Well, I'm embarrassed that I haven't yet updated this blog with travel talk from our Sept.-Oct. trip to New England, but I'm going to jump ahead and tell you a bit about our Thanksgiving trip to Raton, New Mexico. Randy's folks live there and we are always happy to go and see lots of wildlife. It is a long two day drive through the Texas Permian Basin to northern New Mexico. This year we drove through pea soup fog for about an hour before hitting our first stop in Big Spring, Texas....not really a fun experience. But, the second day of our drive, across the northern most part of New Mexico, we saw a small black hobo bear walking along the railroad tracks. Yes, I know he is brown in color, but he's still a black bear. He didn't have his hobo pack with him, but he sure looked like he was ready to hop a train. We also saw several herds of pronghorn antelope, but they were too far away from the road for photos.
One morning, we got up early to drive out towards Vermejo Park (a hunting reserve owned by Ted Turner). You can't get into the reserve without paying the hefty fee for hunting, but a trip down the old coal mine road always yields lots of wildlife spotting. One year, we were stopped by a herd of about 100 elk crossing the road. We got out of the car and watched them cross. There was always a sentry standing in the middle of the road watching us, but the sentry often changed as a different one took its place. Funny, how it all looked so planned! This year, we were lucky enough to spot a herd of about 15 elk, 2 flocks of wild turkeys, 2 herds of Bison (those have been brought in and bred by Turner but they roam freely in the national park and on the reserve), a coyote (only the second one we've seen), and several herds of mule deer. To the right are some of the wild turkeys. They were big boys! They had bodies the size of peacocks. .....and no, we did not have turkey for Thanksgiving, wild or otherwise.
Once we got back to Raton from our wildlife excursion, we got a call from Randy's uncle telling us to hurry over. Randy's uncle & aunt lives in a regular neighborhood, with smallish yards. There in the backyard were a buck, about 3 does and 5 or 6 baby mule deer. Check out the photos I took from the back patio. They all watched me come into the backyard but didn't leave.
It snowed the night before we left and we drove through frozen roads with heavy wind gusts blowing ice and snow across the road. Once we got to Texas, the snow was gone but we had wind gusts up to about 50 miles an hour (you should see those tumbleweeds fly in wind like that) and dust storms. It was a hard driving trip....thank goodness Randy did all the driving! But what fun time!