This past week I was fortunate enough to embark on a two night mildly expensive camping extravaganza with three of my closest friends. Due to recent surgery scheduling I made the decision to plan a less than 72 hour “roughing it” in the woods as this summers enjoyable vacation. We went to Letchworth State Park or what they claim to be the “Grand Canyon of the East”. I will say it was quite grand, I will also venture to say our “roughin’ it” included a cabin with indoor heating, microwave and only the minimum of ants crawling all over the walls. To say I have stories about the less than 72 hour extravaganza would indeed be an understatement, but of the all the stories only one really sticks out from the rest. It is the story of paralyzing panic and tantalizing tears.
this is a photo I snagged of the interior of our cabin.. I know “roughing it” is definitely and understatement.. it was pure torture.. Just kidding this is a five star hotel presidential suite room.
In order to really dive third knuckle deep into the details of this story I am compelled to give some back story, to set up the scene for what seems to be my ultimate fear.
Four pampered suburban college aged girls decided to go to what seemed to be the middle of no where for a two night stay. If that statement didn’t clue you in on how bad we over packed and forgot some of the essentials and replaced them with comforts, let me reassure you now… we packed like mildly stupid pampered suburban girls. I really decided to take charge of most of this trips planning, therefore my car was what we traveled in. I drive a 2010 Ford Focus.. I call it my baby clown car because no matter who or what you have in my car, they or it always seems to look like sardines tightly and strategically packed in there. Between my baby clown car and the over packed comforts for our less than 72 hour stay in an area where cell phone reception was limited, it was shocking to me our respiration wasn’t compromised. It was a warm and sunny Tuesday afternoon, the hour trip that turned into a two hour trip was at the 45 minute mark just about. I joked about having a dream about that moment the show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” called me asking about this trip we were embarking on. The road we were on was long, straight beautifully paved and surrounded by farm land. The speed limit was 55 and I was essentially taking advantage of the deserted atmosphere around us and capitalizing on the zip my baby clown car has. I had my window cracked, the music playing softly in the back ground and three friends delighted to be on vacation finally. My long time friend Jenny as my co-pilot and Shannon and Joelle acting out scenes from a potential episode of “Hoarders: Buried Alive” in the back seat under their sleeping bags, pillows, bags and board games.
“Caitlin there is something in the middle of the road”
“Is that a Vulture?”
“Oh no that’s going to crash through the windshield.. IT’S COMING THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD”
In the midst of the mildly paralyzing panic and tantalizing tears that didn’t materialize on my face I managed to jerk my car to the other lane before coming up on the fresh road kill and massive vulture engulfing the road kill. Only the swerve, screams and terror that immersed my car at that moment also seemed to startle the Vulture from it’s feeding frenzy on the pile of animal that wasn’t distinguishable to me due to my high pitched “middle aged man getting hit in the groin” scream.
The 30 to 40 pound beast spread it’s wings in an attempt to pillage and burn my vehicle as I attempted to swerve out of it’s path. The wing span was easily 6 feet in length, the bird a terrifying and slow moving creature heading towards the windshield of my car.
The lyrics “And the tears come streaming down your face” by that one random Coldplay song flashed into my head.
This moment which is ingrained into my memory forever lasted approximately .065 of a second, but packed a big panic filled punch. The bird did end up hitting my car, it was more like a bounce I guess. It bounced off the drivers side door/window, had a moment to regain it’s composure and then after my crazy car was long gone went back to feasting on the pile of animal sitting in the middle of the road.
If any of you have any sense of calm intelligence.. the first thing you may desire to ask is “Why didn’t you brake and slowly yet safely maneuver around the feasting beast?” To tell you the truth that makes sense, the situation would be less panic filled and more controllable. However, the Beast with a 6 foot wing span would have more time to position itself in full blast attack mode flight square to my windshield and I would be killed and eaten on site, never to be heard from again. Yes I fully believe the vulture was a beast and did indeed have intentions of pillaging and burning my vehicle if I had given him the chance. Maybe I watched too many Disney movies where the ugly creatures of the planet are evil masterminds that are put here to mess you up or maybe Disney is trying to tell the young people of America of the dangers of ugly creatures, never the less I am alive and able to tell the truth of that one time I was almost eaten by a Vulture.
“I’m an ugly, evil mofo!”