Planes Trains and Automobiles

The Operation Migration team spends the spring in Maryland, the summer and fall in Wisconsin, part of the winter in Florida and the rest of the time, what little there is left, in Ontario. Sometimes coordinating those moves can be problematic. We have an entire category within our annual budget called crew relocation.

As an example, we are preparing for the busy season when the Parent-Reared and Costume-Reared birds get released and all hands are needed to keep track of them. Not counting volunteers, we have five staff members ready and willing, but we only have four vehicles. Jo-Anne planned to bring her personal car out from Rhode Island but a day before her departure, someone made an illegal left in front of her and put her car out of commission. Luckily, she was not injured. The insurance company supplied a rental, which got her out here but they wouldn’t let her keep it for the next two months. Imagine that!

Heather volunteered her car but timing is everything. We had just made the long trip out here together in the OM truck so her car was in back in Ontario, parked in her driveway.

My daughter is off to college in a few days and we won’t get to see her until January when we go to visit. We planned a family gathering to see her off so I needed to get back home for the Labour Day weekend.

Last weekend we had a face-to-face meeting with our Board of Directors so Jo-Anne came up with a plan. By driving her rental back to the airport drop off in Milwaukee I could save her a three hour round trip and could also catch a Sunday flight back home while delivering one of our Directors so he could make his connection to DC. Killing two cats with one stone, as it were. 

The day started at 6 AM. We dealt with birds issue, attended the last of our meetings and drove to Milwaukee. After saying goodbye to our Board member, I caught a flight to Chicago and a connection to Toronto. Both Heather and I live an hour or so east of the airport. That’s a hundred and fifty dollar cab ride so I caught a train to Union Station in the heart of Toronto. From there I took another train to Oshawa where Heather lives. I got a cab to her house, picked up her car and drove home to Port Perry. Two cars, two planes, two trains and a cab. By 2 am I was safely home.

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  1. Mindy September 7, 2017 1:23 pm

    Glad you got the extra car…glad Jo Anne was not hurt in the wreck, and glad you got to see your daughter.
    But ummmm, Joe, I have a bit of trouble with your paragraph 5 up there. In the interest of all of us who have cats that we love, next time, could you say “Killing two Whooper predators with one stone”? lol

  2. lilbirdz September 5, 2017 9:40 am

    This saga is but a tiny representation of the organizational skills, quick adaptation, and resourcefulness of Operation Migration. Your resumes would make amusing reading.

  3. Madeline September 4, 2017 3:20 pm

    Joe, your daughter starts college! Congratulations to her! Forgive me the “how time flies” … wasn’t she was just 8? I’m so glad you were able to get home — even juggling so many vehicles!
    My very best regards to all!

  4. Dorothy N September 3, 2017 11:52 pm

    That’s one heck of a logistical nightmare! And I have (now-adult) kids, so I am very familiar with logistics-gone-crazy!