Flattened Fauna Part 4

22 Jun

After 5300+ miles, I need to declare another new winner in the flattened fauna highway contest!

The entries included 1 Elk (Wyoming), 4 deer, 3 prong horn antelope,  a dozen skunks and equal number of racoons, a large number of unidentifiable furry blobs and 1 turtle that I really hoped finished the last 3 feet of highway crossing but I doubt it. There were not as many entrants as I would have expected for that distance except for the surprise winner. I don’t know if that is a sign that the surviving animal gene pool is smarter or if there are just fewer animals to enter the contest.

Now for the winner: exploded truck tires! I know that they are not really fauna although they might be considered a distant relative because they do contain oil. I could rename the contest Flattened Flora and Fauna to include the rubber plant but that doesn’t seem quite right. The shredded rubber, however, was a clear winner because I could not go a mile without seeing pieces lining the shoulder of the road. There were also dozens of larger pieces in the middle of each lane on the freeways. Cars would go to extremes to dodge them. I was really glad I was not driving my little car because it sits so close to the roadway. As it was, the camper has high clearance and I wasn’t too concerned about the smaller pieces I could not avoid.

I traveled the same general route 3 times last summer and do not remember seeing quite so much shredded rubber. If I were an optimist, I could say this was a sign that the economy has improved and there are more trucks on the road.  There are a lot of truck on I-80, 80, 84 and 70 but I don’t think there were more (or even as many.) If I were a pessimist, I might conclude that this was a result of a poor economy and a higher use of retread tires or lack of funding for clean up. That might be the case but I really don’t have proof. As an old person I’ll just declare that the  they just don’t make things like they used to!

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