Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day of the Birds

We saw so many birds today.  The Klamath Basin, which we biked through, is known as a bird hotspot.  It has numerous National Wildlife Refuges and beautiful Klamath Lake, the largest lake in Oregon.  Our day started with a long, frigid descent from Crater Lake into the flat basin, where the sun was shining and the air much warmer.  Hawks and kestrels were abundant, and we also got a great look at a prairie falcon!  
Photo credit:
I wish I had taken this photo!  The falcon we saw looked a whole lot like this.

We filled up our water at Fort Klamath and set off on the west route around the lake.  It turned out to be perfect for biking.  Because that way is not the shortest route to anywhere, few cars passed.  And, because the road follows the edge of the trees, we rode in the shade as opposed to the hot sun of the prairie.
The road took us by Klamath Lake, where we saw grebes, pelicans, mergansers, more hawks and kestrels, cormorants, blackbirds, egrets, herons, gulls, and more!  Many were firsts for the trip list.  
We also went over Doak Mountain Summit, from which we could see Mt Shasta looming large and snowy on the horizon.
A few miles down the road, we both ran out of water.  It was hot today: in the 80s, a rarity in October.  Expecting to see a gas station at the junction of the big highway, we kept on pedaling.  But when we got there, no businesses were to be found.  We kept on; still nothing.  Eventually we turned towards the Klamath Falls city center and went a few miles off route to get some water.  The first place we came to, unfortunately, was Wal-Mart.  I'm disappointed, America.  The vast majority of people were overweight (with many wearing pajamas of some sort), and not a single person acted remotely friendly.  I hadn't been to Wally World in awhile, and I hope not to go again anytime soon.  But we were very thankful for the cold water!
At this point we were getting tired, so we biked a few more flat miles to the small town of Merrill, did some grocery shopping, and called it quits as the sun went down.  We biked 87 miles and probably saw over 30 species of birds!

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