Monday, May 22, 2017

#63 - Monday, 22 May 2017 - Rodeo, New Mexico

Settled in Rodeo, New Mexico …?

When I decided racing back to Texas to rejoin the Millsaps College Scorpion Searchers was not in my best interest, and that I would stay longer between the Chiricahua and Peloncilla Mountains, it gave me the opportunity to minimize RV towing and maximize exploration of the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains and the reptiles and arachnids of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. I have expressed my love-hate for birding, but this also is the best birding area in the U.S. for bucket list Mexican species that cross the border nowhere else. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the trails in the Chiricahuas or the spots in its foothills where people allow you onto their land to enjoy the birds at their feeders. My decision to extend my stay at Rusty’s RV Ranch for another week transformed into another month when I spoke with Rusty. Today is my checkout from my first week of stay and I will move to another site (this one is reserved by someone incoming) and, for the first time, become a temporarily sedentary gypsy/pikey/nomad. My stay here will now surpass five weeks and I’ll depart around June 20.

I’ve mentioned the need to return to Chicago to renew my driver’s license. I might be able to do so online, but I want to take a little break and visit family too. I need new eyeglasses and need to put 90% of the clothes I have in my RV into storage and grab a few stored items that I wish I had with me. For example, if I would have had my tent and sleeping bag it would have made it possible to spend a little more time in the field with Brent and his students. It would allow me to hit a few spots where my RV cannot go. So, my present plan is to leave my RV here at Rusty’s at the end of my stay and head back to Chicagoland. I’ll take a bit of a scenic route and perhaps take a week to drive what I could do in a couple days. After a visit to Chicagoland, where Jesse and I will stay with Joel and no doubt gorge on sushi a couple times, I will take an even more scenic route back to New Mexico with my sleeping bag and tent allowing me to camp in some national and state parks en route.

Here in Rodeo I look forward to continued road cruising at night for snakes, hiking in the Chiricahuas and maybe taking a few longer day trips to other areas in southern Arizona and New Mexico. I've now driven down to the Mexican border at Douglas, Arizona and that same road would allow me to visit the old mining town of Bisbee. Douglas is the closest city of size and has a Wal-Mart that I'll visit a few times over the next month to stock up on supplies. I'll probably do that in the evening so the drive back is after dark and may allow me to happen upon interesting snakes on the road. Yesterday I ran out of propane for the first time and drove to Valley Mercantile in Animas to find them closed on Sunday. Instead of back-tracking and heading down to the Wal-Mart again, I drove up to the interstate (I-10) and headed east to Lordsburg, New Mexico. It's actually a bit closer than Douglas and has a decent grocery store. I was able to find propane at a truck stop so Jesse and I would have heat last night (temps are currently in the low 90s by day and the low 50s at night). Today after I move to another campsite I'll get my two primary 20# cylinders filled in Animas. So here is an updated map that shows the added frequented stops of Douglas, Arizona (Agua Prieta, Mexico lies on the other side of the border) and Lordsburg, New Mexico. Note how State Hwy. 80 runs diagonally southwest from Rodeo. From my site it takes less than ten minutes before I cross the Arizona state line. 

     –   All the best, M

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