I was up at 6am and dumped the dogs in bed in my place to keep Ken warm. I did my Nordic Track with the morning news on closed caption trying to keep the noise down. Unfortunately, Ken had trouble sleeping once I was up so he got up and walked the dogs, getting this nice picture of the sunrise.
We had hoped to get a propane fill before we left the RV park but their certified propane person wouldn’t be in until 9am so we went on without it. Hope we won’t be sorry! We did get diesel at the Love’s across the road. $3.35 per gallon. That’s the highest we’ve paid in a very long time but I’m afraid it is only going to get worse.
We took a brief bio-break at the New Mexico Visitor’s Center where this little kitten and its friend Ms. Guinea thought they might want to tag along with us for a ride. I think Ditka and Sox helped them change their minds.
We had thought we’d only stay here in Roswell for one night so we made a reservation at the Red Barn RV Park that had good reviews but notes that it was hard to get in to. This is a very small park with almost all the sites taken up by full-timers in the medical profession who come in for temp assignments at the medical center nearby. They have two pull through sites and they had reserved one of those for us. Ken and I said in a lot of ways it reminds us of Betty’s RV Park in the physical setup, sort of like your parking in someone’s back yard.
The owner is very friendly and helpful. She mentioned many things to see in the area besides what we’d planned so, as usual, our plans changed. We ate a late lunch at the rig, rested for a bit, and then drove to the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is a winter nesting place for a large variety of waterfowl.
We watched a video that explained the unique and endangered wildlife species in the area and described the unique characteristics of this ‘oasis’ in the desert. What had really caught Ken’s attention was that this was the time of the year when a large population of sandhill cranes roost here.
The good news is we saw a lot of cranes.
As well as some other interesting birds we weren’t familiar with like this black ibis
The bad news was that we were given bad info at the visitor’s center on when the sand cranes came in for the night to roost. We were told this was between 3:30 and 4:00 so we found a decent observation point and kicked back to wait.
Even Ditka and Sox were enthralled with all the sites and sounds from all the waterfowl and were enjoying the wait.
Unfortunately while most of the cranes took flight about 3:00 to leave, we waited until 4:15 and saw very few coming in to roost. (While we really aren’t bird experts it had seemed rather strange that birds would be roosting so long before sunset)
We decided to head back to the RV and hang it up for the evening. At sunset, I decided to take the dogs for a long walk down a dirt road the owner had suggested for this purpose. Lo and behold , across the horizon, I could see thousands of sand cranes making their way back to Bitter Lake! Isn’t timing everything!
Ah well, although it wasn’t the massive roosting Ken had hoped to experience, we did have a lovely afternoon. I’ll leave you with one picture he did get of the birds taking flight.
Since we haven’t yet visited any of our planned destinations here in Roswell, I guess we will be staying another day. That gives me a chance to do a batch of laundry and for us to get to know this very friendly community a bit better.