Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Leaving On A Jet Plane - John Denver

It has been a long but exhilerating journey back from Panama City, Florida to Minneapolis - Minnesota which took me via Tallahassee & Jacksonville - Florida, Savannah - Georgia, Manning - South Carolina, Raleigh - North Carolina, Richmond - Virginia then Washington DC (District of Columbia).

As we crossed the Potomac River the first recognisable building was the (Smithsonian) Museum of American History, the Greyhound following the road directly in front of the columned museum.

Only the top of the Jefferson Memorial could be seen,

but not long after the sun had set and the moon about the same as in the image, this was very much the scene across the Washington Memorial, at the end of the National Mall, and the Capitol Building in the distance. These (borrowed) photographs should have some memories for Lisa as we saw much of this during our visit in the 90's. On that occasion we also visited the huge restaurant complex below the Union Train Station where it was posible to eat the food of just about every nation in the world!

A change of coach and it was onward to Baltimore - Maryland, Pittsburg - Pennsylvania, Cleveland - Ohio, Gary - Indiana and again to Chicago - Illinois. The final addition to the States list was Wisconsin which we crossed diagonally from south east to north west, taking in the city of Milwaukee in the process.

So, I've come to the end of this visit to the United States of America (about my eighth I think) but feel sure I'll be back again. When I left England the US readership on this Blog was what I considered a most respectable 52 individuals, but since this has risen to a monumental 378 (at the last count) comprising some of people I have met and enjoyed company with on the way.

The highlight on the bird front had to be the Red-headed Woodpecker (if only the Brown-headed Nuthatch had been as obliging), which I have had the opportunity of seeing in the past but has never shown up for me, a brilliant creature to say the very least. As for places, that has to go to the Crazy Horse Memorial carved into the Black Hills of Dakota, what a pity that he, Chief Henry Standing Bear and sculpter Korczak Ziolkowski could not be here to view it! People? Well that would be impossible to pick a favourite as the vast majority have been kind, polite, respectful and helpful. However, a minor situation that visited me just a day or two ago could have left me up a small creek without a paddle but for yet another immeasurable kindness.

I met Steve on the balcony of the AquaView Motel in Panama City Beach, and while a little loud he was a pleasant enough character. Over a beer it turned out that our next paths were in the same direction and on the same day at the same time. Without coaxing he offered me a lift which I accepted, and asked if I would contribute £30 to the fuel bill. That was not a problem and we agreed to meet in the lobby at an appointed time. Jerry, the landlord, was already concerned that he would not show up and in the end, to cut a long story short, he didn't. Jerry had already phoned the Car Hire firm to remind Steve of his commitment but he had told them he simply wasn't going to bother about me. With that Jerry drove me the 20? or so miles to the Greyhound Station without a care. I would like to take yet another opportunity to thank him and his lovely wife Sonja for their help and hospitality.

There are now just 3 States in the US that I have not visited, Idaho, Utah and Hawii which should fit in very nicely when I get my act together to try for 2 of the final 3 Gull species needed. They are Red-legged Kittiwake off Alaska and Yellow-footed Gull in Baja California, Mexico which would make for a very neat trip in itself. The final one is Relect Gull which may take a little more effort.

Ammendments, I'm sure there must be a number, but the only one I have discovered and put to right was when in Chicago last I reporte making it to Lake Superior, which should have read Lake Michigan.

Over the past 2 days, other species to have been added to the 'trip list' have included Belted Kingfisher, Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Mute Swan and American Herring Gull none of which were photographed. This brings up what I guess will be the final

Total Bird Species - 70, World Lifers - 7 (10% of those seen is considered incredible),
Total States Visited or Passed Through - 28, New States Visited - 15.

The Star-Spangled Banner

No comments:

Post a Comment