Within a mile or so of starting out, I noticed a credit card lying in the street. I stopped and stuck it in my pocket, figuring I would call it in later. Another mile down the road I found a new-looking Liz Claiborne women's wallet, containing just a credit card and a $25 gift card. I added it to my stash. When we got to our first rest stop, I compared the name on the loose credit card with the credit card in the wallet and was not surprised to find that they matched. Apparently this poor woman's wallet was either lost or stolen, and probably the latter, given the absence of cash or ID. Later in the ride, I picked up one of those little metal miniature cars, so it was really quite a day for roadside finds.
When we reached our hotel and I had cleaned up, I called Chase (the issuing bank for both of the credit cards) and told them the story. The have a policy that prevents them from giving me any of the card-owner's information (expected) or from giving my contact information to her. They were grateful that I reported the cards, and told me to cut them up and dispose of them. After mulling it over, I think I will send the wallet to the Stillwater police department. Perhaps there will be some fingerprints or something that might help them catch the creep who stole the contents of the wallet. At the very least, they can return it to its owner.
* * *
Fred: "I recently went to Boulder for a structural equation modeling conference..." (A minute or so passes while cars and trucks go by.)
Seth: (grinning) "So, are you just going to leave me hanging?"
Fred: (makes rude gesture involving a single finger.)
Now for some bird stuff: While out in the country here in Oklahoma, you often see the State bird, the Scissortail Flycatcher. I was hoping that Reinhard had a photo that I could include here, but I guess he has not yet been to this part of the country. There are lots of great photos of this bird on Flickr, however, such as this one. He would be a beautiful little guy even without his fantastic, long tail. Below is a flock of swallows foraging near a bridge over a river. There has been a similar scene, different only in scale, wherever we passed over even the smallest stream, starting the first day of our tour. I think they are Northern Rough-winged Swallows, but I'm not 100% sure.
Five miles or so from the hotel, we stopped at this roadside shrine (below) for a pair of local cyclists who died at that location.