The Family Portion of the Trip

Saturday April 26th, Day 1 through Thursday May 1, Day 6

In preparation for our travel days, we brought a couple of books-on-audio-tape, and the morning newspaper. We like to work the crossword puzzle while we're traveling. The tapes were (six tapes) Stephen King's "The Langoliers," read by Willem Dafoe, and (three tapes) Robert Ludlum's "Trevayne," read by Philip Bosco. We really enjoyed the Langoliers, but the Trevayne was a little tedious.

We left San Jose Saturday morning about 7 am and stayed the first night in Winnemucca, Nevada (Hi-Desert RV Park), the second night in Green River, Utah (Shady Acres RV Park), and at our daughter's home north of Denver on Nights 3 through 6. Had a great time visiting 10-month old granddaughter Mikayla, daughter Shandra and husband Jeff in their new home. Jeff is a security lieutenant, supervising one of the shifts guarding Timothy McVeigh.

Helped organize Jeff and Shandra's computer, and install a bookcase onto the wall above the computer. Took a roll of pictures and a lot of video. Even birders have to take timeout for family.

Saw their local Blue Jay, Downy Woodecker, Robins, House Sparrows and Starlings.

Visited downtown Denver. Parked in a 15-minute post office lot for two hours. Didn't notice the 15-minute limit. Found out that it costs a crisp 100-dollar bill to retrieve your pickup after they tow it away.

Friday May 2, Day 7

We drove from Denver to Dumas, Texas, where we spent Night 7 at Sharon's cousin Paul's.

It was outside of Denver that we ran into the snowstorm. Took some photos and video. A few hours later, we got our first new bird of the trip - a LARK BUNTING (Trip Lifer Number 1, Lifelist Number 339, or 1/339 in the code I'll use for this report), showing his wonderful white wing patch on a black body. I saw him sitting on a fence, and Sharon saw him flying, as we drove past. Now the fact is, we couldn't identify him at the time. And we saw this bird several more times early in the trip. But as I paged through the National Geographic Society Field Guide (NGS) later, as I often do, I came upon him. We also checked Sharon's Audubon's Field Guide, in the black-and-white-color section. There were no other possibilities of what this bird could have been. Birders have to be amateur detectives.

Dumas is about an hour north of Amarillo. We visited with Sharon's cousins and their families, whom she hadn't seen for a couple of decades, and her uncle. They told us all about Texas farming and ranching, and we were able to catch up to current times.

Saturday May 3, Day 8

Next morning we followed Sharon's Uncle Ray to see his home in Amarillo. We visited a little bit, then took off, beginning our birding trip.

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