ALABAMA! (+ 57 Miles)
Alabama, here they come! Today was the third try to leave Hardin County, Tennessee after six days of weather delays. The birds made the pilots work for over an hour with a rodeo in the air over the pen. Crane #827 actually refused to exit the pen. It took Heather and Bev working in the pen together to get him out and finally he took off with Joe's plane — which he had all to himself. (Was that his plan all along? See photo.) Four birds (819, 828, 829 and 830) dropped out about 3 miles from the pen site. Walter, John, Bev and Heather took off in the van to capture and crate them, and Bev drove those four birds to Franklin County while Brian went to find and crate dropout 803. Meanwhile, the other nine soldiered on to the Franklin County stopover. Richard described it:
what seemed an eternity we were on approach for the snow- covered
Sliding to a stop, we sat there a moment appreciating the
safe landing. While Chris and Brooke put their trikes away, Joe
and I walked the birds to a small pond for some well deserved playtime;
however, the water was covered in a thin, clear layer of ice.
One chick walked out onto the ice, and skidded across it,
flailing its feet in a peddling-backwards motion before breaking
and regaining its footing. Then, one by one, the others tried
as well with equal awkwardness. This provided great comic relief
for Joe and I as we struggled not to laugh out loud at them.
Day 57 added 57 miles for a grand total of 702 miles gone.
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in
cooperation with the Whooping
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).