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385 triplogs
Oct 15 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Santa Cruz River - Ina Road, AZ 
Santa Cruz River - Ina Road, AZ
 
Birding avatar Oct 15 2020
cactuscat
Birding0.10 Miles
Birding0.10 Miles      23 Mns   0.26 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
FYI, if you want to see one of the rarest birds in the US - and the "easiest Northern Jacana in the World" - it's been hanging around for a couple weeks ... easily visible from the pedestrian walkway.
Fauna
Fauna
Northern Jacana
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Sep 22 2020
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Cave Creek Canyon - Chiricahuas, AZ 
Cave Creek Canyon - Chiricahuas, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar Sep 22 2020
cactuscat
Road Biking20.00 Miles 134 AEG
Road Biking20.00 Miles
134 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Posting nothing but ebike and bird pics from now on, for my haters. :lol:
After staying away from Portal all Spring and Summer, it was SO nice to be back for a day!
Campgrounds still closed (except for Herb Martyr) - lodges full.
Canyon as beautiful as ever.
Got my Eared Quetzal - :y:
Put about 20 miles on the bike riding up and down the Canyon, and out to the Portal Cafe.
Two firsts - passed serious road bikers for the first time, and heard "hey that's cheating" for the first time ... not from the cyclists I passed, but from an old guy with a Jeep and a rooftop tent at the Portal Cafe ... he said it in a joking way though, so I laughed and responded "it's FUN is what it is" and "I'm not in a competition" ... he and his friends laughed and waved. :D
Fauna
Fauna
Eared quetzal
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Jul 08 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Shannon CampgroundTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Jul 08 2020
cactuscat
Car Camping2.50 Miles
Car Camping2.50 Miles2 Days         
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Things I learned during this 24 hours on the mountain -

-If your pishing game is on point, you might end up with a young Red-faced Warbler perched on your foot.

-Roadrunners can and do exist at 9,000 feet. ("rare" above 7,000)

-Some people actually bring a rake and use it on their campsite before they set up.

-The little stream that runs through Shannon contains some of the slipperiest rocks I've encountered anywhere. (insert sudden, violent fall here)

-When you're just waking up, the whir of hummingbird wings outside your tent can sound just like a cat purring next to you in bed.

Looking forward to the next set of lessons - as always!
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Jun 18 2020
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Shannon CampgroundTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Jun 18 2020
cactuscat
Car Camping5.50 Miles
Car Camping5.50 Miles2 Days         
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Had long-standing reservation for my annual Fool Hollow visit, but with the virus spreading faster than ever and fires burning everywhere, I decided to continue staying close to home.
Luckily, Shannon is just a 25-mile, 45-minute drive - and most importantly, about 6,000 feet higher! I've never camped here before, but I definitely will again! Nice to save the extra hour of bumpy dirt driving up to Riggs, and the tiny campground does not lend itself to crowds or partying. Completely quiet, though nearly full. Incredible weather - 75-78 high and around 50? low ... felt quite freezing in the morning, though!
Talked to a few people - especially one very nice couple who live at the base of Mt Lemmon. Talked birds and cameras, and fires ... at one point late Wednesday afternoon, another camper was convinced there was a fire on Graham, but it was just the sight and smell of Mt Lemmon burning some 60 miles away. :(
Hiked/birded around the campground, up Swift Trail and back through the drainage, and down Arcadia Trail a couple times.
Got my first ever Flammulated Owl right at my campsite - heard it in the evening and again in the morning. A couple of nesting Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were pointed out to me by the nice lady from Tucson. Saw my second and third Mt Graham Red Squirrels, and a couple Coues Deer browsing in the empty site next to mine.
Very enjoyable. :D
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Jun 03 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Riggs Flat CampgroundTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Jun 03 2020
cactuscat
Car Camping5.00 Miles
Car Camping5.00 Miles2 Days         
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First overnighter of the year - delayed by about a month due to Covid closures, and much-needed.
Campground and lake day-use were busier than I've ever seen on a weekday, as expected ... but not as bad as I feared. Campground was probably 3/4 full by nightfall, but everyone respected the group area closure and fire ban. There were two huge caliber gunshots about 15 minutes apart that rang out from somewhere beyond the lake and echoed through the campground right around dark - is it hunting season for something? Bear, maybe - or elephant, judging by the cannon this hunter was using?! :-k :lol:
Did five or six small hikes around lake and campground and beyond. I love that despite the heavy use of the area, I can walk for a few minutes in any direction and get to beautiful, quiet places and see no one.
It was reasonably quiet at bedtime - and so nice not to be inundated with campfire smoke, and I slept well! Heard Mexican Whip-poor-wills and Spotted Owls.
As per usual up here, the birds woke me as soon as the sky started to lighten at 4:30, and I was up for good at 5:30 ... enjoyed my coffee with one of the most enthusiastic and varied dawn bird choruses that I've heard anywhere.
First morning hike led me to a lovely encounter with my first Twin-spotted Rattlesnake! I was hiking along the ridgeline behind the campground, and paused for a moment to enjoy the sun when I heard the smallest, gentlest little "rattle" - more like a greeting than a warning ... the snake was about a foot long, and three feet away - I stood and watched it go about it's snakey business for a couple minutes until it went around a boulder. What a sweetie.
Second morning hike was up the drainage of the inlet creek. I wasn't planning on going too far - but got cut even shorter when I came across a black bear ... I heard movement a little ways uphill to my right, then the very clear sound of bear "huffing" - twice ... caught a glimpse of said bear over my shoulder as I vacated the area! :lol:
Very refreshing, relaxing quick getaway ... always grateful to have this place.
Flora
Flora
New Mexico Locust
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May 09 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Dankworth Pond State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 09 2020
cactuscat
Hiking1.18 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking1.18 Miles   1 Hour   25 Mns   0.83 mph
100 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
One of my "global big day" birding territories.
Giant rattlesnake - glad I didn't have to handle/move this one!
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May 08 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Heliograph Peak Road, AZ 
Heliograph Peak Road, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar May 08 2020
cactuscat
Mtn Biking5.50 Miles 1,007 AEG
Mtn Biking5.50 Miles      47 Mns   48 Secs6.90 mph
1,007 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Getting to the top has never been so easy!
Riding down was bone-jarring rough!
Saw some nice birds and some guys working on the com towers ... one yelled down to me "nice bike!". 🤣

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7 archives
May 06 2020
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Chiricahua National Monument, AZ 
Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar May 06 2020
cactuscat
Road Biking16.70 Miles 1,876 AEG
Road Biking16.70 Miles   1 Hour   29 Mns   57 Secs11.14 mph
1,876 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Monument is closed to vehicles, so it made a perfect ride - I only saw four people, all NPS workers.
First real ride on the new toy - so fun!
Video -

Check out Chiricahua National Monument on Relive! https://www.relive.cc/view/vKv24ExVBo6
Named place
Named place
Faraway Ranch
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Aug 14 2019
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Ash spring, AZ 
Ash spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2019
cactuscat
Hiking2.14 Miles 544 AEG
Hiking2.14 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   1.38 mph
544 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
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Jan 07 2019
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Roper Lake Strikes Again, AZ 
Roper Lake Strikes Again, AZ
 
Birding avatar Jan 07 2019
cactuscat
Birding
Birding
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I found an apparent Iceland (Thayer's) Gull - a first year bird - Monday on Roper Lake. If accepted by the Arizona Bird Committee review process, it will be a first for Graham County and all of Southeastern AZ.
Birding is fun! :D :y:
Fauna
Fauna
Thayer's gull
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Jan 04 2019
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Graham County Birds, AZ 
Graham County Birds, AZ
 
Birding avatar Jan 04 2019
cactuscat
Birding2.00 Miles
Birding2.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The crazy weather kept me close to home to start the year, but I still managed to get my year list off to a decent start - 50 different kinds of birds in the first four days, including several lifers already.
Eastern Bluebirds were a highlight, but the random blue-morph Snow Goose I stumbled upon today was a pretty exciting find ... and I finally saw the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Roper that all the other local birders had already managed to see before me.
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Jan 02 2019
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Roper Lake State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2019
cactuscat
Hiking2.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Woke up to a near blizzard.
Had to take my cat to the vet - roads were a nightmare!
Came home and dug out my Grand Canyon winter gear to take a hike around the lake - it was great! :)
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Dec 29 2018
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Roper Lake State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Birding avatar Dec 29 2018
cactuscat
Birding
Birding
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Got two more (unexpected) life birds today! I had been looking for Cedar Waxwings for a while - totally worth the wait. And a California Gull - third different Gull on the lake in three days. :y:
That makes my total for the year 180, almost all in AZ - not bad considering I am new at this and didn't get serious until summer ... gonna try for 250 in 2019! :D
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Dec 20 2018
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Gillespie Wash Coronado NF, AZ 
Gillespie Wash Coronado NF, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2018
cactuscat
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked downstream one mile at birding speed.
Very birdy - there were many more than I could identify, but I got my lifer Lawrence's Goldfinches and saw White-throated Sparrows for the first time other than one in my yard recently. Spotted Towhees are always fun to see, and there were Cardinals and Pyrrhuloxia's.
I wore my brightest orange shirt (2013 AZ Snowbowl Climb to Conquer Cancer), and didn't get shot at. Pretty sure there were other eyes on me at times, but only ran into one side-by-side with 2 men and a woman - I had met the guys previously while looking for the Ringed Kingfisher ... we talked for a couple minutes and they said they had "glassed up" a lion just past where I turned around, and a few bucks.
Glorious day out there in some fantastic habitat.
Named place
Named place
Gillespie Wash
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Dec 07 2018
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Roper Lake State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Birding avatar Dec 07 2018
cactuscat
Birding
Birding
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Yes! :y:
After weeks of waiting and watching hopefully, my lifer White-throated Sparrow (uncommon to rare in this area) finally showed up in my yard, among some White-crowned Sparrows ... glad I looked closely!
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Dec 05 2018
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Reay Lane Reclamation Ponds & MarshTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Birding avatar Dec 05 2018
cactuscat
Birding
Birding      20 Mns   0.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A birder friend texted me this morning that the gates were open and Wood Ducks were present, so it was time to finally check out this local eBird hotspot!
It's not 100% clear that this location is public, so it felt like a bit of a caper. I only drove 150 or so yards inside the gate - and never saw another vehicle or person, so no sweat.
Quickly found the Wood Ducks, and got decent photos of a beautiful female Northern Harrier. Noted Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teals. Got a Least Sandpiper, and a surprise lifer - the very spiffy-looking Wilson's Snipe!
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3 archives
Dec 04 2018
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Graham County Regional Park, AZ 
Graham County Regional Park, AZ
 
Birding avatar Dec 04 2018
cactuscat
Birding0.15 Miles
Birding0.15 Miles
      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick visit to try for 3 lifers - got 2.
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Nov 28 2018
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Miller Canyon Trail #106Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2018
cactuscat
Hiking2.71 Miles 690 AEG
Hiking2.71 Miles   2 Hrs   42 Mns   1.24 mph
690 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
A little more hiking than birding today.
First hike in Miller Canyon Wilderness.
Drove 240 miles rt and hiked a few more in search of Rufous-capped Warblers ... didn't find them, but that's how it goes sometimes.
Beautiful place and day for exploring. Only saw one guy and dog, on my way back. And four deer in three different encounters.
This Sierra Vista area is starting to grow on me. :D
Culture
Culture
Aerostat
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Nov 21 2018
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Patagonia Lake State Park - Birding Tra, AZ 
Patagonia Lake State Park - Birding Tra, AZ
 
Birding avatar Nov 21 2018
cactuscat
Birding1.77 Miles 31 AEG
Birding1.77 Miles   2 Hrs   9 Mns   1.05 mph
31 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My only previous visit to PALA had been for work, helping out with their annual Mariachi Festival. I kept wanting to come back to hike and bird - it is the state's #1 hotspot on ebird, after all ... 318 species! - but had only spent time at Paton's and the Sonoita Creek Preserve on my trips to the area.
My main target for this day was to get my first Green Kingfisher (GRKI), to complete the trifecta of North American Kingfishers - a feat that up until my RIKI showed up in October, would have only been possible in South Texas. The GRKI is the smallest (only 7-8 inches), and hardest to find since they are easily overlooked - perching on roots and small branches very low to the water. The fish they eat are only 1-2 inces long, so they have to be close to the water to even see them. The only place in the US they can be seen regularly is South Texas (like the RIKI),and the Arizona population is considered to be accidental, or "rare stragglers" - though they seem to be increasing.
Spotted a White-tailed Kite swooping low over the road and on down a wash just before I reached the town of Patagonia ... nice start to the day. I'm pretty sure I've seen them a couple times before, but this was my first good enough look to count, so it was Lifer number one for the day. :)
Once I arrived at the Park I went straight to the Birding Trail - it starts with an informational kiosk which has a list of the most recent sightings, among other things. Next is a very nice little seating area with several nectar and seed feeders and a view of the lake - I am immediately envious of this and wish I had one at Roper. Very soon the trail goes down a hill and through a gate and then you are at lake level. It doesn't take long to see why this is such a favorite place of so many birds - it's an amazing habitat! The trail meanders through bosques, along marshes, and across washes, and there are often several paths to choose from if you are trying to stay close to the lake ... the choices get more numerous and indistinct the farther you go. Many cow patties to dodge, and occasional cows. Not sure why they are allowed to be here - would be much nicer if they weren't!
The GRKI has been seen regularly near the mouth of Sonoita Creek, so as I got closer to that I tried to check the shoreline more often. I was stooped under a low tree, scanning, when a lady in a kayak spotted me and called out (loudly, three times :-$ ) "Is that you, Bill? Hello?" I finally turned and as I said "I'm not Bill", I saw a small Kingfisher fly past silently! My only impression was "small" - couldn't discern color or anything. I was really hoping that wouldn't be my only glimpse as I proceeded on towards the creek after the bird.
Reached the creek, took a quick look around, and then a break amid the mooing sounds coming from just upstream. When I resumed hiking I started upstream, but only went about 20 feet before I stopped to scan the likely perches upstream and spotted my GRKI right away! :D She was perched in the shade so I couldn't get great pics, but good enough, and I watched her dive for fish several times. After a few minutes she flew back downstream right past me and perched a little closer to allow for slightly better pics, saw her actually catch and eat something this time. She is so freaking cute - like the descriptions say "like a sparrow with a heron's bill" ... adorable. Eventually she flew back along the shore and out of sight, but this time she was calling so I got to hear her too - sounding more like an insect than a bird. Lifer number two for the day.
Super happy about this success, I started heading back when it occurred to me that since I had been lucky enough to see RIKI and a BEKI the day before, that I had just now scored all three US Kingfishers in less than 24 hours! Certainly the first time that's been done in Arizona, and not even possible anywhere else except S. Texas - cool! :DANCE:
I was strolling along happily watching the Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bridled Titmouse, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, etc when I approached the wash/creek that I had crossed earlier on a small wobbly log and kept my feet dry. However this time there were 10-12 cows spread out around the area blocking my route. I tried to get around, but it was way too bushwacky ... tried to get around another way - more cows. Dang I may be here a while! Two birders showed up on the other side and we waved and shrugged at each other. Eventually I got bold and slipped past the gentlest-looking cow and quickly waded straight across the water - no longer trapped, but stuck with wet feet for the rest of the day.
Chatted with the birders - I had met Babs before when she came to Roper to try for the RIKI - and gave her directions to the GRKI ... we parted ways as she and her friend were preparing to get wet feet and cross through the cows.
After I finished the hike I went exploring around the rest of the Park - checked out the campgrounds, marina, climbed the bridge, visited the Visitor's Center (more envy on my part - their VC is fanatstic, inside and out!). A very nice day here, and a great Park to visit when it's not too busy ... if it weren't for the (rather rowdy) crowds that this large lake attracts in the summer, it would be an ideal place for me to work.
Very happy with my day, I decided to forgo any further stops on the way home - but still scored another White-tailed Kite as I drove past Las Cienegas on Hwy 82. 33 species all together - which I believe is my best day by the numbers.
Fauna
Fauna
Green Kingfisher
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
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Nov 20 2018
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Reid Park - Tucson, AZ 
Reid Park - Tucson, AZ
 
Birding avatar Nov 20 2018
cactuscat
Birding1.23 Miles 11 AEG
Birding1.23 Miles   1 Hour   17 Mns   1.23 mph
11 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wouldn't normally drive 120 miles to bird a city park, but between Reid and Lakeside they had four lifers waiting for me so I had to go look!
Got 3 of the 4. :)
Reid Park is really nice! Lakeside Park is a shameful mess of trash, plastic, and fishing line ... a death-trap for birds.
To top off my day, I relocated my first state record Ringed Kingfisher after she hadn't been seen in nearly a month! So happy to see her alive and well, and she even looks more mature now!
Amazing day of birding - happy late birthday to me! - and I still have two more days to enjoy ... planning on Patagonia for lifer Green Kingfisher tonorrow. :)
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average hiking speed 1.15 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 20  Next

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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