July 12, 2009
We are driving 375 miles across southern
So, here we are--leaving behind
As usual, our progress will be slowed by interesting sights along the way. We are slowed even more than normal, because
One interesting rest stop was in a lava field that abruptly interrupted miles and miles of corn and potato fields. During a hike along a loop trail there, we learned that the lava here flowed up 30-50 miles through fissures in the earth, rather than erupting from a cone. It had the folded appearance of the Pahoehoe lava that we saw in the Galapagos earlier this year, and a sign confirmed our assessment.
We were disappointed that we missed the opportunity to see the world's largest potato chip (24 inches by 14 inches) and other potato paraphernalia in the
We stopped for lunch at a highway rest stop which was located at an
No matter what route the settlers took, by the time they got to
The miracle of modern irrigation has tamed the desert which was so brutal to the early settlers. Now mile upon mile of fertile potato, corn and grain fields line the highway, which roughly follows the route of the
Our favorite stop was in
We also made a few more stops along the way to photograph birds. A particularly wonderful spot was beside a boggy farm field where there were hundreds of marsh birds—yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds, white-faced ibis, and
We got to
As an added bonus, the street in front of the restaurant had been closed to traffic to accommodate a large street party for a convention. The street is in the Basque district of town, so the entertainers for the group were Basque musicians and dancers, which we could watch from Bardenay. There is a large Basque community here, descendents of shepherds who migrated from
Once again, we have managed to pack more adventures into our day than we planned or imagined.