.......and Reflections

Monday, May 16, 2011

Looking Down the Road: It's only 1,875 miles to Glacier National Park

It is hard to imagine that we are right in the middle of the best period of the Ohio North coast spring bird migration because this would be a series of consecutive terrible days even in March. To make matters worse, this has been and continues to be a consistent weather pattern.

It is so bad that one can only hope that the weather changes and the spring migration returns with blazing colors the rest of May. The only silver lining has been taking the last couple of days to prepare for an annual June road trip. I plan to blog along the way and you will find that my blog will live true to its name.

I call this trip an American Heartland Tour because it makes a circle from Cleveland, north and west along U.S.Route 2 to the northern Rocky Mountains, south along the Eastern Rocky Mountain slope, then east across the plains, Bighorn Mountains, Black Hills and Nebraska sand hills, returning to Cleveland.

This will be my 18th Heartland Tour. Most trips have been in June because June is the month that America's birds and wildlife emerge from winter and begin to breed and raise families. It is a very exciting and bountiful time for wildlife observers and participants alike. If you follow this adventure through my blog I am sure you will be amazed at the spectacular wildlife experience.

This is a birding trip. Birding provides a wonderful opportunity to observe nature and to view wildlife in every form. Each year I travel the same route but either plan to explore or end up exploring along the way. This year I have two additional agendas. First I am looking at this as 2  future birding tours: one east and the second west. These will be trips I will plan and lead beginning in 2012. The second agenda is to blog about this trip so people can follow the adventure if they choose to, or inspire readers to create their own adventure.

I don't have a GPS for my Toyota truck. This trip doesn't have addresses to punch in and some of the roads aren't the the shortest distance between two traditionally improved locations. This trip is scratched on Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska Atlas & Gazetteers. I rely on Lane ABA and other bird and wildlife observation guides Guides, local maps and local checklists. I bring a library of field guides for everything that walks, flies, crawls, swims or grows.

I am not an expert but rather an experienced student. I am not searching for something new although there will be those discoveries. I am looking forward to returning to places I love and seeing birds I know well and some I want to know better. There may be close encounters with a variety of critters and great care will be taken to anticipate these encounters to assure that they are safe for all involved.

I am pumped! This is an awesome adventure that never tires. I can't wait to share the fun and the joy of a birding road trip.

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