The Trip That Almost Wasn’t

We’ve long planned to visit Tyson and his family in Colorado, but things kept pushing it back. First, it was my desire to finish my backyard project, or at least finish the main part of it. After we finished that project, we decided that it would not be wise to travel with so many fires burning in the West, especially with my COPD.

As it turned out, we ended up visiting nearly the same time we have visited the last two or three years because the kids have a 4 day weekend. We made a brief stopovers at Malheur National Refuge and Bear River Migratory en route to Broomfield. Often we manage to catch all the kids in at least one soccer game during this visit. We did manage to catch Logan’s and Zoe’s games, but Sydney’s game was on the same time as the other kids’ games; so we decided to spend two weekends there, not our usual one. We took the kids out for breakfast and a trip to the craft store Sunday while their parents ran a half marathon.

Although we weren’t sure where we would go midweek, I figured we would continue our exploration of Southwest Indian artifacts and artwork. Coincidentally, Leslie got an email from her friend Greg telling her that he had recently moved to Santa Fé and invited us to visit him. I suspect he didn’t expect us days later, but that’s precisely what we did. We spent two days in Taos exploring shops and visiting the Taos Pueblo before spending the day following the High Route from Santa Fé to Denver. Greg took us on a delightful tour of Santa Fé, the kind of tour tourists could never put together on their own. On the long drive back we stopped to see Logan’s last soccer game of the year.

Back in Broomfield we got to see Sydney’s soccer game on Saturday and fit in a nice hike just above Boulder in an area I’ve gotten to hike several times before. It was nice to get some serious exercise after so much time sitting and driving.

Originally we had planned to go over Donner Pass and back through Santa Rose, but the horrendous fires there convinced us we should put that trip off for a while. Instead, we decided to continue our National Park binge by visiting Arches NP, Island in the Sky NP, and Capitol Reef NP. For good measure we even managed to visit Goblin Valley Utah State Park, a park I’d heard about two years before. It was an awesome trip back, even if I didn’t see as many birds as I’d hoped to see. Instead I focused on scenics and have thousands of photos to process from my trip. Hopefully you’ll be seeing some of them in the next few day after we manage to pick up the mail, restock the pantry, put away all the items we took on the trip, and catch the Husky/UCLA game tomorrow.

Something to Count On

I keep wondering when this post-election hangover will finally disappear, but until that happens I find some comfort in seeing that the Great Blue Heron have returned to their rightful place in Theler Wetlands.

A Day in Port Townsend

With another sunny day and school back-in-session, we decided that it would be a good day to go to Ft Flagler and Port Townsend. I hoped that we would see some Harlequin Ducks and various Grebes, but, as it turned out, we saw extraordinarily large flocks of Glaucous-Winged Gulls like this one.

There were so many gulls that the cormorants usually seen on this perch had gathered offshore.

Though I assumed that the Harlequin Ducks had probably not arrived to their wintering grounds yet, I’m not sure we would have seen them even if the had returned because this Bald Eagle

was patrolling the shoreline.

In fact, the only shorebirds we saw at Flagler was a very small flock of Sanderlings.

Perhaps my favorite shot of the day was this one of yet another Yellowlegs

taken at the lake in Port Townsend.

Things didn’t get better in town where found a lot of our favorite shops, including our favorite restaurant, were closed on Wednesday. Our consolation was that we discovered a restaurant we liked nearly as much at half the price. Life doesn’t get much better than a great meal after a long walk on the beach.