Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 11 (Day 192) - Law and Order SVU, Deadliest Catch, and a new potential route west

First things first: we did INCREDIBLY WELL with the fundraising the past two weeks. During this period you donated over $6,500! This means Victor Emanuel Nature Tours will donate the full $2,500 match amount. This puts us at over $23,000 for the year! I want to thank everyone who made donations during this period or at any time in the year. Just remember, it is never a bad time to donate, so let's keep this momentum going through the summer. I also want to give a special shout out to VENT for their participation in this phase of fundraising. It's really great to see a eco/nature tour company backing conservation efforts! If you're looking for a tour anywhere in the world, definitely give VENT a really, really, hard look. You won't be disappointed.

I spent the entire day watching television and resting my sore ass and legs. I watched 7 episodes of Law and Order SVU and 3 episodes of Deadliest Catch (my 2 favorite shows). I spent most of this time fiddling online, and I think I have come up with an alternate route to Salt Lake that will permit more actual birding and cause less stress than the Southern Wyoming route I proposed a week or so ago. This route should take me through some prime Greater sage-grouse and Sharp-tailed grouse areas. There are also more towns along Route 40 in Colorado than along Interstate 80 in Wyoming. I think Route 40 will be more interesting than the interstate. For all these reasons, I think this will be a better route. 

Sonia and her friend Maggie showed up here at around 5:30pm. The two of them are on a short 6 day road trip of their own. They drove from Nashville > St. Louis > Salina, KS > Cheyenne. The family with which I stayed last night graciously offered to host all 3 of us tonight, so we have spent the afternoon and evening chatting, eating, drinking, and laughing with them and some of their local friends. It has been an absolutely perfect of rest. Tomorrow I will ride the ~55 miles to Laramie while Sonia and Maggie will head south to Rocky Mountain NP for the next 2 days. Sonia will drop Maggie off at the Denver airport on the morning of the 14th. She will then drive west to meet me on that night. Given the route change, this will probably happen in Steamboat Springs. Sonia will follow me west to Salt Lake over the course of the following week. At that point she will head south to Las Vegas and then onto to LA to stay with her family for a few months. I will head north towards Idaho before cutting back a bit to the east into Jackson Wyoming where I hope to bag Great gray owl, Black-backed woodpecker, Trumpeter swan, and Calliope and Rufous hummingbirds. I could also look for sage-grouse in Jackson should I still need it at that time. I expect to get Sagebrush sparrow somewhere in Western Colorado, and Sonia and I will take some nice hikes in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest to look for Black rosy-finch. I should get Chukar on Antelope Island in Salt Lake, and I might be able to tick Gray Partridge in Northern Utah or Idaho.

Me, Queen Sonia, Hostess Jolene, Host Ted, Daughter Emily, Friend Maggie

OK, that's it. Its Sonia time! I'll be back on the road tomorrow to Laramie. I'll check back in when I arrive.

Lebron back to the Cavs - YYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS!!!! I can dust off my James Cavaliers jersey I bought several years ago! I retired it when he signed with The Heat. I will definitely be on the Cavs bandwagon next year!

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