Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6 (Day 187) - To Wray for the big prairie-chicken hunt!

The internet at my hotel is beyond atrocious. I am sitting in the office typing this. I need to go get dinner before this tiny town shuts down - if it isn't already, since its a Sunday.

Today I biked 97 miles from Sterling, CO to Wray, CO. I spent a few hours during the middle of the day biking through what looked like good prairie-chicken habitat. Although I did to see anything in the 98F midday temps, I got a good lay of the land so that I know what to expect when I get back out there very early tomorrow morning. This whole venture feels a bit half-baked, so I am not expecting much. Who knows, maybe it will work out, but it will be an expensive miss if it doesn't ( > 300 miles for one bird!)

97 hot miles today

As I said yesterday, I am meeting Sonia in/around Cheyenne on the 11th, so I have a bit of time before then. This is as good as use of it as any, I suppose. Sonia is actually driving to California where she will spend the 2nd half of the year. She is going to escort me across Southern Wyoming where there is no support (water, food etc) and onto Salt Lake where we will spend a day or two. This will work just like Texas where I will carry my full load and see her when I arrive at my destination each night. We might probably be forced to camp one night in south central Wyoming where there is one particularly desolate 110-mile stretch between Rawlings and Rock Springs. This area is supposed to be really hot and windy, so I am a bit nervous about it. July is shaping up to be my heaviest month of riding so far this year. This is in large part due to my decision to try for the prairie-chicken these 2 days. If I miss I will stay here again tomorrow and take one more crack at the bird on Tuesday as I head back north. 

The only bird of note today was a single Upland sandpiper observed about 8 miles north of Wray.

If anyone has any off-lek experience with prairie-chickens in Wray, I would be very interested to hear about it - ASAP!

That's it for today since the office closes soon and I need to go find food. 

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