Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wildlife Facts and Western Beauty

If you've ever driven through a mountainous area, you've probably seen those truck escape ramps built on steep downgrades, to be used in case of brake failure.  They usually go straight up the side of the mountain and are covered in a deep bed of gravel or sand, to help slow you down or rocket off the mountain, whichever comes first.

Well, in Utah and other big game states, they have wildlife escape ramps. These are designed to give animals like deer, elk and wombats (presumably) a safe place to escape the highway if they find themselves on the wrong side of the fence. This lowers the chance of hitting one of these creatures with your car and totally ruining your day. And your underpants.

We saw these in southern Utah on I-15 at a rest area.  I thought it was a pretty good idea to put them so close the the vending machines.  Do you have any idea how fidgety and paranoid an elk can get once they're hepped up on Snickers™??

Jas doing an impersonation of a hepped up elk.
It's not pretty, people.

The Tumbleweeds have been out west a lot lately and I love it.  The sky is bigger, there are less people and even the dirt is pretty.  In Wyoming we have yellow, pink, orange and even purple dirt.

There's just something about the western half of the United States that draws me in. The land itself is a force to be reckoned with; it makes its presence known all around in the form of canyons, mountains, rock formations and outcroppings, and rushing rivers.  Not buildings.

I love the scenery out here so much I'm going to shut up and leave you with the views out of my office window this week in Wyoming and Utah.


  1. is that a coyote in the 1st picture? Since you like the west, maybe you are a real COWGIRL?!

  2. Glen, no silly that is Jas who is twelveteen times more wild than a coyote. And, is that a fat joke????! :0)

  3. I had always thought those gravel covered ramps in mountainous areas were for sledding.

    Truck escape ramps makes more sense. And answers my question as to why do they always build those sledding ramps so that they empty out into oncoming highway traffic.

  4. I had seen those animal ramps before while driving through Utah,but never knew what the hell they were. I knew about the truck ramps and thought that they couldn't be the same thing. Thanks for the info!

  5. Christian, I always have the urge to grab the steering wheel and take us up one of those ramps to find out if they really work. It's probably a good thing I don't drive!

    Meg, You're welcome. I'm like Woodward and Berstein of the highway. Probably.

  6. i'm a little jealous...i love the view out your office window!!
    and the best part is it's always changing!

  7. Girl, you're definitely talkin' my language when you say "the WEST"! The land rules here, that's for dang sure, and I can tell it has stolen your heart also... I know about the truck ramps, but somehow, in all my years of traveling, I never knew about those animals ramps! How did you ever figure out for sure what they were? It's nice that we humans are finally giving the animals a break (brake, too, I hope...but not always possible, I guess). Up around Banff, Canada, they've put in miles & miles of high fencinging on either side of the highway, along with fenced overpasses just so the elk, moose, deer, bear, etc. can safely cross the road. It makes a lot of sense, even tho I'm sure it cost mucho $$$. It's time we realize we are not the only important life on earth. Love your humor, by the way. You always make my day!!

  8. Thanks Ladybug! I wouldn't have known about those ramps either, but we came across an article in a wildlife magazine about them. It does make sense, for the animals and for us. In fact it makes so much sense, I'm surprised that it ever got approved!


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