We have just returned from a short weekend trip to New Mexico and Colorado. There were several highlights from the trip (other than the trip itself with my spouse of 25 years!). As we drove through a state park - Sugarite Canyon - we came up on this rattlesnake curled up on the road. I stopped the car and tried to get a picture of it, throwing rocks at the snake to force it to curl and rattle! As I am kneeling down in the road, 2 cars drive up, stopping to see if something is wrong, the last one running over the snake!!! I don't think it was hurt too badly as it slithered off into the brush on the side of the road. It was just cool to see!
We also drove up to Vermejo Park which is one place I have always wanted to see, even if it is owned by Ted Turner now! Vermejo Park is a nature/hunting/fishing preserve that is approximately 780,000 acres - yes - over 1,000 square miles of pristine Northern New Mexico wilderness and forest! For 25 miles as we drove up the mountain everything on both sides of the road had signs marked "No Trespassing, Vermejo Park Ranch!", which just irritated more with every sign! We drove absolutely as far as we could until we reached the gate where we had to ring the bell to ask for permission to enter or turn around and go back. We turned around and went back. One thought expressed by my spouse sums up our feelings about this area - it makes you almost wish for a communist society as it is completely unfair that one person owns all that land!!! Unless that person is me, of course! It is truly a beautiful area and is a real success story on conservation and management for trophy animals. The best part of the drive was seeing a black bear cub walking along the road as we were going back down. The cub was completely unaware of us until we got up next to him. I was scrambling for my cell phone to take a picture as my camera batteries were dead (of course!), and my spouse was trying to hand me the camera and roll down the window at the same time. The cub took off with a yowl into the brush and we continued on down the mountain.
We also saw about 150 elk as we got a further down the mountain. They were coming into eat in the open areas at the base of the mountains.
It was really awesome to see all of the different areas and each is a great reminder of the wonders of this earth God has allowed for us to see and watch over.