Monday, August 14, 2006
Silly rabbit, tricks are for squids!
West Texas is literally infested with Jackrabbits and Cottontails this summer. I've never seen anything like it, and the ride some members of my motorcycle group and I took last night was food for thought on just how bad the problem -- if it can be called that -- has become.
My friend Jimbo, his wife Tami, and I met in Midland around 10:30 last night and headed for the Starbucks in Odessa, where we met some other riders. Our plan was to ride far south into northern Crane County, and find a place in the pitch black of the desert to watch the Perseid meteor shower, which we did -- eventually. Our journey ended up taking much longer than expected, because just south of the Ector County line, the ride quickly became a 30-mile-per-hour swervefest as we entered a strange, surreal world where the clouds had apparently rained down bunnies by the literal thousands onto the roads and into the fields around us.
I personally hit three rabbits with no damage to my bike or bodywork before we finally reached our destination. My buddy Jimbo wasn't as lucky. He hit a gigantic Jack and ended up with a cracked lower.
But the story of of our sojourn through the great Leporidaeic pestilence of the Permian Basin does not end there. We then headed east and north into Midland County, where the destructively numerous influx of rabbits subsequently became a sad comedy of flying, spinning, whirling carcasses claimed by the merciless ingress of our flight of sportbikes. In some spots, little grey bunnies of every size and shape were collected into groups of up to 100 on the roadsides. As we approached, they would -- quite amazingly -- sprint from the safety of the bar ditch right out in front of us in a crazed, irrational panic that left a gaggle of them quite dead at our hands. Mean as this may sound, I at one point found myself laughing at the acrobatic flushings of the little dumbasses into all directions and contortions as they glanced off of our front tires.
By the time we made it to Warfield, we reckoned that we had run over somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 rabbits, and that we had seen in excess of 1,000. It was an absolutely unreal experience of the highest order.