50 miles - I couldn't make a perfect bike map since I
did some riding on the interstate
I simply cannot stress enough how exhausted I am at this stage of the year. This physical condition translates into an incredible lack of motivation at year's end. I am really, really ready for this whole thing to end. It has passed the point of being enjoyable and now is one giant slog. Yes, all big years slow down at the end. However, petroleum-based birders could be at home with their families waiting for their phone to ring with news of one last bird appearing somewhere on the continent. If the phone never rings, they can just hang out and enjoy the holidays. This is not so for me. I am alone as ever, and I am still laying down miles on weary legs. Tomorrow I will - hopefully - ride 92 miles north to Corsicana, and on Friday I will ride the ~65 miles to White Rock Lake in Dallas to look for Little gull in the afternoon. At least for the next two days, there is no rest in sight. Mentally, I am completely done right now. I am literally out of things to think about. Cursing the wind was all I could do today. It was really awful. Thankfully, the wind is going to swing around to blow stiffly from the the south the next two days. Without these tailwinds, I might just ride the bike into oncoming traffic and be done with it. Yeah, it's that bad.
Speaking of beat up, my gear is literally falling apart before my eyes. My rear rack on which most of my weight is carried is cracked-through in two places. My rear fender cracked in half and the one half had to be jettisoned. Today, my handlebar-mounted phone holder completely shattered. Also today, the zipper on my insulated jacket broke irreparably. I purchased a $10 sweatshirt to battle the 37C morning temps tomorrow. My tripod lost a critical knob from the constant bouncing on the road; I had to go MacGyver to fix it. The corse focus knob on my scope has broken for a second time. I am willing to bet my life that this was also due to excessive rattling along crappy roads. I am not sure what is in worse shape, my body or my gear.
Incidently, the Fort-tailed flycatcher was not seen today either. Had I chased that bird 230 miles in the wrong direction and not found it, the bike would certainly have been thrown into Galveston Bay and the year would have come to a premature but incredibly welcome end. I can only laugh at how miserable I am right now. In some respects the blog is the main thing keeping me going. Without it I could quit and no one would be the wiser! All joking aside, I will somehow finish the year out, new birds or not. While it will be awful/torturous for the next week, I'll be glad I didn't fold the tent 20 years from now.