Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 12 (Day 193) - Laramie bound, Colorado calls again!

Yesterday's day off was very welcomed and helped to recharge my batteries enough to tackle a moderately difficult ride today. There was intermitant rain throughout the day, but at no point did the precipitation alter of affect my plans for the day. I had a fairly steady climb of ~3500' for the first 45-47 miles or so. This kept me going slow enough to do some roadside rubbernecking as I cruised along. I was able to see several more McCown's longspurs perched on fenceposts, and I had a single very large, presumed female Prairie falcon perched a top a telephone pole. For those that don't now this interesting tidbit, female birds of prey are larger than their male counterparts. This size discrepancy can be seen in the field by experienced eyes. Otherwise the birding was fairly slow as I made my way west to Laramie. I am staying with a blog reader, Don Jones, and his Dad, George Jones, who reached out to me when they heard that I would be rolling through Laramie. If I'm coming your way and you want to host me, just drop me a line. Just think, when you go to sell your house you can claim that Dorian Anderson of Biking for Birds fame once stayed at your house! This will undoubtedly drive buyers wild and ensure you the highest possible price for your property.

Google won't let me use the bike feature since
I rode on the interstate for 8-9 miles today!
Google d/n generate elevation profiles for car trips.

I will spend the night here in Laramie and head towards Walden, CO tomorrow. I am going to try to get a very early start so as to cover the 66 miles by the time the World Cup final starts tomorrow at 2pm. Check in time at my motel is 3pm, so I am going to have to break out my best charm to talk my way into my room an hour ahead of this time. Should all else fail I imagine there will be somewhere in town where I can catch the first half. It's not like the Rockies have such a loyal following that they can't be bumped off a TV at a local bar in favor of the soccer. I will be routing for Germany, for the record. 

The area around Walden looks very good for Greater sage-grouse. I will spend some time in the late afternoon and evening tomorrow looking for this would-be life bird. As per usual, if anyone has any information or advice on finding this bird around Walden or Arapahoe NWR, I would love to hear it! Should I miss the bird tomorrow, I can spend some time in the morning on Monday searching for it before I ride to Steamboat Springs in the afternoon. 

Queen Sonia and Maggie went to Rocky Mountain NP today where they were lucky enough to see a Black bear from the courtesy tram! I have not seen a bear this year so I am a bit jealous. There was a bit of a low point today when I saw a dead badger on the road. This is an animal I have never before seen alive in the wild, so it was a bit off-putting to see a dead on lying lifeless in the road today. Maybe I'll get lucky and find one of these at some point this year. Fingers crossed......

I spent a bit of time yesterday reworking what I think is a very nice shot of an American tree sparrow that I took on January 3 while snowed-in in Massachusetts. I have a tendency to crop my images a bit on the tight side so I wanted to loosen the frame up a bit. The color also struck me as being a bit too warm (yellow), so I tweaked a few other parameters to make the image "pop" a bit more. I love taking pictures, but I also love the ability to revisit the original files at a later date and tweak them when I learn new processing techniques or when my taste for a particular image changes. Everyone's taste is a bit different as well!



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