2019-10-28 Monday Afternoon At Vendel Road

When I woke up on this morning near Gila Bend Arizona, I thought my next stop would be at home. But the call of the wild was too strong to ignore.

Snow Goose - Anser caerulescens
Vendel Road is also known as Unit #1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. It occupies the agricultural and marsh lands at the southern tip of the Salton Sea near Westmorland in Imperial County.

After reversing my decision about no more stops on my way home from my recent Arizona expedition, I could not resist paying one more visit to Vendel Road at the Salton Sea. The winds that plagued me on my drive out of Arizona, diminished as I approached El Centro. I’d had enough of the monotony of Interstate 8, so I departed the freeway at Highway 111 and drove north to Route 78 and then west through Brawley and Westmoreland. It was mid-morning when I arrived at Vendel Road. I’ve enjoyed many visits here in the past, including one on my trip into Arizona to start the present adventure. If you are unfamiliar with the region, I suggest reviewing <this story> about the location.

The cranes were first to greet me as I crossed the reserve’s boundary. Their numbers seem to increase every year here at Unit #1 of the Salton Sea NWR, but geese were not present in the numbers I expected. I estimate 600-700 white geese (Ross’s and Snow Geese) at the reserve, when there should be 20 or 25,000. I left there concerned, sad, and confused. I hope the geese are still coming. Maybe in November their numbers will increase and reach the levels we’ve seen in past years.

The best light for photography here and most places is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I was too late for the former. My inpatients to get home prevented the later. Therefore the images suffered. Ah well!

As I write this story I’ve been home almost a week. I’ve resigned to turning my property into a rental with a property manager to relieve me from the burden of the “landlord’s role”. If it gets setup right, I can achieve the freedom to travel that I’ve been striving towards. The upshot of this solution is that I can keep a place to land when I need one, and I’ll have my shop to MacGyver in when I feel the need to build or create a new gadget or tool.

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