A few observations... and warm weather! Jan 17th
Well, we did it! Made it to the very bottom of Texas, the lower Rio Grande Valley, a new section of the country for us. We're "camping" at the Harlingen Elks Lodge* for five nights @ a wonderfully low price, W/E included, dump station onsite, and Bingo on Thurs nights (might skip that). An added bonus is a nice bike/walking trail along a canal right next to the Lodge. The temp upon our arrival here (near the Gulf of Mexico) was 70 balmy, sweet degrees. Away with the jackets and long johns!
We hope to see the sights, and are especially interested in the World Birding Center: A network of nine unique and enchanting birding sites set along a 120-mile historic river road from Roma to South Padre Island. On our way from last night's stop at Lake Corpus Christi State Park (nice place), we spotted the two birds seen below. Both are in the Falcon family and are remarkable to see; photos compliments of Wikipedia.
This guy is a fashionable version of a buzzard. It feeds mainly on carrion.
This striking falcon is being reintroduced in southern Texas, and I'm delighted to have seen one.
On a completely different tack, we gassed up Tergel at Mile 0 on the Texas line, and we didn't stop for gas again till Mile 523! And, we had a quarter of a tank left -- and that, my friends, is what a really strong tail wind can do! Again today, our third in a row for tailwinds, we were pushed south, what a treat! Finally!
This part of Texas reminds us of inland Central Florida in looks, similar-looking plants, sandy soil, with a few palm trees scattered about. Tomorrow we plan to pack a lunch and drive to the Santa Ana NWR, located seven miles south of Alamo, (known world-wide as a "birder's paradise"), binocs and cameras in hand. Ready for our Day! O boy! And -ehhh - I suppose we'll need to find a laundromat one day soon....
* You have to be an Elks member to use their facilities. Jimmy joined last year.