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Cheri Yarborough

Ask Dr. Cheri

Cheri Yarborough has a PhD in Psychology and worked for 14 years on a social services helpline in Milwaukee, Wis., and for 13 years as a trauma counselor. Readers may either e-mail her questions directly (cyarborough@earthlink.net) or send a letter to her c/o CCN, PO Box 232, Berryville AR 72616. Readers are encouraged to send questions on any subject from relationship problems to how to get along in the world. Letters will not be answered directly; instead, several will be chosen for this column, and they will be answered within the CCN pages in that manner. Letter-writers will not be identified by their real name.

Opinion

How our try at eagle watching nearly, but not quite, failed

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It was early in January and we had read about the eagle watches around the states on the lakes and rivers. There was one scheduled at Hobbs State Park and we made reservations a week in advance.

I was excited, as we had been on one before on the Wisconsin River. It was thrilling to see such a large bird dive into the water, scoop up a fish, and with its powerful wings climb quickly back into the sky.

I planned my wardrobe carefully, knitting up some leg warmers to go over my jeans and making sure I had a warm hat and scarf to go with my old leather bomber jacket.

The weather was icy and cold the day before, but we packed a thermos of hot apple cider and were well prepared for whatever the weather might hold.

We were a bit confused about where the marina was located where the boat launch would be. The directions that were e-mailed to us were from Rogers. We took 62 west and then down Hwy 12 to Hobbs State Park. There were no signs for the eagle watch and the launch time was getting near.

After several dead ends and wrong ways, we finally discovered the right turn at a faded marina sign. When we got there, we weren't sure where to park and we saw no obvious vessel that would be making a cruise that day.

The information from the e-mail said there would be someone to escort us to the boat. Don got out and walked down a long sloping bridge to a floating store that was closed. He couldn't find anyone around.

I waited in the car and when he came back, we drove back and forth at the marina looking for any sign that would tell us that we were at the right place. Finally, we saw a white pick up truck with a tiny emblem on the door. Don parked and got out just the door to the truck opened and a park ranger got out.

"Are you Don?" he asked. "We've been trying to contact you since noon. The cruise is off for today." We had given our home number in case the cruise was cancelled. We were long gone before the message came about the cruise being called off. It was almost 3 p.m.

The park ranger offered to either refund our money for the cruise or have us reschedule for another one a few days later. Unfortunately, Don would be out of town when the next one would leave the dock.

The moment had passed, but not before we saw an eagle soar over the lake as we were leaving. He was searching for his next meal, and he didn't care if there was a boat full of people admiring his skill or not.

I guess we'll try again next year. We took another route home and arrived just before it was getting dark. At least it was a pretty drive.