Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More on Ft Collins

Last Saturday we biked into town to the Farmer's Market. It was great. Andy threw on his backpack, we biked in, loaded the pack up with all sorts of fruits and veggies to re-stock the fridge, and biked home. Granted, some things are hard to pick up this way - Andy refused to buy a full-sized watermelon. The Wus! Ha! Only kidding, we couldn't fit one in our lil RV fridge anyway.

On Sunday we visited The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program's Open House at the CSU Veterinary School. On a previous bike ride, we had come across the Environmental Learning Center on the east-side of town. There we met a wonderful volunteer who imparted a great amount of raptor information within minutes. She invited us to the Open House. Raptors are our birds of prey: eagles, hawks, falcons, etc. Think "big claws" and it's a raptor. Sadly, these majestic, wild birds come to the Raptor Program because of injuries. Injuries are usually gun-shot wounds, vehicle strikes, pesticides/poison, etc. They get rehabilitation, are live-prey tested to make sure they can be re-introduced to the wild and survive, and then are hopefully released. Since 2003 the number of cases of West Nile Virus has skyrocketed as infected mosquitos make their way west. This disease affects their entire neurological system: they lose their fear of humans, they'll fly into things, their normal muscular functions are altered, its sad. Many of these birds can't be released again. So RMRP is needing to build a new facility to handle the larger number of birds that they have to retain. They'll be building a "green building" which I think is wonderful in itself. Check out their site.

After the Open House on Sunday, we did some shopping. We finally broke down and bought two MP3 players. We got so tired of lugging around our old Sony Walkmans on a run. I swear they got heavier and heavier after each run. So now we are hip and cool with our tiny Creative MUVOs that weigh 0.8oz (w/o the one AAA battery). It only took me about 24 hours to copy songs from our cd's onto the computer and then upload them to the MP3s. Can't wait to try them out!

Monday we went for a hike in Horsetooth Mountain Park. A biker at Devil's Backbone recommended the Horsetooth Falls Trail to us. It wasn't long (about 1.2 miles to Falls) and the Falls were only a trickle at this time of the year, but it was the journey, not the destination that mattered here. A gorgeous hike if you like rocks, trees, birds, and views. Our kind of hike. Beautiful the whole way. After hitting the falls, we continued past and connected with Sodenberg trail to make it a loop. Above the Falls, we were able to look down at the pools that still held some water. Lo and behold, but what did we see? Two red and white goldfish swimming in one of the pools! Now how do you think they got there? Later on the hike we saw two golden eagles flying high above the treetops. It made me happy to see them in the wild and not at RMRP.

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