On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, I helped the top year-to-date ABA Big Year participant get bird #753,
a Blue-footed Booby.
I picked up Nicole at 4 AM for the 320 mile drive to Big Water, Utah on the north shore of Lake Powell.
We got to the park at 9 AM.
After spending time on the dock looking for options (motor boat, kayak, jet ski) it was decided to drive close
to the location and hike to the lake. We drove down Smokey Mountain Road (NP 230) from Big Water
east to the turn off for Crosby Canyon (NP 231). Tracks toward shore were spotted after following various
roads through canyons and washes. We followed a circuitous path to the lake that took us through a
place called slick rock and then down Warm Water Creek.
We were no sooner paralleling the beach when Nicole said “There’s the bird!” The exclamation was
beyond surreal and I didn’t believe it. It took a second shout and a doubting Thomas look to accept
that the goal was achieved. The time was 11:15 AM
A celebration before heading back.
In order to avoid the slick rock depression we encountered on the way to the site I took a trail less traveled.
Less than a mile back from the booby location I got the truck stuck. (photo by Nicole)
Doug and Tye got us out. A couple of really nice guys.
After an very good Mexican food dinner at Fiesta Americana in Page we hit the road home at 11 PM.
An hour south of Page we came upon a road washout. The culvert meant to divert water under the highway had
washed out causing the road to collapse. (photo by Nicole)
Here is a commentary I wrote:
A couple of articles from the Arizona Republic.
The detour added 184 miles to the journey. We arrived at a friend’s house at 7 in the morning where Nicole
freshened up for a flight to Texas just before 9 AM to chase her next bird. 29 hours from pickup to flight
with less than 2 hours of sleep on the road that took us over 800 miles.
By the way, she did get the Golden-crowned Warbler in Texas and then flew on to Washington.
Lots of luck Nicole!