After leaving the Gila National Forest, we traveled about 200 miles northeast to a small RV Park just north of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The retired couple who were camped next to us in Las Cienegas NCA mentioned they volunteer at this refuge during the winter months. I chose to find a place to stay near here since they spoke so highly of it. (A side note: I positively recommend the Chupadero Mountain View RV Park if you are ever traveling in the San Antonio, NM area and are near this refuge along the I-25 corridor in New Mexico. We spent two nights here and the couple who run this tiny RV park are without a doubt two of the nicest folks I’ve ever met!)
Unfortunately, most of the refuge is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic! We could not even drive the Auto Tour Loop. That was disappointing as the Rio Grande River flows through the refuge and we could not get close to it! There are a couple of hiking trails open and, due to the hot weather, we chose the shorter trail to hike. Unfortunately, the trails do not travel towards the river! The Canyon Trail is a 2.6 mile loop that winds through the creosote bush-filled desert into a small canyon occupied by peregrine falcons and cliff swallows. We saw a peregrine falcon perched up high on a dead tree and numerous cliff swallows. There were so many plants in bloom along the trail!! I chose the Apache Plume as my photo of the day because of my friend Kate who reads my blog.
We had a discussion about this plant in regards to another photo of the day – what we finally determined was a type of cliff rose, and I’m happy to report that I did finally find some Apache Plume in bloom and fruit!! What a gorgeous plant!!