Well, we had a good first week (chilly though!). Forgot a few things :) The only trouble is Sally is still unseen at Mom's house. Lots of people are trying to help.
It was 70 degrees on Jan 20th when we were supposed to leave Gum Springs, LA campground, so we decided to stay another night. We looked for the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker that is supposed to be there, but couldn't find him (we did find an Easterly-out-of-range Ladder-backed Woodpecker though). We left LA on 1/21 going to TEXAS!! We paid for 3 nights at Indian Mounds campground in Hemphill, TX ($2 a night in Texas!) in the Sabine National Forest. Hemphill, TX is famous for being the place where the Columbia shuttle disintegrated and there is a monument in town memorializing two volunteers who were killed in the recovery. We were one of two campers there, so we walked a lot, David got me a Dairy Queen and he found a BIG turtle shell. The people are SO nice...the Sheriff of Winn Parish stopped by and gave us gifts! We spent 2 nights, then David and I discussed me going home on a plane to rescue Sally and take her home, so he drove to Houston airport on 1/23, dropped me off at the “A” concourse and left to go to the same campground we stayed at last year – Stephen F. Austin west of Houston, until I can get back.
The whole airline thing was atrocious. I saw on my phone while he was driving that Delta and United had flights leaving 1/23 so David dropped me off at Delta (Concourse A). Delta was overbooked and had nothing to Detroit! So I went to United in Concourse B and she said it was $698 ONE WAY!! $1370 round trip! OMG! I feel sorry for people that have to travel quickly to see a dying loved one! They sock it to you! My brother-in-law Bill found Spirit @ around $100 one way. That was back in concourse A, so I took the train back there after much walking and I got a Spirit airlines round-trip for $322 leaving 1/23 at 7:05pm! Praise God! It was around 4pm so I had a while to wait. I sat, after going through not much security at the gate (a brace pat-down and swab of my shoe) and when I got up around 5:30pm to walk, I saw “CANCELLED” going to Detroit! No announcement or anything! The desk person showed up and I was able to change my flight out to Saturday night through Monday morning (Friday's flight was full). The Houston area had rain and low temperatures, and no de-icers at the airport so many flights were canceled. God has a plan...So David came an hour and 20 minutes back to the airport after setting up the trailer and an hour and 20 minutes back to camp. Love him!
We love the Stephen F. Austin State Park! Lots of birds and they love people to feed them! He took me around for a drive on 1/24 and he spotted a BARRED OWL and got a nice picture, and we are looking for an Armadillo! Need that for my website :) Also, got video I missed last year of a Pileated Woodpecker (I'll try to upload it to my website). A Carolina Wren was cleaning out the grease trap of our Weber grill :) We found our Nine-banded Armadillo on 1/24 and posted to FB. We left this park on Saturday, 1/25 so David could drop me off at the airport, then proceed to the Double Lake Rec. area 1 hr from the airport. I pray Sally is holding on for me...
David dropped me back at the Houston airport around 2pm on Saturday 1/25 for my flight to Detroit and him and Festus drove to Double Springs Recreation Area for 3 nights til I return. I asked God for a sign that Sally was still alive...and there was a CAT in a carrier on the plane. Thank you! I got in at 11am and Janette picked me up and dropped me at Mom's house. I hugged Mom and went straight to the basement and called Sally, but she didn't come out. I just knew she would when she heard my voice. I slept on the basement floor til 3am and nothing. The next day, my daughter's boyfriend, daughter and also a friend of hers came to look and nothing. My Sister also called 100 times (working). I had to leave early Monday to catch my 7:30am flight, so I put a fresh litter box, water and a little food in a circle on the floor in the hopes we could tell if she was eating. Mom will continue to monitor and I left, not feeling well, sad, and distraught. Update next week!
Statistics week 2: David drove 716 miles (two states – LA and Texas). Camping fees: $84 (3 campgrounds). No new birds. Notable birds – Clark's Grebe & Ladder-backed Woodpecker at Gum Springs; Common Loon & Bald Eagle at Indian Mounds; First Butterfly @ Gum Springs – Cloudless Sulphur!