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November 21, 2003
Day 37

Aerial Rodeo: Cranes Say NO to "The Beast"

Day Two in Cumberland Cty.
Yesterday the cranes gained enough altitude to guide them over the first of many tall ridges that await them in the Tennessee terrain. Today their challenge would be to tackle "the Beast," the crew's nickname for Walden Ridge. The cranes took charge and said NO WAY. Here's what happened: The birds and ultralights took off from Cumberland County, Tennessee at  8:18 (Eastern time) and flew for about 25 minutes, but the cranes would not continue. Why? A slight headwind, made stronger by the 2700-foot Walden Ridge, discouraged the birds and they simply wouldn't stick with the ultralights. The pilots took them back to Cumberland County and they'll try again tomorrow.

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Mark and Charlie wait (out of sight of the cranes) for Joe to give them the thumbs up to release the birds 11/20.
Pockets of fog linger as Joe gets in place to pick up the cranes.

Airborne to Cumberland County, TN, with Joe flying lead and Richard flying chase.

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Try This! Journaling Questions

  • Think about the challenge the cranes face. Today they didn't want to try, in the face of headwinds. When have you faced a challenge that took you a few tries to get started? Were the other conditions not yet right for you to feel confident, or were there other reasons? Write about it in your journal.

  • This migration route has the ground crew dealing with twists and turns and hills and valleys--not to mention TRAFFIC--for an estimated 1656 miles. That's 431 miles more by ground than by air. How many miles are left for the cranes to fly? With today's total of 652.7 miles (statute), about how many miles are left for the drivers?


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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