A blustery 45 miles from Las Cruces, NM,
Cold air (blue) pushing south across the US.
I am - roughly - at the gray dots.
Wind had a more southerly component earlier in day.
It's quite incredible to think that, baring something completely unforeseen, I will be in Texas for the next 6 weeks! This time will be added to the ~ 4 weeks I spent here from April 15 to May 11; This means that I will have spent more time in Texas than any other state. California will weight in a distant second having occupied 6 full weeks of my time. The shortest time I spent in any state was about 15 seconds - literally. While I was in Wyoming, I spent one night about a mile from the Wyoming-Nebraska border. The following day, I rode into Nebraska just long enough to say that I had been there on my adventure. I have a picture of the Nebraska state sign for my effort!
On a different note, I want to specifically address a comment that was left one the blog yesterday. I understand what the person is trying to say, but his point is difficult to understand as it muddled with his personal attack on me. Therefore, I'll address some of the underlying and implied concerns with a credibility and clarity that I think far outweighs that of the original poster.
"Call me a troll or a hater, but all the help your [Sic] craving for and get by motorized people bringing tents, tubes, food or helping you finding those more difficult species transforms your year from green to something like greenish with a distinct crude oil-black tinge. Otherwise, good job" - David
Have I had help this year? Sure. Does that in any way alter or detract from the novelty of the project, the associated challenges, or the satisfaction I will derive from it? No. David, if you in fact bike everywhere, grow your own food, compost your feces, have no children, never utilize airplanes, and don't use electricity, then you are in a position to criticize me. Unfortunately, David, your existence as a human being, like my own, isn't fundamentally green. Being a human being has an environmental cost associated with it - petroleum use included. No Big Year can be perfectly green, and with all due respect to the dozen or people who have undertaken green Big Years before this one, no one has ever managed to see more species using less. If, in 2015 or beyond, you decide to undertake a project of this magnitude, then you are free to run it by whatever rules you see fit. Additionally, if you do it in a "greener" way than I have, I'll be the first guy in line to shake your hand.
In fact, one of the more obvious and actually valid critiques of my year is my generation of trash at the fast food restaurants where I frequently eat. Sonia and I normally cook all our own meals; Each meal generates very little trash. However, this year I am certainly generating more trash per meal than I do when at home. I am the first person to champion my accomplishments. However, I am also able to level criticism at my own project with a credibility that the commenter clearly lacks. David, when you do your Big Year and feed on nothing but roadside grass, again, I will be the first person in line to congratulate you. In fact, I think we should genetically engineer you with plant biosynthetic genes so that you can do the first Photosynthesis Big Year! Now that would be really green!
The other consideration in this whole discussion is the physical aspect. Who cares if I got help from people who brought tents on 5 (five!) out of 365 nights? The fact that they did bring tents meant that I could push myself physically harder than if they had not. I still carried my usual weight, I just stayed in a tent versus a hotel. With this help, I could reach and blog about areas and species that might have otherwise been omitted from the discussion this year. I also met and spent some extended time with some incredibly interesting people. That people have helped me does not change the fact that I have biked 15,400 miles this year. David, if you've biked more, please let me know, I would love to donate on a per-mile basis to whatever good cause you're raising money! *cue the crickets*
Lastly, the whole point of this project is to involve as many other people as possible. It is a project for the birding, biking, and environmental communities. I am so happy that people have felt connected to the project. I am honored and humbled that people have taken time out of their lives to help me in so many different ways. I think that says a lot about the adventure and about me as a person. Again David, if you want to run your future project differently, please feel free. Hopefully you won't get hit by a truck, but if you do, please don't call 911. That gas-burning ambulance would really taint your Photosynthesis Big Year!
The point, distilled from all sarcasm, is that I know my year isn't perfectly green. I never claimed it to be so. I welcome constructive comments from readers, but personal attacks are just a waste of time - and electricity.