Man Trip 2013

Posted from Paso Robles, California at 7:32 pm, December 27th, 2013

Audrey has dubbed the annual post-Christmas road-trip the “man-trip”, and this year’s adventure started off in much the same way as last year’s: a visit to the Cosumnes River Preserve followed by a sunrise trip to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. The Pacific Flyway is busy this time of year, and it’s invigorating for the soul to stand on the edge of a wetland while tens of thousands of ducks, geese and cranes are calling out.

A big part of the fun of these trips is that I generally have no idea where I’m going to end up, and while the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest was considered, the closure of Tioga Pass sent me in the opposite direction, and it looks like I may be spending some time roaming the Carrizo Plain. The area became a national monument in 2001, but shockingly since my road atlas is out-of-date it’s a green dot within California that I’ve somehow never visited, an oversight that will hopefully be corrected tomorrow.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. He sat in the water thirty feet away so long as I stayed in my car, but the second the door opened he was gone.

Sandhill cranes at sunrise

Sandhill cranes at sunrise. The one on the left is bad at following.

Killdeer

Killdeer. After the heron experience I didn’t tempt fate by even thinking about exiting my vehicle.

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