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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


May 25, 2000

NEAR CRASH WITH THE 4-LEGGED KIND

I was really looking for my stop-over at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The state park is on the northern edge of the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway parallel to U.S. 101 about 20 miles (32 kms) south of Crescent City, California. There is a nice Hiker/ Biker campground right next to an open prairie that depending on the time of year can be filled with Wapiti (Roosevelt Elk). These Roosevelt Elk can weigh between 575 to 625 pounds (260 to 285 kg) for the female cows and between 700 and 1100 pounds (300 to 500 kg) for the male bulls.

It's about a mile (1.6 km) from the entrance where you pay the fees to the Hiker/Biker campground. Most of the way is downhill and there are a couple of blind curves. I decided to coast down the hill and I got up to around 14 mph (22 kmph).

On the second blind curve, I had to make a quick stop. There were a couple of male bulls standing in the roadway. One of the elk turned it's head and kind of looking at me like I had to watch myself. I had to patiently wait about fifteen minutes until the elk decided to move off the road.




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