Sunday, 12 June 2011

Let's Get Away From It All - Frank Sinatra

We'll travel round from town to town,
we'll visit every State.
and I'll repeat I love you Sweet,
in all the Forty Eight (but now there's 50).
Francis Albert Sinatra

Bit of a struggle finding access today, but nil desperandm you don't get rid of me that easily!

A token gesture of the Mormon Cathedral in Salt Lake City, with no hard feeling for the quick departure.

The last couple of days have been given over to 'twitching' the last 2 States needed to make up the set, and as a consequence there has been precious little news, so maybe a golden opportunity to issue a 'Notice the Mariners' or in this case 'Notice to Greyhound' users. Before that I can report at 11:00 local (18:00 BST) on Saturday 11th June 2011, I crossed the State Line from Utah to complete my ambition to visit every State in the USA on reaching Idaho!

What next you may ask? Well, there are still 2 outstanding Gulls of the presently recognised 54 species in the world, which are Red-legged Kittiwake (which I hope to see on St Paul's, Pribilof Islands in July, and Relict Gull which will be an altogether taller order. Then there are still 5 countries in Europe that as yet have not been visited (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco and San Marino) which may be undertaken before the year is out.

The first view of Idaho as we crossed the State Line.

Additions to the Trip List include a lone White-throated Swift while waiting for the bus at Merced (some consolation), a small lake supporting about half a dozen Bufflehead just outside Twin Falls, Idaho and

this smart American Robin at Trentstone, ID.

Yes, another Killdeer but not any old Killdeer, this is the 50th one counted since being here. Surely one can be spared to fly to Portland Bill after my return?

Twin Falls, ID is the largest town in the County of the same name and lies in the region of Magic Valley. Within its borders there are 5 viewable sections of the Snake River Canyon, this being the first approaching from the south.

This, the fifth and last, was conquered by Evil Knievel on his motorbike. Other trivia, both Gary Puckett of Union Gap and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue have lived there for long periods.

This one caused a little consternation,

who would have been expecting a Collared Dove, even though I've seen them in the States before?

1958 Chrysler 300 (D) Series obviously someones pride and joy!

Vehicle registration Plates

With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, I have achieved this strictly on the Greyhound bus service which up until now has been exemplary in every way, but things have changed radically since then. With 75% of the plant now replaced by 'new generation' coaches all that has changed to the customers advantage (as I see it) are the beautiful 'external lines' of the new buses and the addition of onboard Wi Fi. There are 2 elements to the change, refurbished and brand new with the latter seeming less comfortable than their predecessors an element that can be coped with. The real problem seems to lie with the company and staff who until now have got me to my destination both on time (with a 'single' exception) and without discomfort, that's 45 States without a hitch.

A commendable achievement which seems to have come to a halt, as so far (10 days) 4 services have been late (3 severely) with the onboard discipline now being all but non-existent. Time was you would board a bus and told in no uncertain language the terms of carriage, including drugs, drink, firearms and the disturbance of fellow travellers. Conduct concerning the first 3 remains well in place but with the continued increase in mobile phones and various types of noise makers every journey now comes complete with its own nightmare.

On the run from Mexicali one woman was using what sounded like a CB radio which, after each transmission, gave out a series of loud beeps. Politely asking the driver if he could stop this he replied "I can't hear anything". Directing him to the offender he then shrugged it off with a terse "that's what it's like around here'. In the past this would have been dealt with immediately. Finally, (did someone say thank heavens) I reported, again politely, that the toilet was 'venting' up through the window blowers but the drivers reaction was about the same as if I'd told him he was getting no pay this week. The only point being if you are contemplating travelling on the service this mat serve as a fore-warning! The essence of this will in turn be passed on to Greyhound.