It was a cold December day that I picked up a load of potato products in Burley Idaho going to Plover Wisconsin. After loading I headed east on I-84 to I-80 planning on a stop at Little America in Wyoming for fuel and a shower.
After topping off my tanks, parking and getting my shower done, I took the time to grab a bite to eat and sat with another driver who was an owner operator with the same company I drive for.
I told him where I was headed and that I was planning to go on I-80 over to Illinois then up to Plover. He started telling me of a short cut through the woods out of Rawlins Wyoming on US287, though he was telling me the whole route I wasn't listening cause my mind was made up to go the way I had already plan to travel.
I finished my meal and said goodnight, got back in my truck and started on down the highway again. Just before I got to Rawlins Wyoming, I pulled over and went to bed. The next morning I awoke to another cold day and made myself some breakfast in the truck, dotted my lines in the logbook and headed on down the road. When I saw the sign for US287 I thought, what the heck. I haven't ever been this way so why not try it even though I couldn't remember just what route the driver had told me.
A few miles north of Rawlins I started seeing a few Golden Eagles, some sitting on fence post others flying and I started to pray to Creator for some feathers to use for ceremonial reasons. Being of Cherokee decent, and following a traditional spiritual path, we use Eagle feathers in our ceremonies and I needed some for a prayer fan made of the wings.
Not very long after I had prayed I saw a Golden Eagle sitting on the other side of the road just over a fence by a truck pull out area, and I knew something was wrong. So when I saw a pull out on my side just a short way down the road I pull in and turned around and headed back to the other pull out where the eagle was at.
After parking I got out and went to where the Eagle was at and walked right up on him. He didn't move except to turn his head and look at me. I talked to him for a few seconds then went back to my truck to get my camera cause I knew no one would believe this without pictures.
When I got back to him I took a couple of pictures then climbed over the barbed wire fence, took my jacket off and touched it to him to see what he would do. He didn't move except to watch me. So I went around behind him and laid my jacket over him and picked him up gently, climbed back over the fence and took him to my truck. I was going to just call 911 and try and get help out to him but my cell phone was in a no service area.
I loaded him up in the truck on the floorboard of the passenger side and took off to Casper where I was hoping to find a Vet that worked on birds. After getting into Casper, all the Vets I called said they didn't work on birds so I headed north in hopes of finding a Vet in the next town which was Wright and found no Vets at all there when I got there.
The Eagle wasn't moving at this time and was lying down on the floor. After prodding him with a back scratcher I keep in the truck he still didn't move, so I prayed again to Creator and asked for a sign to tell if I should keep looking for a Vet or go ahead and do the proper prayers and take the feathers I was needing.
No more than a couple of seconds after I finished my prayer the Eagle shook my jacket off, stood up, turned around and looked at me for a couple of minutes before turning back around and laying back down. I knew then what I had to do and headed on up to Gillette Wyoming where I called a couple more Vets.
On the second call they gave me a number for a lady named Diane that had a Raptor Rescue and Rehab Center. So I called her and she wasn’t home, but as luck would have it she did have an answering machine and I left her a message with my cell number. Five hours later she finally called back and came to get the Eagle.
When she got there I asked her if I could go with her to the Center to see how the Eagle was. She suggested that we keep the eagle in the truck and I follow her to the center rather than moving the eagle twice. So we did and off we where to her center.
Along the way the Eagle had a bowel movement on the floor of the truck and all over my jacket. A blessing of sorts.
After getting the Eagle to the center we took him inside and Diane starting mixing up some medicine for him. She told me he was a young male, possibly under a year old even though he was full-grown he wasn't mature. She said he was hemmorging in his head and had a broken wing and didn't think he would make it through the night.
Even with the odds against him, Diane stayed up with him all night giving him medicine and checking on him, and I headed on down the road and spent the night in Rapid City, SD. The next day I checked on him and he was still alive but his condition was the same, critical.
The following afternoon I called again to check up on him and he was still alive and the hemmorging had stopped even though one eye was still swelled shut and blood had gotten in the other eye, the Eagle was blind.
She was able to further examine him and found his broken wing was not broken all the way through and was broke above the joint, which was good cause it can heal well like that and she tied his wing down so he couldn't move it.
At this time the Eagle is still healing and blind, but its still only a few days after he was injured. We hope that his sight will come back so he can be released back to the wilds where he belongs. This is what I pray for and ask you to pray for him also.
The moral of this story I think is, be careful what you pray for and prayer does work. By the way, I gave him the nickname Grandfather Goldie, so when you pray you will know what his name is.
News Update. After about a year and a half of rehab, Im happy to report that Goldie was able to be released in Wind River Canyon to once again fly free. This was only made possible thru the healing care and love of Diane at the Raptor Rescue and Rehab Center up in Gillette Wyoming.
Diane Morse runs this rescue program out of her own pocket without help from any Federal or State help. The name of her program is N.E.W. Bird Rescue and Rehab, located outside of Gillette Wyoming and is a 501 non profit organization.
If you can spare some cash, donations would be appreciated and it also is a tax deduction. Right now they could use money to buy things like examination tables, a better phone system so she can be in touch at all times, and to install a running water system in the center, and also expand the center to make room for more birds.
While I was there she had a couple more Eagles, a few Hawks and Flacons, and a couple of Owls, all there for rehab. She also helps other wild animals to recover from injuries caused by many different types of accidents and some from people that either tried to poison them or shot them, which is very illegal.
All raptors are protected by law, even though they shouldn't need to be protected; we should just do it because they are such beautiful creatures. If you've ever seen an Eagle or Hawk hunting or just soaring on the wind then you know what I mean.
Donations can be sent to Diane at:
N.E.W. Bird Rescue and Rehab
325 Cook Rd.
Gillette, WY 82716
and she can sill use donations to help other eagles and other raptors.
Make checks payable to: NEW Bird Rescue and Rehab
During the summer Goldie started responding to all the help Dianne had been giving him and was able to start the towards full recovery. The following spring he was able to be released back into the wild where he belongs. He was released in the Wind River Cayon area of Wyoming, not far from where I found him. Thanks for all your prayers and support, but please remember Goldie is only one Eagle that needed help and there are many many more so please help with donations to Dianne's rehab center.