Well, we went to the Condor release. Our expectations were, shall I say, set incorrectly by the news article and the web site. Mostly the idea that a shuttle would take us to the viewing area. Technically, the shuttle dropped us off about two MILES from the viewing area, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d been wearing the right shoes, because I hadn’t planned on a hike – probably my fault, ultimately, as I should have known better. I might have been willing to put the pain in my heels and arches aside though, if the viewing area had actually been NEAR the Condors. At all. The ‘viewing area’ was halfway up the side of a hill, and the condor pen was at the top of the hill across the way, approximately two miles away. At least. There were a lot of little presentations, explaining the whole event, and then we waited. After a few minutes, there was a black dot moving on the roof of the pen. People oohed and ahhed as expected. After a while the condor took off and promptly flew off down the opposite side of the hill, completely out of sight.
Even with the binoculars the couple next to us graciously let us borrow for a moment we couldn’t see much more. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for separation from a bunch of goggling humans, but we’re still wondering why the heck the condor people didn’t set up some kind of inobtrusive camera at the pen, broadcasting a line of sight feed to the viewing area where they could have set up a monitor. They had a few condor feathers and skulls on display too, but the skulls turned out to be fabrications even. *sigh* The only photo I took showed nothing but a huge hill with a teeny metal shed on it – it’s not worth posting.
The hike back to the shuttle pickup spot was hot, sandy, and buggy, which did nothing to ease our sense of having wasted most of a day. The one bright spot was the nice conversation we had with the couple sitting next to us on the bench (Hello again if you’re reading this! *grin*)