Monday, May 21, 2012

Day #1: The First Ever Project BudBurst RoadTrip Adventure


Over the course of the next week, we’re going to share with you our journal from the Project BudBurst RoadTrip. Each day will feature a journal entry from one day of our trip. We hope you enjoy reading our story and get inspired to make your next road trip a Project BudBurst RoadTrip too! (And when you do, share your road trip story with us at budburstinfo@neoninc.org or on our Facebook page).

 
5 May 2012
Morning
Happy Cinco de Mayo! What a great day to start our first Project BudBurst Roadtrip Adventure. My mind is spinning. Did I forget anything? Better review my Project BudBurst RoadTrip Checklist:
  • Clipboard
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Single Report Forms for each plant group
o   Wildflowers and Herbs
o   Deciduous Trees and Shrubs
o   Evergreen Trees and Shrubs
o   Conifers
o   Grasses

Today’s drive will take us from Fort Collins, Colorado to Wall, South Dakota with a planned stop at Devils Tower National Monument, near Hullett, Wyoming.


Mid-day
The Plains cottonwood we observed at the Cheyenne rest area
Our first stop is a gas station just south of Cheyenne, Wyoming to top off our gas tank before heading north on I-25. Conveniently, there is a Wyoming Rest Area right across the street, so we decide to drive over and check it out. Sweet! There is a Plains cottonwood right in the parking lot. Out comes the camera and the clipboard and we make our first Project BudBurst RoadTrip observation.

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs Single Report Form
Plains cottonwood (Populous deltoides)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Rest Area off I-25
Leaves Unfolding: Middle (Many leaves have unfolded from the buds)

We don’t know the latitude/longitude coordinates of our location, but we’re not worried. We can use the Project BudBurst Geocoder when we get to our hotel later to look up our location!


Late afternoon
Heading in to Devils Tower National Monument
The beautiful landscapes of Wyoming kept us company today and now we’ve arrived at Devils Tower National Monument. What an awesome geologic feature! There are several hypotheses about how the Tower came to be but you’ll have to visit yourself to learn about them! We’re really hoping to find some Project BudBurst species to report on when we hike around the base of the tower.

Chokecherry at Devils Tower National Monument
The hike around the Tower is a refreshing break from the car and we find lots of species to report on. Chokecherry, Ponderosa pine, Oregon grape, and Quaking aspen are abundant. We locate one of each and fill out Single Report observations for them. We also see blooming Shooting stars and several yellow flowers I’m not familiar with. All in all, a great hike and plant-observing experience!

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