Thursday, August 9, 2018

28 Jul - 8 Aug: Big trip overview!

I'm just back from my first big trip of the year! It merits more than one post, so I'll write in more detail in a series of posts over the next few days. For now, here's a brief overview.

12 days
547 miles
143 species of birds
18 FOGYs (first-of-green-year species)
7 rail trails
0 flat tires!!

I was incredibly fortunate with the weather, with only two rainstorms, both at night; two hot days (>90 F / 32 C), one of which I was able to make a low-mileage day; and two or three breezy days. I found many of the FOGYs I was targeting, lucked into a few more, and of course missed some that I'd hoped for - but I was very happy to come home with 18 new species. The majority of those were at Horicon Marsh, which was my primary destination for the trip (easternmost point of the loop on the map above). I explored a whole lot of southern Wisconsin, my legs and bike held up remarkably well, and I enjoyed nearly every minute of it!

The gear I took (including trailer, but not bike) added up to about 70 lbs (32 kg). The trailer itself is 14 lbs, which is actually pretty light for a bike trailer, but allowed me to take a couple of buckets for storing food. Otherwise I would have had to hang food bags at night to foil the raccoons and mice - and at least one campsite had a chance of bears. Next time I will hang my food and pack my gear into four panniers, minimizing weight as much as possible, because that trailer was a real drag on the hills! 

For reference, the olive green case holds my fairly-standard-sized Kowa TSN-884 scope. 
I can't shed too much gear, though. My birding gear (scope, lightweight tripod, camera with lens and digiscoping attachment) was much of the weight, and leaving that behind would defeat the purpose! My camping gear is already ultralight (only 6-7 lbs total!). I also frequently had to carry 4 liters of water lest I run out with nowhere to refill. But there are a few items I can leave behind, and I can definitely take less food - I ate less than I thought I would, and could buy more along the way than I did this time. 

Fortunately, there were only three days where the hills were a major factor. I soon learned to take my time and enjoy cruising along at 9 mph (ugh, so slow!) while listening for birds. 

Stay tuned for stories, bird pics, and views!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read about that trip! No flats is an incredible feat.