Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Salton Sea (Malkolm)

“Don’t touch the water, you might dissolve,” warned Wendy as I strode towards the edge of Salton Sea. Dagger like shells coated the shore, piercing my feet. Hundreds of dead fish were littered about, presumably poisoned by the waters of Salton Sea. Agricultural run-off, packed with pesticides has concentrated toxins in this land-locked sea. Yet birds love the place. Rarities such as Blue-footed Boobies from Mexico and a Ross’s Gull from the Arctic have been seen here. And Salton Sea is the only place north of the border where Yellow-footed Gulls can be seen. And so I talked Wendy and Ken into cycling through the mud and the heat to bird here.
I raised my binoculars and scanned the area for any sign of the Yellow-footed Gull. There were Ring-billed and California Gulls everywhere, yet I couldn’t spot our target bird. “There’s one!” called Ken, pointing at a boulder. Two Yellow-footed Gulls rested there, huge, with very dark backs and bright yellow legs. I wandered towards them, snapping photos every few seconds.
“Let’s get out of here and find some shade,” Wendy said. We returned to our bikes, and cycled down a bumpy road towards the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. We found a picnic table under a palm frond roof and relaxed. Gambel’s Quails and Abert’s Towhees scratched for food underneath bushes, two new species for our list. Ken unearthed a deck of cards, and we put up our feet, happy about the day’s birds, and thinking that the excitement was over. Suddenly there was a violent rustle from above, followed by series of agonized squeaks. Ken leaped back from the table, shocked. A snake had caught a rat in the roof of the shelter. Surprises never stop coming!


jake said...

Congratulations on reaching 300!!

A fantastic milestone on a wonderful journey. Your beautiful photos and writing are an inspiration! We can enjoy our natural world without jumping in the car, be it a walk to the park, a hike in the mountains, or a ride across the Continent. Go Malkolm!!

Christine said...

You are not joking about the Salton Sea!! I live in the Palm Springs area which is very close to the Salton Sea - it looks very pretty driving by, but get downwind and it positively stinks!! When we first moved here, we thought we'd drive up and get out and walk around - big mistake! The vehicle ended up getting stuck in some kind of slime that stunk like death.

From what I understand, they've just passed a bill to clean it up. The property near there is VERY inexpensive - might be a great investment!