Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Educational Road-Kill

We took a trip to Altoona, PA this past weekend. Needed to do some shopping for Jonathan since he starts school next week. Why Altoona, you ask? Well, it's about an hour, maybe slightly more, away from us. It has many, many large retailers all close together, it's a nice drive, and Pennsylvania doesn't tax clothing. Hmmmm, so while we spent a ton more on gas than we saved on tax, we still got a nice outing, a nice drive, perfect weather and lunch at Olive Garden, which is pretty unusual for us (unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks for $5.99 - can't beat it)!

So we get on Rt. 220 North toward Altoona, and the road-kill begins. A squirrel here, possum here, porcupine up a few miles....this is nothing unusual, for some reason Pennsylvania doesn't get to their road-kill very quickly, if at all. We generally do see a LOT of dead animals along this route - maybe because a lot of trucks rumble through at night, but that's just a guess.

So we're crusing along, and we pass what looks like a fairly large animal, dead, of course, but we whizzed by so fast, we didn't really see exactly what it was. It started a debate between Mark and I for at least the next 5 miles. It was big, yes. Not a deer though - the fur was too long, too shaggy. A bear? Wrong color. Around here we have black bears, not grizzlies or brown bears. Ummmm, a rug that fell off the back of someone's pickup truck? :-)

Unable to reach a conclusion, we let it drop. Until late that afternoon, on the way home, when all the sudden, we remembered. Luckily, we hadn't passed it yet. We started looking, we slowed down. There it was. Wow. Bear. Definitely bear. But....again....wrong color. What the heck?

Well, guess what? Black bears do actually come in different colors, one being what they call "cinnamon". And upon researching it when we got home, we found that only 1% of the bear population in Pennsylvania is cinnamon in color. It isn't often you see a road-kill bear. It's not often you see a bear, period. So, road-kill aside, it was pretty neat to see one, particularly of that color.

And if you haven't blogged about road-kill, you just aren't blogging!

1 comment:

Ohighway said...

Well, Rebecca, I think you missed a golden opportunity. Seeing as you like natural, free range, grass fed meat..... well, you all could've just loaded up. I would have suggested this recipe:

1 lb. ground Altoona Cinnamon Bear
(the Route 220 variety, not the yucky "inferior" Route 219 stuff)
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 egg, beaten