Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sept 5 (Day 248) - A deceptively difficult day, thoughts of Sonia and my family

I continued making distance down the Oregon coast as I rode from Tillamook to Newport today. This ride was only 71 miles, but it really took a lot out of me. I think this was due to the 90F heat that arrived today and will stick around for the next few. It was been in the 60s and 70s for the last 2 weeks, so this jump into the 90s today really crushed me. Although the scenery on yesterday's ride was more spectacular, there was no lack of beautiful scenes today. I did make a few birding stops today, but most proved relatively fruitless. There was a fairly strong east blow for the entire day; This pushed what pelagics might have been around far enough offshore that I did not see any shearwaters all day. This is not the end of world as I will surely have more and better shots at pelagics as I head south towards Monterey, CA.

71 miles in the heat

I was hoping to do some birding around Newport today, but I was just too wiped out when I arrived. I spent the last part of the day vegging in front of the TV. I felt like a bit of a slug, but I just did not have the energy to do anything else. I am generally surprised at the energy levels I have maintained throughout the year, so an afternoon in front of the TV now and then is welcomed and deserved. While this year is tons of fun, it is equally exhausting. I would be lying if I said that I won't welcome the day when I don't have to pedal EVERYWHERE.

I am also really missing Sonia at the moment. I think she feels the same way about me right now. She is actually in Boston for work right now, and I think this has spurred some thoughts of our time together in the city we left behind 8 months ago. Normally at this time of year we are readying ourselves for the beauty that is fall in New England. Our trips to Fenway, hikes at any of the various Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuaries, and excursions to South Beach on Cape Cod will all have to wait until next year. Winter trips to Gloucester to look for rare gulls (Sonia's favorite!) and attendance at college hockey games will also be put on hold until at least January. It is incredibly difficult to be away from Sonia, but at least the separation has a very definite shelf-life. It will be so great to reunite permanently with her when this whole adventure is over!

Sonia and I have, however, sorted out a timetable for her next visit! Right now the plan will be for her to join me around Eureka/Arcata and accompany me south at least to San Francisco. If I could convince her to spend some time in Monterey that would be ideal since I won't be moving much during those days. I will also see her and her family as I pass through Southern California in October. It will be nice to see so much of each other in the next two months. As an added bonus, there is a chance my mom will join us in Los Angeles! Sonia, mom, and dad will likely come to meet me in Texas at the end of the year as well. It will be great to be able to share the end my adventure with them. Unlike a conventional Big Year where it is possible to jet home for a few days, I haven't had that luxury. It has been 248 straight days on the road for me, and it certainly takes heavy physical and emotional tolls. One day at a time, one day at time........

Double trouble - Mom and Sonia!

Mom (Bea) and Dad (Clive)

Tomorrow I will cut inland towards Corvallis which will serve as they base for the first round of Dorian vs. Mountain quail. I have been pointed to Mary's Peak west of the city by several folks. It would be great to nail this bird down this weekend, so stay tuned!

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