Monday, May 26, 2008

Day Three

First off, to answer a couple questions from yesterday’s comments, the bunny is one I keep on the dashboard of my car. On our first car trip, I insisted we take it. Dan objected, but I was firm and the bunny is now a permanent part of each vacation. Since we can’t take the real thing, we take this one. She’s welcome in all hotels, which makes things easy.

Regarding Texas rest stops, the ones I’ve been to on the interstates are all very nice—fancy and well maintained. The free wireless internet is new but I think it’s also universal for all rest stops. But to be clear, there is a distinction between rest stops and picnic stops. There are a lot more picnic stops than full rest stops and although the picnic areas are nice and often have a view (if one is available) they are pretty basic—picnic table and trash can. Not even a restroom. Rest stops have vending, restrooms, lots of picnic area, maybe a gazebo and information center.

Now on to today’s adventures!

I got up at 8:00 this morning (sleeping in!) and went for a nice run around the area. I found a new place to run, following a dirt road between some new fields near the cemetery. The road went on longer than I thought it would, so my run ended up being about 50 minutes. At my “altitude” pace, that probably came to at or just under five miles.

This alfalfa field behind my dad's property was full of cut hay lying in the field last night. Sometime in the early morning hours, a machine came through and baled it.

This is the village church for Bosque, which is where my father lives.

Mesas in the morning.

Vista from the hill before heading home for breakfast.

I home to coffee and breakfast burritos. After I ate and showered, we headed out for adventure.

First, my father took us to the nearby waterfowl refuge. There were no birds to see at this time of year, but it was a nice place to wander around.

There was a fire at the refuge not too long ago. The trees on one side of the row burned...

...but this row on the other side did not.

A closer look at the burnt side.

And here's one of the reasons the waterbirds come.

And here's another reason. Everything is so green by the river!

Then we headed toward the mountains to see where the big fires were recently.

We stopped in the town of Mountainair, where we browsed the little five & dime and bought a few things...

...then we continued up into the Manzano mountains, where we came across this cute little church from the 1820s.

Then we tried to see how close we could get to the areas where the recent fires were.

After getting as close to the burned areas as we could without doing a lot of driving on dirt roads, we decided it was time to head back toward home.

On the way, we saw this cool old house and windmill.

Since the Abo mission was on our way, we stopped and had a snack. We had all been here before, but it was fun to look around again.

Mission church. Abo is one of the Salinas missions built by the Spanish and native Pueblos in the 1600s.

There are some amazing views from the site.

Abo once had a river.

The site at Abo was occupied for nearly 800 years before changes in the ecosystem drove them out.

This is one of the later dwellings occupied by sheep herders in the nineteenth century.

Deluxe accommodations included a fireplace.



Back view of the mission church.

After we finished touring the mission, we headed home to relax, have some tamales, and settle in for the evening. The night is full of stars and we have plans to go horseback riding near Santa Fe tomorrow.

I hope you enjoyed today. I know we did!


Thomma Lyn said...

Oh wow, fabulous pictures! I love seeing the old churches and dwellings -- and wow, that beautiful, stark landscape. It's like a whole other world from East Tennessee!

Have fun horseback riding tomorrow! :)

archi's mum said...

awesome.... LOVE the night sky out there too - pitch black. only been out that way once driving cross from kansas to az and wanting to cover new ground, but it was amazing

glad you're having a great trip

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

These pictures really color your writing, you know. I can tell how deeply the place is ingrained in you.

Vickie said...

I love following you on your adventures. Nice pictures and interesting commentary!

the Bag Lady said...

This is a great vacation, BG! I'm really enjoying myself. Pass the tamales.
Seriously, love the photos - and thanks for including the shot of the hay bales! Reminds me of what's in store for us in a month or so! Except our bales are round.