Individual passions glide on America’s highways in different forms. Some folks pursue their quests of visiting all National Parks within a summer.
Others carry kayaks to challenge rivers from Maine to Oregon. Still others climb mountains in pursuit of their Holy Grail. Fly-fishermen-women pursue that speckled trout in high mountain streams. Somewhere out there on the roads that crisscross the planet, an adventure-seeker pursues his or her individual dream with an exceptional sense of determination.
When you meet them, they look normal, they seem normal and they may act normal. That’s where normal ends! Those “outliers” carry a nonstandard, burning passion within them that surpasses normal imagination.
Last summer, one such individual graced our door in Golden, Colorado. Talk about high energy! New York City could harness his high-voltage life to their power grid to run it for a full year.
Dorian Anderson, lean, black-haired, brilliant smile and replete with a vigorous personality, set out on January 1, 2014 on a cold, snowy day in Boston, Massachusetts to bicycle 15,000 miles around America in search of every bird species in the lower 48 states. He called his quest “The Big Year” which allows him to seek out and photograph as many of the more than 700 species of birds thriving in America.
Visit his website: bikingforbirds.blogspot.com
He offers brilliant bird photographs from his bicycle pursuit of our fine-feathered friends. His daily updates relive his adventures in bird watching.
He rolled into our house in the evening for a hot shower, conversation and bed.
Next morning, we bicycled up to the top of Bergan Park, near my house, to seek out a specific dead tree that housed a family of Williamson Sapsuckers.
Anderson said, “I read about folks who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly to places where a particular bird has been spotted. One fellow flew 200,000 miles during his “Big Year” to gather as many sightings as possible. I would like to see bird-watchers and all Americans avoid expelling so much carbon exhaust into the biosphere.”
Why take such an enormous trip?
“During a “Big Year”, a birdwatcher attempts to see or hear as many bird species as (s) he can in North America in one calendar year,” said Anderson. “This endeavor begins on January 1st and, depending on the level of commitment, can require the birder to visit all corners of the continent during the subsequent 364 days. The most ambitious Big Years typically record between 700 and 745 species of birds while logging well in excess of 100,000 miles of plane, car, and boat travel.
“Biking for Birds is my completely crazy and hopefully fantastic twist on the traditional North American Big Year. During 2014, I will travel only by bike, foot, and kayak as I move about the continent in search of birds. My movements will be unaided by petroleum, natural gas and electricity. I will not have a support vehicle; everything I need will be carried on my person and my bicycle.
“The immediate goals of this endeavor are three-fold. First, I want to find as many bird species as possible. Second, I hope “Biking For Birds” will showcase the bicycle as a healthy and environmentally sustainable form of transportation. Third, I have partnered with both The Conservation Fund and the American Birding Association. I hope to raise $100,000 (or more!) on behalf of these organizations that focus on land conservation and promotion of bird-watching.”
Later in the day, we visited Buffalo Bill’s Grave. Soon after, we traveled on our loaded touring bikes down the fabled “Lariat Loop” on Lookout Mountain into Golden, Colorado. After lunch at a sandwich shop, Dorian headed north on Route 93 toward Boulder.
He waved, “Live well my friend.”
“May the birds be with you,” I said. “Thanks for the memories.”
Read more posts by Frosty Wooldridge here. Frosty is a blogger for JenningsWire.
The online feature magazine, JenningsWire.com, is created by National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book promotion services to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major high impact radio talk interview shows, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media outlets and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers across the country.