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Team Bird Year Finishes Bird Year in Big Bend National Park
By Jim Meyer
When June 20 rolled around, I was wearing my winter clothes in Squamish, B.C. and TBY was experiencing 105 degree heat in West Texas! What a year it was, with 548 species logged, over 13,000 miles bicycled, and over $20,000 raised for bird conservation and we were part of it! Our SCAS donation actually got them over the $20,000 mark! I can remember when TBY was in Cape Canaveral, Malkolm was talking about getting to Big Bend NP. Wendy downplayed his goal with some good motherly rational. However, TBY made it and Malkolm picked up 14 new species, including the Colima Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, and a rare Flame-colored Tanager. The day after finishing their Bird Year, TBY biked 71 miles into head winds and up 2000' in elvation. Bye, Bye Big Bend!
Since then, TBY took a bus to Albuquerque and visited Christianne Hinks who was their "Mission Control" for the trip. She was so much help to me in setting up things for them in Cape Canaveral. From there, TBY took a train to Vancouver, B.C. and visited relatives. Next was a Ferry to Vancouver Island to visit Ken's relatives and relax abit. Another Ferry took them to Ancortes on Whidbey Island, Washington and then a bike ride to Bellingham. From there, a long and beautiful Ferry trip to Skagway, Alaska. One more 110 mile bike ride, with a dozen friends joining them, gets them across the White Pass and back home to Whitehorse in the Yukon.
While they were in Vancouver, Wendy gave me a surprise call since she was in the neighborhood! She and Malkolm had appeared on the popular CBC radio morning show the day before. She told me that she wanted to mention her visit to Cape Canaveral but ran out of time and needed to talk about some local issues, like Spotted Owl habitat. She also said that her visit to CC was one of the best on the trip. She also told me that Malkolm had been accepted into a 11th Grade Experiential Science course which he is very excited about. This will act as a good transition from his year of adventure back to school. Wendy also indicated she was sad the trip was coming to an end but was looking forward to collaborating on a book and would be going back for some part time physician work.
I got an email from Wendy after TBY arrived home, carrying on about the early Christmas box she got from Florida! The Cape Canaveral "Key to the City" plaque is predominantly displayed in their house and they're the only ones in the Yukon wearing Space Coast Audubon Society T-shirts! I'll conclude this story about this epic adventure like I have all my correspondences to TBY, "Go Team Bird Year".