September 2, 2009

New Mexico-July 19-Day 1

My mom, dad, and I got up early in the morning on July 19 to go to my friends house. This wasn't just any old visit, this visit was going to take me 15 hours away from home for three weeks. I loaded all of my stuff into their motorhome and I said goodbye to my parents. They watched as the motor home pulled out of my friends driveway and they tried to hold in their excitement that I was going to be gone for so long!

What was I doing for three weeks at over 15 hours away from my home? I was going all the way down to Albuquerque, NM in a motor home with my two best friends and the parents of one of them. For ten days of the trip I was was going to have my strength tested in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of northeast New Mexico at the Philmont Scout Ranch with eight other boys and two adults from across the country that I had never met before. For 75 long miles through the mountains I endured the heat, the cold, and of course the wildlife all on foot and with a 50 pound pack on my back. Little did I know while traveling across Nebraska on I-80 just how amazing an adventure was awaiting me in the mountains of the southwest. So here my adventure begins.

Traveling across Nebraska on I-80 is very boring. Field after field of corn and soybeans passed by for hours on end until 5:00 that night. Eventually the corn and soybean fields began to be replaced by pastures and the scenery was a bit more interesting. While at a rest stop I photographed a windmill that was out on one of the scenic pastures that covered the hills that rose up out of the Platte River Valley. Not long after taking that picture we headed south on I-76 and made it to Colorado, which was a new state for me.

At the state welcome center I saw more Western Kingbirds than I have ever seen. They seemed to be everywhere, with one (or more!) every way you looked. They nest in my area but not in such large numbers. I looked around the rest area for birds but, as I expected, there was nothing of particular interest just a lot of common birds that I see in my own backyard. After pulling away from the rest area we kept on heading west to Fort Morgan where we stayed for the night. As you can tell the first day was pretty uneventful.
Of course there are many more exciting things ro come so check in to read about the rest on my trip in the upcoming weeks. In tomorrow's post I will see the Rocky Mountains for the first time, travel through Denver, will find a few life birds, see Pike's Peak, and be in New Mexico for the first time.

1 comment:

Ali Iyoob said...

Hope you see a lot of birds! My non-birding troop saw an adult male Western Tanager. I was too young to go.