Trackin Storms, Deer and Planes

On Monday, after a hellaceous Oklahoma thunderstorm, we decided to hang out inside for a bit. We did a little wetland design stuff and mostly made fun of Justin for shaving his head.

It got fun was later in the day, when Kenny, one of the USDA animal control guys, took us out to find a deer that had wandered into the base. Their job is basically to keep animals and planes from mixing with disastrous results, and a deer on the runway is their worst nightmare. Anyway, justin and I each walked to the opposite edges of the forest, where we could watch the mowed line next to the fence. Kenny came through the forest itself, hoping to flush the doe out so it would crawl or hop the fence in the same way it got in. So, as I'm watching the line I decide to call my parents, and as I'm talking to my mom, the deer pops out of the fence, either sees me or sees that its out in the open, and immediately runs back into the woods. This takes about two seconds. The next thing my mom hears on the phone is a really loud "I SEE 'ER!!!" followed by a quick explanation: "I'm tracking a deer, I gotta go!"

We couldn't find her again after that, so we decided to let her hang out in the woodpatch for the night, hoping that she would wander back through the fence the way she came. The USDA guys try to avoid shooting animals when they can, but if they can't flush that deer out they're gonna have to hunt her down. I asked what they do with the meat, and they said they usually donate it to charity, which is great and all but also a shame because deer is delicious! We had some venison chilli the other day and it was awesome.

After that, we washed the truck off (completely spotless!) and headed out on the runway. Any little rock can cause an accident, so its really important to have clean tires. We watched a little training fighter jet and a navy cargo plane land, and it was AWESOME! I've never seen a plane land that close to me. The lingo and chatter on the radio was also cool, since you have to announce before and during any crossing of runways or side streets. Kenny told us they apparently hate it when you say "Ten-four" or "clear" or any of what he called "redneck radio lingo." Hopefully we'll get to go out on the runway again, because it was quite an impressive experience.

Over and out!

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