People often ask us what is the hardest thing about our trip. Malkolm answers “Cycling through cities”. I think the biggest challenges are (1) headwinds and (2) finding campsites in southern Florida (they are gridlocked with Snowbirds in RV’s). Ken says “Dealing with all the computer stuff associated with our website.” Ken has a point. Finding places to plug in the computer at the right time of day (outdoors in midday there is too much glare to see the screen), finding places that have WiFi, it all takes time. After a full day of cycling what I want to do is relax with a cold brewsky and a book. Instead, I have to take that beer to the computer. We need to computer in order to do our conservation project, but sometimes we wish we were not carrying it.
Fortunately, we receive tons of encouragement.
We were encouraged by Carol. She flagged us down beside Route 19, north of St Petersburg. “My mom said why are you pulling over? And I told her, I’m stopping because those are the Bird People! I’m so excited to meet you. I saw you on TV and I really like what you are doing.” She pushed a folded bill into my hand. (We are raising money for bird habitat protection.)
We were encouraged by Greg Harber’s message, one of the many that people have kindly sent to our website and our blog.
I have been following the tales of your travels and have been enjoying every moment, as I hope you are. The story of camping in the graveyard is a classic and Wendy’s description of the woman with the “Can’t Do Attitude” at the park reinforces the notion that we should associate more with the Jane’s of the world! Thanks for the opportunity to “peer over your shoulder” via your blog entries as you bike across America.
I would like to contribute to Malkolm’s Bird Day Challenge effort by making a pledge to contribute to Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries, Inc. I pledge to donate 50 cents/species to DIBS based on the total number of species Malkolm has seen by the time he returns to Alabama on his way back west. I am originally from Florida (Fort Lauderdale native but most of my family now resides in Sebastian, FL (home of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, our nation’s very first refuge. I do hope you get the chance to visit the refuge on your swing up the east coast!) but now I live in Birmingham, AL. Like many Alabama birders, Dauphin Island holds a special place in my heart and we are trying to preserve and protect as much of it as we are able. So, here’s hoping you hit 500 species before your return to Alabama!
Take care and be safe, Greg
Keep encouraging us! We still have a long way to go.