Wally World: Ride for the Birds (Leisurely)

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Date and Time: 
Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 10:00am
Start Location: 
Fir-Conway Lutheran Church
20990 Skagit City Road
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Contact Information: 
Lawrence F. Baum
33.00 miles
Elevation Gain: 
127 feet
Weather Cancellation: 
Ride Description: 



Ride Description: Every year tens of thousands of snow geese, several thousand trumpeter swans and many other waterfowl and raptor (hawks, falcons, and eagles) species spend the winter on Fir Island.  If we spot a flock of birds at a good viewing distance, we will stop to observe and photograph.  It is suggested that you bring binoculars and possibly a camera with a zoom lens. It can on occasion get exciting if raptors, who always lurk around the edges of the fields of birds, select an especially tasty-looking bird for a meal.

If you are tired of arguing with urban traffic and breathing exhaust fumes, this ride in low- to zero traffic rural and scenic Skagit County is for you

This is a LEISURELY paced ride (10 – 12 mph) crisscrossing Fir Island in hopes of encountering flocks of snow geese and other birds.  The route is through farmland that is flat as a pancake.  Fir Island is near Conway, WA (I-5 exit 221).  We have been given an OK to park in the church parking lot (except on Sundays) but we need to park away from the building. The route is essentially 3 loops which pass the start location at the beginning of each.  As a result, we will have an opportunity at miles 16 and 23 to shed layers of clothing or bail if needed.  The posted route is subject to change depending on where we find birds and how much time we spend watching them.  The loops of 16, 23 and 10 miles and the network of intersecting roads on Fir Island make "bail-outs/return to car" easy if a rider so desires.

Please park in the lot behind the church.  They can be busy some Saturdays and want to keep the front parking lot open.

Neither water nor restrooms are available at the start.  However, as you enter Conway both are available at the Union 76 and Chevron stations provided you purchase something. A honey bucket is publicly available in the Union 76 parking lot across the street.  An I-5 rest stop is available just north of exit 206 coming and going. During the ride, restrooms are available at mile 14 when we stop at the Skagit State Wildlife Refuge and at mile 21 when we stop for refreshment at the “Field of Beans” café (see hyperlink below).  They have really good soup and sandwiches.

Please arrive at least by 9:45, 15 minutes before the start of the ride  to sign the liability waiver if you didn’t register online, and to hear the safety (SMART) briefing. Please register for this ride using the Register Tab.  If you cannot make the ride, you do not need to unregister.  Be sure to bring a spare tube as well as the tools and knowledge to fix a flat a flat – we will stay with you while you fix a flat.  If the roads are wet please have fenders or plan on riding at the end of the line.

Carpools: The ride is far enough north that some may want to carpool.  Please feel free to use the comment section for initial contact communication if you would like a ride or offer to drive.

Ride Cancellation: Should conditions require ride cancellation, a notice will be posted on this site by 8:00. If cancelled, the ride leader will not be at the start.

Fir-Conway Lutheran Church
20990 Skagit City Road
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Ride Leader(s)

Registrations so far...
Leisurely: [10-12mph]

3 rider(s)