Boulder, CO

Male Western Tangier

This is a very wet year. The entire Mississippi River valley is in flood. The height of the Great Lakes are expected to be at record levels. As our gaze turns westward, the implications of this very wet spring are also becoming apparent. When the spring rains and expected higher than normal summer temperatures combine, the rain will fuel vegetation growth, which will become fuel for fire. We saw this last year in Glacier. It rained most of the days that we were there, but come August the place was a tinder box and many notable landmarks were destroyed. Our planned visit to Rocky Mountain seems to be similarly cursed. At least we’ll get to see this “Notre Dame” before it too is burnt.

Today was an epic day of driving, almost 900 miles. Much of the day was spent dodging yellow thunderstorm boxes or not. This weather was all across western Kansas. The most interesting episode entailed having to emergency break on ice. It had hailed, but to such an extent that it looked like snow. Anyway, we made it. We won’t be camping in the Rockies. It’s too cold. The motel is inexpensive, but nice. We saw the tangier in the parking lot after dinner. I’m ready to leave the Midwest storms behind. We’ll explore Boulder and the mountains tomorrow.

We’re listening to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The thought is what better story for a roadtrip than a book about a roadtrip. Kerouac’s story even covers some of the geography that we traveled today. We’re only a quarter of the way through the book, so there are still many more miles to travel yet on the road. Long day.

Bike, Bike, Bike…

Florida Great Blue Heron

We didn’t see this heron yesterday, when we bicycled in the park, but we did see egrets. It was cold, about forty and I’m sure that the egrets were thinking that it was a lot nicer on Friday and why did I come north again so soon? The spring peepers were croaking, but because of the temperature, their peeps were at a much reduced frequency and at a lower one too. (I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure that sentence out.) Saturday, was the stormy day and I only ventured out twice, once to retrieve the paper (barefoot) and again to go to the store. There were plenty of other shoppers in denial there, shivering in t-shirts, sandals, shorts and sleet. I felt so manly, while wearing my first pair of big boy pants for a week. It was one of those Unforgiven days here, bad enough to almost kill Clint Eastwood. The sparrows that usually inhabit the bush behind the back porch, were instead clinging to its screen, just to get under the eaves.

There is flooding, as described on the national news, but it is nowhere near as bad as ’93, at least not yet. If you recall, the ’93 flood didn’t crest until summer. For now, it’s just a matter of rounding up all of the usual suspects. That being the habitually flooded. It will take months more of very heavy rain, to come even close to the ’93 flood. Although, we did attend a Science-on-Tap talk on regional flooding and almost every river in the bistate area has experienced higher flood levels then since ’93. Maybe the weather is not the problem?

“Last week, it seemed that all of the bad guys got away with it, Donald Trump, Jussie Smollett and worst of all Duke.” — Thank you, Colin Jost. Last night, at least one bad guy went down, when Michigan State beat Duke, for the Final Four, by one point, in the final seconds. Live by the clock, die by the clock.

Oh yeah, big bike ride this month! Got to get our tender tushes in shape. Turn them into hard asses. You’ll all probably will get tired of hearing about our bike exploits soon enough, but yesterday we did notice one oddity. Three paddle boats had been mysteriously displaced from the boathouse to the “temporary” police pasture west of the park’s department yard (about a quarter-mile, plus 100′). Could it have been from last weekend’s storm? The wind wasn’t that strong and there wasn’t that much rain. One or two would be accidental, but three seems deliberate. Could it be that the police are retraining their horses as sea horses? Nah. Most boats are just holes in the water, but I think that these hulls have been repurposed to become water troughs.