Monday, August 18, 2008

Spotted Owls and the Extraterrestrial Highway

My friend Lindsay has been working at Blodgett Forest Research Station with Spotted Owls. These owls are locally threatened by forest destruction--because they tend to live in old growth forests, which causes problems for loggers. They are also fairly tame birds--meaning you can call them in, feed them mice, and catch and band them fairly easily. So, we went to meet one of Lindsay's owl buddies two nights ago...

So here he is after Sarah called him in for us.

Enjoying a snack for putting up with us.

Yum yum.
It was fun to get a lifer, since I haven't had one for a while. And it was also great to see Lindsay and her co-workers as well. Very cool.
Ok, now for the aliens--but don't get too excited. When we got back from our owl excursion I frantically started packing so that I could head back to Texas. I decided that since I hadn't really had much of a vacation this summer that I'd at least try to hit some National Parks in Utah on my way back to College Station.
I hate driving on roads that I've already been on--I like taking new routes if possible. Last time on my way to Truckee we stopped in Arches National Park and drive "The Loneliest Road in America" -- which is Hwy 50, across Nevada, 287 miles. This time, I decided to try out Extraterrestrial Highway -- 98 miles in Nevada that is supposed to be frequented by aliens and is close to "Area 51". Unfortunately, I had poor timing, and didn't get to drive it at night. I was expecting more than a giant tin alien and a sign for alien jerky on my way through, but it wasn't a bad drive. Actually, I love roads that don't have all the commercialism, people, and traffic. Just me, the mountains, and my car set to cruise. I love to sing as loud as I can and dance in my car. Its a frightening thing, believe me. But fun.
I'm currently in Hurricane, Utah right outside Zion National Park, and will take a quick tour through Zion tomorrow morning. Then its off to Bryce Canyon, and on my way back to CS. Its good to be back on the road, but I'll hate it by the time I hit Texas--theres not much to see once you get there, and it takes forever to get to CS! Traveling alone isn't bad, I enjoy being able to do what I want, when I want, not stopping because someone else has to pee or actually wants to eat. I pump myself with junk food and soda and go! I drove 10 hours today, and stopped 2 times for gas. Stupid gas. I'm very proud of Peppermint Patty (my car)--old girl is doing well.
More to come on my travels...

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