country. But, sometimes, out in there, you just have to kill things: mean bank robbers, tyrannical oil tycoons, herd of ninja elk. So, I got into my Hyundai Elantra and set off for Cody [Wyoming] knowing that it all might come down to just me and my trusty 4-door. God was watching over me, because instead of one lone elk, Elky the Ninja Elk brought her entire clan to take me down. But I said, “Not today, Elky. Not today,” and drove on through that herd until it was only me and Elky . . . and a nice trucker, and a nice police officer, and a nice highway patrol officer and then RobRoy came to take me to Cody because my car died in the fight. But sometimes, out in the wide, wild west, you just have to drive 65 and show Elky who’s boss.
Well then Wyoming and Montana, thank you for that adventure. I’m going to try to find my lost and missing sleep now.