Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 24 (Day 175) - A very hard ride today, not much birding, fundraising update

Today was a moving day as I rode 72 miles from Buena Vista, CO to Dillon, CO. This ride was designed to set me up to take a few more cracks at ptarmigan and rosy-finch. The ride today was very painful for two reasons. First, the 45 of the first 47 miles were uphill (4300' total climbed in that stretch). This wore me out very early in the day. Second, there was a north wind that came and went over the course of the day. As I was headed north, this made life additionally painful at times. When I finally did reach the downhill section of the ride, the wind was hammering at 15-20 MPH. This was enough to make what should have been a nice coast into town a bit of a headache. The only real bird of note today was a pair of Osprey along the Arkansas River near Granite, CO. I am always surprised when I see these guys along rivers that are surrounded by otherwise incredibly arid areas.

Roadside lake and view from today

A great bike lane in Silverthorne/Dillion this afternoon!

I survived today, but I am I really, really beat up at the moment. I am not sure what to do about this. My ride out of Dillon will require a big climb to reach Loveland Pass, and I am not sure if I can do this ride tomorrow. This would mean a recovery day in this area. The general pattern that is emerging is that I need to 2 days to recover from the these monster climbs up to 11,000' plus. Today I topped out at 11,300. Loveland pass is at 11,500. It's only 15-16 miles to reach it, but I'll gain almost 3000' in about 10 miles of that - UGH. Right now, I will say that I am really questioning my decision to try for these 2 birds. It might have been more advisable to ride to ride east from Gunnison onto the Front Range where I could potentially have spent more time looking for birds that aren't going to ruin me. The flip side of this is that there aren;t to many mountain bird to find, so I can invest lots of time in each. My only way out of where I am now is over Loveland Pass, so that has to happen. Unless I get some serious help with Guanella Pass (i.e. someone meeting me with a tent and sleeping bag so I can get two days of birding for doing the monster climb to reach it), I will probably scrub it at this stage. I am just so beat up right now. Maybe I'll feel differently, in a day or so, but who knows.

OK, enough pessimism. Let's switch over to good news. There has been an incredible response from folks after the announcement of the the $2,500 matching gift from Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT). In case you missed it, VENT has graciously offered to match up to $2,500 of the donations made between June 23 and July 7. If you have been thinking about making a donation, this incredible match offer makes today the perfect time! A huge thank you to everyone who has pitched in at any point this year. I think the fundraising needle is really starting to move in the right direction in a big hurry.


On another bright note, it looks as though I am going to get to see my two best friends from my boarding school days. The both live near Denver, and they are going to come meet me for an afternoon this weekend. It will be really good to see two of my oldest friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment