Headed out for my usual 100-150 mile jaunt along roads that parallel the Savannah River here in the Low Country of South Carolina where I live. Got about 15 miles from home along a rather desolate road that sees very little traffic and noticed something against the far edge of the other lane next to the high grass. Did not appear to have any relative movement to me and my first thought was it could be an oak tree limb blown into the road from an afternoon thunderstorm. My speed was about 50mph, just the right speed for my eyes to soak up the sights of the swamps, sky, and road hazards yet leave me ample reaction time for the unforeseen things that happen to riders. As I got closer, probably 100 feet, I noticed the object had increased its height and I could see daylight beneath it, not something common amongst oak tree limbs in my universe. Then very quickly I noticed several other facts; it had legs, it was moving towards me, and it was an alligator. No real alarms went off as they are common sights on my rides but are generally in the water and more or less just another sight in the swamps. I slowed slightly without braking and MSF class data burped into my brain: firm grip but not overly stiff, hit the object perpendicular, do not be braking as you cross it(I think), and wish yourself good luck. But he was in the other lane just running along the edge of the pavement so it would be just a friendly "tootsie roll" wave, the same courtesy given to every other biker or alligator. Then about the time I was ten feet from him he executed the smartest and sharpest "Left March" I have ever seen from a quadraped that also has the potential to make nice boots. Little Allie was gonna get nailed but good. I think my MSF instructor once said, "Look at where you want to live, stare at where you want to die", or something similar, and so I did not give the impact scene but a millisecond of attention. It seemed to me I was going to run over his tail and figured it was best for everybody involved but he stopped and I nailed his Thinkbox. Got stopped and turned around, shut down, parked, helmet & gloves off, changed glasses, and of course got out the camera. Damn. Didn't bring my regular camera but had my IPhone.(Another routine I had changed for this ride was a decision, based on the roads I ride, was to start carrying a very small dosage of a prescription pain reliever in case I ended up in the ditch hurt.) As I approached the alligator he was laying on his back and appeared to be bleeding but was not moving. When I got within about 10 feet he flipped over on his stomach but made no further movements. I tried stomping my feet to get a reaction but saw nothing as far as eye movement or breathing or twitching from injuries. I started recording per the "pics or it did not happen" mantra. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPnspGQwiJ0&feature=youtube_gdata_player I felt bad for having run over the critter but immediately was overwhelmed at the potential photo ops before me. First, I would lay beside him and do something distasteful. Then I could drape him along the seat with his face over the windshield with me laying on the road, the front wheel up against my neck. Him riding pillion. It was going to be a fun event. I could post it all on CrocBook and InstaGator for all his friends to Like. Well, maybe just one more check of his vital signs before we get into the merriment of corpse posing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHa362UiRFM&feature=youtube_gdata_player Damn. Scratch the photo shoot. Compassion rose its ugly head and I wondered if I could get one of those pain pills into his mouth for a little relief from the BWM headache I had imposed upon his cranial area. Geez, the serendipity of bringing those little pills was just too much. I also had a Camelback full of ice water to get them sliding down the gullet and speed the recovery. Healthcare being what it is in this day and time, I find out he has neither insurance nor sufficient cash to cover the procedure so he is denied roadside palliative care and is informed of the decision. I got him a little closer to the side of the road with not much trouble and very little reaction from him. Decided there was not much more I could do for him and it was time to turn my attention to me. I was baking in the Aero and my core temp needed some moving air. One last video of him before I left. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kekxGZFNH8&feature=youtube_gdata_player As I was getting the gear back on the alligator rose up on his legs and headed across the road from whence this misadventure has begun, got to the edge of the highway, turned left to parallel the grass and continued his journey down the road in the original direction. His self confident gait was the result of having met adversity, matched its mettle, and prevailed. I was flabbergasted, amazed, and elated beyond words for him. Some events in life are a great privilege to behold.