I got rolling early this morning to beat what potentially bad weather might materialize this afternoon. Despite the nasty forecast, I had a good feeling about today. I will attribute this to the french toast sticks served at breakfast at the Best Western in Pocatello this morning. These might be the best breakfast item ever! The weather looked ominous as I hit the road after breakfast, but miraculously it passed without dumping any rain on me. I even had 2 hours of sunshine before the clouds closed back in during the last 20 miles of the 85-mile ride. I rode the interstate all day, and, although it was a bit monotonous, the road was in great shape and it had a nice, wide shoulder. Both the wind and rain picked up exponentially after I left the Canton Buffet where I ate lunch in Burley; My timing was perfect! I am now hunkered down for the evening, and I will get ready and rest for more long rides the next two days.
85 miles today. Had to use car feature since bike
feature won't let me on interstate (even though its legal)
I did have one interesting run-in along my route today. Edith, a woman with whom I spoke on the phone about lodging, passed me on the road and pulled over to say hello. She said she recognized me from the Biking for Birds license plate! We chatted for a fe minutes before she hit the road again en route to a concert in Boise. I grabbed a quick photo before she took off.
One of the problems that arises in birdwatching is observer bias. This means, basically, that people see what they want to see. A flyby Razorbill is easily turned into a Thick-blled murre by an inexperienced observed who is hoping to see his/her lifer Thick-billed murre on that day. Observer bias is a big problem anywhere where a person must use judgement to make an identification, estimation, or characterization. Scientific experiments are done "blind" so that the researcher does not know at which samples he/she is looking. Anyway, this long-winded intro is to show that our subconscious minds can sometimes influence what we think we see.
The Flying Boobs Ranch!
I can see Sonia shaking her head now.......
Birdwise today was very quiet as I was focused on making miles as fast as possible (I covered the first 70 miles of today's ride in 4 hours, 5 minutes!). My host's house overlooks the Snake River. There was a juvenile Bald Eagle roosting on the bank when I arrived. There is also a large farm field filed with birds across the street. A first pass through the birds yielded Ring-billed, California, and Franklin's gull as well as a dozen or so Caspian Terns.
Tomorrow its north and west towards Boise. It will take 2 more long days to reach that destination, so stay tuned!