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Flying with the Eagles

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The Loneliest Road in America truly sums up the stretch of U.S. Route 50 through central Nevada. I had no idea Nevada had so many desert valleys until I drove this national highway.  You get over one mountain range and voila! It's deja vu—another endless valley floor with a mountain range staring from afar.

In the late 1980s, the First Husband and I decided to drive cross-country, from San Francisco to New York. However, the first day of our adventure began with a dental emergency and a pain that would eventually make itself known as cancer for the First Husband. After several days of checking with doctors, we got in our red Mazda pick-up truck and headed east, with an open mind that we would turn back at Denver if the First Husband did not feel well.

I don't remember how we decided to take U.S. 50 rather than the more direct U.S. 80 through Nevada to Utah. Most likely it was the romantic notion of driving the Pony Express Route. Those poor fellows. Miles of dust behind them and miles of dust before them. Still, if I had lived during that era, I would've wanted to have been a Pony Express rider. As it was, I did imagine myself a modern one as I drove us through eastern central Nevada. Instead of the U.S. mail, I was delivering the First Husband to several places in the United States where we could research the life of his father, a first generation Korean American who had dedicated himself to Korean independence from Japanese rule, as well as to spreading the Christian word. But, that's a tale for another day.

As we approached the Utah border in the Great Basin desert, the First Husband was napping in the passenger seat. Not too long after passing the sign welcoming us to  Utah, I saw two huge birds standing in the lane up ahead. As we got closer, I saw that they were nipping at a carcass on the ground. One bird glanced up at our advancing truck.

"Husband! Husband!" I slowed down, but continued driving forward. They were bold and handsome eagles. Young ones, I think. I was almost upon them as they positioned themselves for take off.

One eagle opened its wingspan. It seemed to be as long as the width of the front of the truck.

"Husband!"

The First Husband woke up in time to see us driving between two gliding eagles before they soared upwards into the sky. 


Comments

  1. Great E post! best of luck with the rest of the challenge :)

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  2. Wow sounds incredible. It reminds me of this time I was driving down a highway and a deer came out- it didn't run across the road, it ran alongside me. It was unbelievable.

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    1. So cool! Did you wonder if it may have wanted a ride? Oh, gosh, what a thought.

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  3. Every Spring and Autumn we have a flock of eagles hanging out in the eagle 'hood' on the far bank of Widderlake. In Spring they're nesting and it's the salmon in Autumn. The mighty Fraser River is just a hop-skip-and-jump away.

    The other day about six of them swooped along the driveway in front of my window. The were huge!

    Right about then I remembered that Widdercat (who is 92 - cat years) had gone outside for her constitutional a few minutes previously.

    After a frantic search I found her asleep on the bed, and was not amused when I woke her with my ramblings about her non-existent capture!

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    1. Wow oh wow! You are living in heaven! I would've been the same way with Molly the Cat.

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  4. That scene was something you can't ever forget. At one point you must have been afraid you would hit them. I live in the midst of eagles (so to speak) but I never see any. There were several nests near the ranch but I always must go by just when they're out to lunch.

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    1. Yep, when I was driving between them, I was scared I'd swerve into one of them. Do you ever hear the eagles?

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  5. What an amazing experience! Wow!

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  6. What a nice story. That would have been awesome to see.
    Thanks for the post!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. The eagles was definitely the best part of the trip and we were able to uncover quite a lot of the First Husband's history.

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