Sunday, May 9, 2010
Start of 10 Day Cycling Trip
I got to the California Valley Lodge at about 3 PM, feeling good - a far cry from my late and exhausted arrival when I pedalled there in February. I greeted Ken, the owner, who seemed to remember the crazy bike rider from my last visit. The motel was having an invasion of small (match head size) iridescent beetles that gathered in piles against the walls and doors of the motel - an annual occurrence according to Ken. They were harmless and mostly stayed out of the rooms. I rode around a bit after dropping off some things in my room. Tricolored Blackbirds make their catlike calls from a bare tree next to the abandoned restaurant/store across the street from the lodge. A pair of killdeer, with two chicks, feed in a vegetated area between the plain's main road - Soda Lake Road - and a parking lot for the fire station. I picked up one chick from the paved road and put it in a safer area as the parent did a broken wing routine (below).
I returned to my room to eat, get everything ready for the next day's ride and get to bed early. As I checked the food in my mailed package, Ken came to my room with a plate of tri-tip, bread and fruit, which looked a whole lot better than the microwavable food I had. His generosity topped off a great first day of bicycle birding. I was also glad that my ribs were fine and the mileage had been comfortable.