Going to the birds

We saw a few hawks on our travel day, and a lot of interstate 25. Travel days are generally not the highlight of any trip, but I like the way they put a buffer between “regular life” and being away. This was a fairly typical one, with a few stops, some new music, and big sky vistas. (Also, I clearly was not quite in vacation mode, because I didn’t take a single photo. Apologies for the text-only post…)

After exercise, car-loading, breakfast, and a quick stop at the local grocery store, we were headed south towards New Mexico by 9:30. We packed a lot of food, but wanted coffee, so I did a little internet searching to find Perkatory Coffee House in Trinidad. We found a parking space on the street right outside, so we could both go in and still see Rebbe in the car. After ordering lattes (and a rice crispy treat for me), we asked about a bathroom and were told that “someone will come back with the key and then you can go down the hall.” This sounded a bit sketchy, but someone did come back with the key and I used it to enter a nice, new, clean, multi-stall bathroom that appears to serve the entire commercial/office building. Maureen waited for the coffees and then took her turn with the key. We talked later about whether there was a practical system that could avoid the (potentially germ-y) key handoff but still keep the bathrooms safe, clean, and secure for the building occupants and customers. I’m imagining something that generates one-time codes for customers and also utilizes semi-permanent codes for employees. Perhaps such a thing exists. Whether it is available and affordable enough for downtown Trinidad is another issue…

We next stopped at a “closed” rest area in New Mexico that clearly was not closed. In fact, it was very busy on this most popular of travel days. I am fond of rest areas. I hope that some of our transportation dollars will be going towards maintaining, enhancing, and building more rest areas. They are, like libraries, profoundly democratic, welcoming travelers from all walks of life with free bathrooms, picnic areas, and dog-walking spots. We used all three functions before continuing on our way.

In Albuquerque, we stopped by a favorite restaurant to pick up salads for dinner and dessert for Thanksgiving day. Vinaigrette was hopping, and downtown Albuquerque continues to add housing and attractions.

We did a short side trip to Sevillita National Wildlife Refuge, but the Visitor Center was closed. We drove through some Bureau of Land Management territory on its outskirts, but did not see any wildlife. Rebbe said there was plenty that we didn’t see. Later, I read that it is an anomaly among NWR’s because it is intended for study and preservation, not visitation. Now our experience makes more sense.

We arrived to our temporary home in Socorro (Best Western) and braved the pre-Thanksgiving crowds at the local grocery store for a bottle of rosé. The employees were friendly and helpful, and pretty much everyone there was masking—probably due to the statewide mandate!

Next up—the birds…

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