Tuesday. 2pm. We were working but we weren’t supposed to be. Tuesdays are our day off. I busted into Tim’s office and suggested a spontaneous mini-road trip. Super mini.
“Where to?”, he foolishly asked. 15 minutes later, we were sitting in the car and rolling the Zufall dice into the cup holder. We set the base value at 15 minutes – so a roll of 1 would mean a 15 minute drive but we were prepared for an hour and a half to find our unknown destination (the return trip would make this more of a road trip than either of us was prepared for, but what the heck!) As it happened, the roll was 1 NE.
Right away we started thinking about what was 15 minutes Northeast of us, and given it was a drug store that we needed to go shopping at, we were about to set toward our destination. BUT. But, that is not in true Zufall spirit. So we threw away any notion of where were going and started driving North. We didn’t make the turn East that would have taken us to the store – going a little further North before making a turn. That road, wound east, north and even west for a while eventually taking us to a “No Through Road” sign. We were lost but we journeyed on to discover the road dead ended at a lake with a regional park marker.
We parked and jumped out to take a look at the sign – Robert Lake Regional Park. What we discovered was that this lake was actually a salt lake and was very popular with birds. While we stood and took in the view, a man pulled up with his camera – large zoom lens in tow. We got to chatting and he told us that he visits the lake almost daily to see the comings and goings of migrating birds. He pointed out a few of the birds of note (a Barrow’s Goldeneye and a few Northern Shovellers got him pretty excited).
If you’ve followed Zufall for a while, you know we’ve had some pretty spectacular times bird watching on our various trips around the globe and here we were discovering what a birder’s paradise our own backyard is. Our new friend kindly gave us a few more bird-rich places to check out around town (perhaps, next time, with our binoculars).
It’s funny. You live in a place for a while and you think you know it, but its not until you let yourself get lost that you find new things.