Sunday, April 27, 2014

Apr 27 (Day 117) - Motivation returns to reach 5,000 miles, Best Western information, new year bird!

Yesterday, I explained how I experienced a dip in my motivation and decision making ability. Today, everything returned to normal as I hammered out my longest riding day of the year to date (112 miles). These miles put me over 5,000 for the year! I made several important decisions, and I am very happy with the outcome of each. I have not yet sorted out what to do about the Attwater's, but I have put myself in a location from which either decision (try for it or bypass it) can be made without major alterations to my route. As I will show you, my ability to put myself in this position is thanks in large part to Best Western. I will explain using a map of today's ride.

A beautiful start to the day!

112 miles today to reach 5,005 for the year!

I got a nice early start from High Island this morning. There was a a very stiff south wind right from the start (~14 MPH), so this gave me a really nice push as I headed north towards my destination, the Best Western Dayton Inn and Suites. I covered this 60 miles in about 4 hours with one birding stop. I felt great when I arrived, so I decided to continue west another 35 miles to the Best Western Plus North Houston Inn and Suites. By this time the wind had built to 20-22 MPH.  It took quite a bit of energy to keep the bike running straight with a crosswind this strong, but I managed just fine. Surprisingly, when I arrived at the North Houston property, I still had a decent amount of juice left in my legs. I made one last revision to my plan, and headed another ~15 miles west to reach the Best Western Windsor Suites where I finally retired for the day. Having a multitude of options really helped me today. As of 2013, Best Western had 2,163 properties in the Unites States; This ensures I will frequently be able to find one of their hotels in which I can take refuge.

My home for the night - Best Western Windsor Suites

I was actually approached by one of my new friends at High Island about providing feedback for Best Western. Basically, he had decided that he was going to start staying at Best Westerns on his travels. He felt strongly that he should support the brand that is supporting so much of my year. He also asked if he should contact Best Western and let them know about his decision. I gave him an emphatic "Yes". Best Western is a great, environmentally conscious brand, and it would be great if people would think about staying with them moving forward. Please, Best Western know this, and please, let them know that their support of my year means something. I have below provided a few links that people can use to contact the brand. Notes as simple as "Thanks for helping with Biking for Birds" would go a long way to ensure continued support in the future. If you have a few seconds, I would really appreciate any time folks could take to do this. Please consider Best Western in your future travel plans. I promise you won't be disappointed!

You can read about Best Western's commitment to the environment here and here.

Birdwise today, it sometimes felt like I was back in Florida. I had a my second Crested Caracara of the year today. My only other was in in Florida. I also had several soaring Anhingas over Liberty TX, and a few Swallow-tailed kites in the same vicinity. However, the highlight of the day was surely the 4 Mississippi kites (#333) that flew over the road just outside of Liberty. One bird came over the tree tops and gave me a few overhead passes before it disappeared out of view. It was followed by 3 others although these were much soaring much higher. This is only the second time I have ever seen this species. This first time was an immature bird flying over the famous Beanery at Cape May, NJ on a spring day sometime back in the mid 1990s! This was certainly a welcomed find today.

The weather tomorrow looks a bit iffy, so I am hopefully going to schedule my movements between cloud bursts. I will keep everyone posted!


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  2. When I was driving across the country last fall, one of the wheels flew off my car as I was driving through the Mojave desert in southeast California. The nearest hotel on hand was the Best Western in Needles, CA, where I very comfortably stayed for four days as my car was fixed, and it was conveniently right across the street from the shop where my car was being repaired. I was very thankful for the comfortable stay and the very kind and helpful staff during a very stressful few days, and I made an effort to stay at Best Westerns for the rest of my trip. Definitely my favorite hotel chain after that and I'm glad they're supporting you too!

    1. Yeah, BW has been great for me! Will definitely deal with them moving forward!