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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Very Bosque Day!

March 9,2013  8:34pm  Room 109 Comfort Inn Socorro, New Mexico

Today was spent almost entirely in the Bosque del Apache in San Antonio, New Mexico. We got up at 6 and were in the Bosque by 7:10. The morning was sunny, with few clouds but windy and cold (40 degrees)  My hair needed washing badly but no one would see me but the animals we hoped to see in the refuge, which was established on 52,000+ acres in 1939.  Bosque del Apache literally means woods of the Apache in Spanish, so I'm told and the history book I bought today says that Spanish travelers were surprised by Apache Indians hiding in the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande.

In my youth, I often went for three day retreats in various places--a time of silence, prayer and reflection. The practice originated with an annual three day retreat that all students at Mt St Vincent were required to attend in the Spring semester. Our campus is a beautiful one that sits right on the Hudson River opposite the Palisades of New Jersey. At night the George Washington Bridge is visible to the south and the Tappan Zee to the north. They looked like jeweled necklaces across the neck of the River. A perfect place with benches and paths in which to find solitude and quiet. I remember one year I read the Once and Future King hidden within a copy of the Lives of the Saints. I looked properly pious and reflective whenever my eyes met those of any of the bonneted Sisters of Charity who happened by. LOL  But, no matter my reading material, stress--of which I'd never heard--and fatigue, with which I was sometimes familiar floated away and I finished the retreat refreshed and ready to run.

The Bosque offers that same solitude, silence, peace and spirituality to me and I think, in some way, to Bill. We both love it there and though we had been there only three days earlier with our friends, Bud and Gloria, it did not seem a problem to return--not only at this early morning for three hours but also a return later in the day.

Once we'd finished our three hour morning drive we went to the Visitors' Center where I stamped my National Parks Passport once more and purchased the aforementioned history of the Bosque, a book about one of my favorite birds, the Roadrunner, a couple of bookmarks, and the CD winter tour of the refuge. Also a counted cross-stitch sampler of four Native weaving patterns.

We returned to Socorro by NM route 1, stopped at K-Bob's steakhouse where we'd had a terrible experience five years ago. I am happy to report today's visit was much more enjoyable. Funny thing--the beer we drank with lunch comes from a brewery in Portsmouth, NH--actually, three locations, one of which is Portsmouth. I'd imagine these particular bottles came from the brewery in Washington State. As we entered the restaurant Betsy returned our earlier call on which we delivered a rousing duet of Happy Birthday. She is 27 today. She said birthday doesn't mean much to her--I said, well, it means alot to me--I exerted great effort to bring her into the world at sufficient pain to be memorable. Told her when I got a look at her downdrawn black eyebrows as she glowered at me, I was tempted to give her to Nurse Brady for her very own. Somehow, I just knew we were going to have our moments. Said I changed my mind and kept her and that I'm glad I did. She sounded happy as only one can when you are sitting on the porch in the sunshine, at 60 degrees under a cloudless sky on Mar 9 in Vermont. She'd gone to The Fort for breakfast and was going to hang out with Misty all day and then go out with friends tonight. She's been subbing every day and working with Owen after school til 8, as usual. She's liking it. Was good to chat with her. She hasn't checked the mail in a while and Bill said well, her baby alligator--her birthday present had probably died then. I said, assuming it hatched already. Of course, I sent her earrings from Grandmother's Buttons!  LOL Returned to the room, took a shower and washed my yucky hair and took an hour's nap.

Then we got dressed and returned to the Bosque to see it at sunset. Another three hours but during both tours we played our Sirius radio quietly rather than the tour disc--LOL Two new things in the evening--a covey of quail right outside the gate to the trail and a skunk out for a drink from the ditch alongside the road. There is ALWAYS something new--no matter how simple.  Drove into San Antonio and returned to The Owl--Bill was hankering for that chile burger Bud had the other day. I opted for a small nacho grande plate. Good thing I got small!! As I stopped on the way out and spoke to several of the ladies who work there I commented on the lovely bar with its hand carved trim. The owner, Rowena, gave me the history of the establishment. Note the origins of the bar.  Told you-wonder if the original building is still there--I don't think so.

We then headed back to Socorro and more episodes of House of Cards with Kevin Spacey--it is a really good show. Episode 3 deals with the water tower in the shape of a peach in Gaffney, South Carolina--we've been there, seen the tower ( the Peachoid )--heck I ran across a windy field to get a shot of it several years ago!  LOL  I think I was a photographer in an earlier life, though maybe not a very good one.

Tomorrow, off toward Arizona--fingers crossed for good weather headed toward the Grand Canyon--that's the plan anyway.  Good night for now. KandB

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