Page 2 of JCSC Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Texas » South Padre January 9th 2012

So here we are in South Padre Island (SPI) and paradise. I had read about SPI for months and all they say is true. The island is 113 miles long and the longest sand island in the US...maybe the world. We are out in the Gulf of Mexico just west of Brownsville. You have to go across a 3 mile bridge to get from the mainland of S. TX to SPI. Our motel. for 15 days, is right in the middle (east to west) of the small city of SPI which is on the very southern tip of the island of SPI. From our motel, we can walk 5 minutes west and be at the Gulf and 5 minutes east and be at the Laguna Madre. The water is beautiful and warm. The weather is great. ... read more
View from the jetty north
2 Fisherman and a begger
Surf fisherman

North America » United States » Texas » Pharr December 31st 2011

Nov 30 we left BBNP going north to Marathon,and then southwest to Sanderson for the night. Dec 1 we continued on past Langtry and on to Del Rio for 2 nights. On Dec 3 our route took us through Eagle Pass and on to Laredo. Dec 4 our trip went through Roma and on to Pharr, where we had a motel room reserved for a week. We traveled out of Pharr throughout that week to several wonderful nearby birding areas. The next stop for us was another week's stay just down the road at Brownsville. This is the largest city you can go to in south is basically the tip of Texas. Here again we traveled about throughout the week visiting wildlife and bird refuges. Brownsville is where this blog ends and the few pictures ... read more
Pecos River
Looking into Mexico over the Rio Grande
Rio Grande and Mexico

We have finally entered into the part of our trip that is new to us. Leaving Carlsbad, NM, we headed south into TX staying the night (Nov 28)in Fort Stockton. The next day we drove to Alpine, then straight south to the very small community of Terlingua. Since BBNP has but one place for lodgeing, we stayed right out of the park in this very interesting little settlement. To live down here one has to have a certain kinship with loneliness, nature, the lack of many accepted necessities of life, the convenience of most stores, and the knowledge that your closest neighbor may enjoy these qualities of life and not care too much about being your buddy. It is very beautiful in a very natural, quiet sort of way. Stop the car, step out-side, and you ... read more
Old movie set
Motel in Terlingua

North America » United States » New Mexico » Carlsbad December 24th 2011

After our visit to White Sands Nat Mon we took off to Carlsbad, NM. We got our motel, a night's sleep, and were off to the Caverns the next morning - Nov. 27. Although both of us had been to Carlsbad Caverns before, it was good to visit again. We had tour tickets for the King's Palace tour. Since the tour is a 1 1/2 hour tour, we took the elevator down the 75 stories, instead of going down the natural entrance that is 1 1/4 mile long. The cave is magnificent.... read more
Dining Room in caverns
Ranger explaining
CC 1

North America » United States » New Mexico » Alamogordo December 22nd 2011

Just SW of Alamogordo is White Sands National Monument. This is at the SW corner of what was at one time a large lake. This lake today is part of the White Sands bombing range and way up north on this lake is where the first nuclear bomb was detonated (see photo of replica of bomb in Nuclear museum blog). But today people come to enjoy the beautiful pure white sand. Many bring their snow platters and use the dunes to go "scooting" down. This another "must see", if you are traveling this highway.... read more

North America » United States » New Mexico » Socorro December 17th 2011

One of the most rewarding and fun perks to any trip is that happenstance meeting one has with a fellow traveler. And the best part is when they share a place that they really liked and that you had not planned on visiting or even heard of. Such was the learning about Basqe del Apache wildlife refuge, south of Albuquerque. One of our goals is to birdwatch on our trip and this refuge is fantastic. It was prime time for about 89,000+ Sandhill Cranes to be visiting and about another 65,000 Snow Geese. There is a 12 mile double loop road that allows you to drive around some of the refuge. We had a wonderful time driving, stopping, photographing, and watching all these fantastic birds. It was one more super day to remember.... read more
Sandhill Crane 2
Sandhill Crane 3
Sandhill Crane 4

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque December 16th 2011

This year our Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Albuquerque. This will be our last day here and we have enjoyed our visit very much. Alb. is a busy growing city with much to offer. We started our day with a drive through a deserted (remember..Thanksgiving) downtown to Old Town. Many of the downtown buildings have murals painted on them representing some important aspect of the area. Old Town was fun to walk around because most tourists were gone to "grandma's house" and that made for an uncrowded walk-around. We then went out and found a place we could walk across and along the Rio Grande River. By then we were ready for our TG meal at the Golden Corral (with the rest of Albuquerque!).....lots and lots of food...TOO MUCH FOOD.... read more
Old Town 1
Old Town 2
The center of Old Town

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque December 10th 2011

We had researched and planned for this day outing before we left home. Albuquerque has what they call a Bio Park. It is a combination of a very nice zoo, an aquarium complex, and a botanical garden. These are stretched along the Rio Grande River for about 2 miles. They also have a people moving train that can transport you from one part of the park to another. We spent the whole day there, with the majority of the time at the zoo. But we did take the train over to the aquarium and gardens in the afternoon. The people in Albuquerque can be very proud of the Bio Park. It is a first class, fun, and educational place to visit. Make sure you put it on your list to see!... read more
Bio Park 1
Bio Park 2
Bio Park 3

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque December 8th 2011

After spending the night at Gallup, NM, we traveled on to Albuquerque for a 3 day Thanksgiving rest. Upon arrival and moving in to our motel, I left for an afternoon visiting the National Nuclear Museum located there. The museum is only a very few years old and is divided into 3 different sections: nuclear energy as a science, peaceful ways to use nuclear energy, and the history of nuclear energy, including wartime use. It was a very informative and educational afternoon and I would highly recommend anybody with a history or science interest to visit it.... read more
Periodic Table of Elements
Nuclear waste cannister
Two important bombs

When we left Flagstaff, it was a cold, threatening morning. We drove east on old route 66 and it never rained on us all day. At Holbrook we turned off and went the back way into the Petrified forest. What a wonderful place to re-explore! Driving north throught the park we crossed route 66 again and stopped at the Route 66 wayside memory stop. Continuing on we were able to get some great color on the painted desert.... read more
Petrified Forest 1
Petrified Forest 2
Petrified Forest 3

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