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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Being a tourist

On my trip to Rochester and back last week, I passed several places along the road that I wanted to investigate further.  I had packed a lunch last night, so I headed out early to visit a couple of them.  Only problem was, when I got up, my left ankle was giving me fits.  How in the world does a person get what feels like a sprained ankle while they’re asleep?  That painful limp persisted all day, so it put a damper on some of my plans.

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First up was Crane Meadows NWR down near Little Falls, MN.  It turned out that the only public access to this refuge at this time of the year is the 3.7 mile hiking trail along the Platte River.

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That wasn’t going to work for me today, but I did make it to the first overlook of the Platte.  This refuge doesn’t have a wildlife drive, so I was a bit disappointed considering I couldn’t walk very far.  I’d driven about 120 miles to get here, so now what to do?

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I plugged the address for Sherburne NWR into Jack-in-the-Box, and found out it was a further 54 miles down the road.  What the heck!  I’d come this far, so I might as well drive another hour to see what this refuge had to offer.

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I’m very glad I did.  There’s a seven mile wildlife drive on this refuge, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Even though it’s not that far as the crow flies from Tamarac, the habitat is quite a bit different.

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This refuge is all about wetlands, not the big lakes that Tamarac has.  They do have a few things in common though.

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Bald eagles and trumpeter swans nest here just as they do at Tamarac.  This young bald eagle was occasionally screeching, as it waited for its parents to come feed it.  It’s about ready to be out on its own very soon.

IMG_9224It took me a couple of hours to do that seven mile wildlife drive.  It was the middle of the day, and not the best time to see wildlife, but I enjoyed my tour non the less. 

IMG_3934There is a lot more native prairie land on this refuge, and the blooming prairie flowers were vibrant.  I could just envision the first settlers coming to this area and being in awe of the beauty.

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I was surprised by the number of overlooks provided for visitors.  I’m guessing there’s an overlook for almost every mile of the wildlife drive.  I probably encountered about a half a dozen other vehicles along the route.  It was good to see people out taking advantage of this peaceful drive.

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Since it’s almost August, many of the wildflowers are sending their seeds out for the next generation.  Life marches on.  It’s all a grand circle, isn’t it?

As I headed back north, I stopped in Little Falls and had another little adventure.  I’ll save what happened there for tomorrow’s post.  Sometimes being a tourist and going with the flow works out just right.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. Nice day of sightseeing. Tonight try to sleep a bit calmer so you don't further damage yourself.

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  2. How nice to be a tourist at a refuge for a change. That young eagle screeching for his parents sounds like a lot of kids!

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  3. Looks like a wonderful drive - like the overlooks. Nice comment about the circle of life - it does march on, doesn't it.

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  4. What a nice day...except for your ankle. So glad you had a pretty drive and enjoyed it. That was a nice comment about the circle of life. You are so right! And the picture to go with the comment is awesome...you caught the wind just right.

    Have a great week and hugs to as Emma!

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  5. Glad you found this refuge. The prairie flowers are blooming here in Iowa too.

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  6. You must have had a bad dream in the middle of the night and kicked something :) Maybe you were thinking about the comment your son made.
    Love the flowers so pretty.

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  7. We, too, are disappointed when NWRs do not have a driving tour. It's happened quite a few times. Have you kept a count of how many refuges you've visited over the years?

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  8. Bummer about your first adventure. Glad the second stop paid off. Also, very nice that the traffic was at a minimal. Helps with enjoying the visit.

    Hope that ankle is doing much better this morning.

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  9. I have the same problem some times, some part of me, usually a joint somewhere, just gets balky and hurts for a day, then it quits bothering me, thank goodness! Beautiful photos today, as always, Judy.

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  10. I like the way you tantalize us with something we will get to read in your next blog. Hope your ankle is better ASAP.

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  11. We have been to Crane Meadows, but do not really remember much about it:( It seems these days that I often have transient aches and pains that I cannot explain by my activities. I think it has something to do with accumulating decades.

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  12. Judy they claim it is the golden years. I really think it's brass coated in gold and the gold is wearing quite thin. Hope the ankle feels better.
    Great pictures. I never did get any Bald Eagle pictures not even a sighting.

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  13. Maybe you're a secret sleepwalker, Judy, and that's how you twisted your ankle! Beautiful photos of the wetlands.

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  14. Rats that you didn't get to do the hike at Crane Meadows. Hope that ankle is just a 24 hour contrariness. Good for you to push on. Your pictures are great as always. I think I told you that the thing which got me on the road full time in the first place was a desire to visit all the NWR's. I have hardly made a dent in it though so seeing them on your blog is great. I add them to my list and hope I can find campgrounds near enough to do 2 or 3 at one time.

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  15. Are you sure you're not sleep walking? Or may sleep break dancing? :cD

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  16. Bad luck right before a nice hike; but, hopefully it'll be there the next time around. Take care of that ankle - I'd say rest is the only alternative at this point. I'm amazed how something can come up, while we're sleeping, that you'd expect only after a fall or slam into something. Take care and glad you made it to the second NWR so the trip wasn't for naught.

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  17. The only thing I remember about Little Falls, MN from my one trip through it was that was the home of Charles A. Lindbergh.

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  18. Isn't this summer just flying by? I just noticed all the flowers have gone to seed here in the meadows too! What's up with that? I kind of feel sorry for the young eagle sitting in that desolate tree, he looks rather forlorn. Must be hard being the only child.

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  19. what a great "playing tourist" day you ended up having. . .glad you were able to drive most of it!

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  20. The last time we visited Sherburne NWR our friend, Greg Dehmer was one of the brown shirts there. Don't know if he's still there, but if you ever get the opportunity, he's a great person to work for. Yes... even here in dry, dry Texas I can see a change in the "summer" scenery.

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  21. Ouch, sorry about the ankle. But what a wonderful tour you got in regardless! I'd love to be there.

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  22. I swear that I must sleep like a pretzel..Some days I get up and it feels like I fell down the steps...and some days I can leap ...well, maybe not LEAP..out of bed...Could it possible be our age???..and why doesn't Dennis show these signs of his 71 years?? Ah, yes...it's the childbirth coming back to haunt us, as if our kids aren't sometimes scary enough!!! Hope you feel better!

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  23. Sorry the first refuge didn't work out, but by the looks of it, the second one paid off, making the trip worthwhile.

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  24. I sleep on my back and sometimes, if the sheets are tucked in too tight my ankle will be stuck in an uncomfortable position. It'll hurt for a few hours or a day, but will feel better the next day. It's kind of like when you wake up with a crick in your neck. Of course, I'm not a doctor nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn last nite.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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  25. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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