My van travel plan is to head north …. eventually as north as North Dakota! The first few days after leaving southern Arizona, I am not traveling new roads. However, I did notice a short distance and time off Interstate 25 (I-25) in New Mexico allowed me to see an area I had never seen before. I drove through many, many pecan trees. Wondering if they were pistachio or pecan trees, it soon became clear to me. They were pecan trees. A sign indicated, “anyone thieving at the pecan trees would be prosecuted”. That’s fair! Then I saw this sign about a short-lived colony in the area:
Further down the road I passed fort ruins. If you are a history buff, there are plenty of fort ruins to see in the west, but I drove on and connected with I-25 to spend hours at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is open all year with 374 different bird species having been observed. My bird list for this location is shorter than that, so I still have plenty to see out here!
Depending upon the season, there are birds migrating through this wetland area. I was rushed in my birdwatching because I was trying to stay ahead of a thunderstorm! I drove both loops and saw no new birds, but remained dry! The area is beautiful and one unusual snake was crossing the road while I was driving the auto loop. I stayed at a winery that night and people did not know it was a desert kingsnake as I asked around to see if anyone knew what it was before I put it in iNaturalist app. They were thinking garter snake and knew it was not a rattlesnake.
I-25 is hundreds of miles long! After hours, finally getting to Colorado! I took a walking break at Pueblo Colorado’s riverwalk. It was a short, stretch-my-legs, time before hopping back on the interstate.
My first 3 days on the road were fun. I met people from Lebanon, Oregon, beat the thunderstorm while bird watching, but unfortunately had plenty of thunder, lightning and rain while driving. My windshield is very clean….and not cracked! (If you don’t know, I already 3 trips with a windshield crack each trip.)
My travel adventure continues…..