Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birds, a Fort, a Trail, and a Blow-out

My cousin Don (Albuquerque resident) and I headed South to spend a day playing "tourist".  The first stop was Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

I have stopped at Apache in January each of the 3 years.  In 2012, I was treated to a flock of snow geese taking to flight in front of me.  Nothing memorable during my visit last year (I had time to check out the VLA in the generally same area of New Mexico).  This year, some of the birds were cooperative, again.  Here, a Sandhill Crane flies nearly over me.

Next stop was Fort Craig National Historic Site.  Fort Craig was an important frontier outpost during the Civil War period.  Since it was left to vandals and the elements all that is left are well deteriorated ruins and earthen walls.  The fort was one of 8 forts that guarded the roads of the Rio Grange Valley.

Ownership of the fort was transferred to the US Bureau of Land Management in 1981.  BLM has done a great job of preserving the history of Ft. Craig with interpretive signs.  There is a small Visitor Center - staffed by a volunteer and open Thursday through Monday. 

When I stopped at Fort Craig Saturday, on my way to Albuquerque, the host suggested I visit the El Camino Real International Heritage Center.  The El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro - the Royal Road the Interior Lands - brought the first settlers to the area we now know as New Mexico.  Center has exhibits and artifacts providing information about the history of this important historic trail.

By this time, we were ready to head back to Albuquerque.  Stopped at a all-in-one "truck stop) for G2 - needed hydration.  Tooling up I-25 about 40 miles South of Albuquerque at 65mph, my car suffered a tire blow-out.  Not just a flat, but the tire sidewalls were in shreds.  Will have to get a new tire tomorrow morning. 

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