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I-10 Chronicles

Posted: June 19th, 2020, 8:09 pm
by Biker Dave
Greetings everyone!
This July 9 - 26 I will (finally!) be taking a vacation (after 2 years of let downs).
My plan is I-10 eastbound from Phoenix all the way to the Everglades. Think of I-10 as the spine and all sorts of little side trips to cool herp spots as the ribs.

I'm looking at places like the Trans Pecos/Big Bend area, Brazos Bend SP, Apalachicola NF, the Glades, maybe Key West and then back.

Looking for ideas, suggestions, meet-ups possibly?

Yes I know the mosquitoes are deadly this time of year in the Glades but I'll have to deal with it.

Planning on camping most of the trip.

My targets are pretty much anything that doesn't exist in Arizona!

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: June 20th, 2020, 4:19 am
by BillMcGighan
Yes I know the mosquitoes are deadly this time of year in the Glades but I'll have to deal with it.Yes I know the mosquitoes are deadly this time of year in the Glades but I'll have to deal with it.
Worse yet in some areas of Florida, especially around mangroves, are the No-see-ums (biting midgies, sand flies, punkies, jejenes). Make sure your tent has screening rated for these evil creatures. You can buy the proper netting and just tape it on for this trip.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: June 20th, 2020, 9:50 am
by Biker Dave
I was considering just moteling it for the Everglades portion of the trip.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: June 20th, 2020, 5:09 pm
by BillMcGighan
Smart man...
Especially that time of year.

Let us know how you do.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 8th, 2020, 4:43 pm
by chris_mcmartin
As the trip gets closer, let me know when you'll be in the Big Bend/Trans-Pecos area...I'm probably heading out there again soon.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 8th, 2020, 5:38 pm
by Biker Dave
Sunday July 12 - Tue 14
Sunday night Camping in Davis Mtns
Mon and Tue at Outback Oasis
Tues night Brazos Bend SP

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 9th, 2020, 4:12 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Ah, I won't be out west until the following week...but you'll be in my neck of the woods (sort of) Tuesday night--for how long?

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 10th, 2020, 7:02 am
by Biker Dave
One day then I head east toward the Florida Panhandle. But I will be stopping at the The Big Thicket area July 18-20. Then Austin area the 21st, then I was thinking of going up toward Post TX the 22nd. Then maybe Big Bend the 22 and 23rd. But that's all tentative. I could end up just going straight to Big Bend area from Austin.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 10th, 2020, 8:21 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Cool. My plans are still in flux, between state open/close/travel/lockdown whims, and plans for work rapidly evolving which may require some intensive replanning cutting into my vacation plans, so I'm not sure exactly when (or if?) I'm heading west just yet. I'll try to call/text if I make it out that way or not.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 11th, 2020, 12:23 pm
by Biker Dave
This heatwave is putting a lid on everything so far. Hopefully my luck will change tonight.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 12th, 2020, 3:31 pm
by craigb
Follow the rain or cold fronts......
Don't assume the motels will be 100 % bug free....
Take lots of pics and vids...

I am jealous.... :thumb:

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 13th, 2020, 12:27 am
by Biker Dave
What is this "Rain" you speak of!?!?!

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 13th, 2020, 12:30 am
by Biker Dave
Here is a teaser photo from the trip so far.

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 13th, 2020, 6:57 am
by craigb
Thank you !
Exceptional....
My kind of photography. Take shot, release it, go find more!!!!

craigb

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 22nd, 2020, 11:04 pm
by Biker Dave
Well I never made it to Florida. In fact I barely made it to East Texas! Is it always that hot and humid out there!?! What the hell is wrong with you people?? One night in a tent in East Texas during the heatwave and the Humidity from HELL was all I could take. WOW!

Going on a solo cross country herping trip during a pandemic, in the worst heat wave, and massive humidity does not fair well for the psyche or the body.

Here is a quick list of locations I did hit on the trip.

Day 1 - Chiricahua Mountains east slope and a portion of the Peloncillos in New Mexico. It was very hot and dry here. Didnt see much that afternoon evening - Just a Longnosed snake and a scutulatus.
Day 2 - Guadalupe Mountains North side. This day was just a waste. Too hot and too dry. Only thing I saw was a DOR molossus.
Day 3 - Big Bend area of Texas. This was THE night of the trip. It had rained across the border in Mexico and I guess a small wisp of rain hit this area a night or two prior. 4 subocs, 1 Kansas Glossy, 1 atrox, and a DOR NIght snake, along with Couch's Spadefoots and the Canyon Lizard.
Day 4 - more Big Bend Area (Davis Mountains) No rain in this area. Once again, too hot and dry. Didnt even see a DOR. Nothing was moving.
Day 5 - Yep, more Big Bend. Shining the local cuts I only got a young Crevice Spiny.
Day 6 - Brazos Bend State Park east Texas. Too hot and too humid. No snakes (and I looked all over the place) but did see a few gators and a few turtles. The gators and turtles were all lifers for me. Oh yeah, and a Bullfrog. Where it should be!
Day 7 - a stop at County Line BBQ on the Lake in Austin on my way back west to DRY land - a lot of turtles. they have become habituated to this location as they have been feeding them for years. Now they use what looks to be a Mazuri type turtle pellet. It was a nice break from the road and all the hiking.
Day 8 - First rain I hit on my way back to Peloncillos and Chiricahuas. You'd think with the rain, I'd be finding all sorts of things. Nope! Just toads, spadefoots, and a splendida.
Day 9 - Mentally drained, drove home. Came across two gopher snakes on the way home. One was attempting to eat a road killed rodent but it just couldnt get its mouth open wide enough to get the entire road pizza'd rodent in its mouth.



But, I did manage to find a few things. Here are some pics...

Re: Future I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 22nd, 2020, 11:10 pm
by Biker Dave
Apparently I cant upload any more photos as it says my files are too large. If you want to see more go to my personal Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/dave.weber.79/ ... 453&type=3

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 22nd, 2020, 11:39 pm
by craigb
Thanks for the report Dave. So many folks talk about a trip and then never post what happened.
I had a trip planned for Big Bend in April. Southwest cancelled it and so did my buddies. I am going to try again next year.
I have yet to see a suboc, and a wild caught alterna is on my bucket list.

craigb

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 23rd, 2020, 8:41 am
by Biker Dave
I went through the Big Bend area in April one year and it was too cold and wet.
It might be better to wait a little later in the year.
The mythical general rule is "the first new moon in June."
I've also heard September can be good as well.

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 23rd, 2020, 7:21 pm
by craigb
Thanks for the advice....
Here is to 2021 :beer:

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 24th, 2020, 10:18 am
by Jimi
I've been pretty badly skunked in the Davis mountains a few times, when I went before the late summer rains had started. I don't go there any more in June; I just mentally lump that area in with the other "monsoon-season" places. Edwards Plateau is different.

I asked a guy here about flipping little dinky critters real early - March or April. He indicated that wasn't a stupid notion. You could mis-time it with a cold front or whatever, but as a basic principle, he thought it was fine. Same idea as with the other hot N Am deserts - the really small stuff comes up first, and early. Banded geckos, Sonora, Tantilla, etc.

Sorry you got kind of worked, Dave. It happens. July mostly sucks - obviously it can be OK or better for monsoons, and I have also heard it can be good for the High Plains (W NE or KS, SE CO, etc). And also the eastern side of "West Texas". Not sure about E NM - or the W Panhandle of TX; maybe.

Good to hear from you. I had to chuckle at your discovery that tent camping in the SE USA in July is f*ckin rugged. I got my ass handed to me in the Boy Scouts. Taught me good. Ha ha ha.

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 29th, 2020, 10:23 pm
by Biker Dave
Jimi

When I heard from the ranger who lived there that it was especially brutal I didn't feel so bad. I still got to see a few things that were new to me herp wise, and I also got to be a tourist in an area I've never been. Overall, while it could have been completely "Epic" had the weather been better, I still had a good time - because I wasn't at work!

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 30th, 2020, 6:25 am
by BillMcGighan
Dave,
Glad you got to make your trip, considering our national state of health siege.
You know this in your home area, even a less successful trip; you learn things about areas you haven't experienced.
Then there are the side experiences of non herp discoveries.
Plan another.
PS
I've herped the Big Bend area in all months of the year, and had some pleasant surprises, including a huge SUBOC in daytime!

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 30th, 2020, 6:37 am
by BillMcGighan
Jimi:
Good to hear from you. I had to chuckle at your discovery that tent camping in the SE USA in July is f*ckin rugged. I got my ass handed to me in the Boy Scouts. Taught me good. Ha ha ha.
Yup.
I turned into a "camping" wus in old age and now my wife and I use this:
100_1232A.jpg

Re: I-10 Chronicles

Posted: July 30th, 2020, 2:08 pm
by Jimi
I turned into a "camping" wus in old age and now my wife and I use this:
Love it. The fiberglass trailers hold a lot of appeal for me. I'm still a "tent / truck shell / hell just throw down a tarp & puss pad and call it good" kind of camper. But - I live in the West where it's dry & (for now anyway...) still cools off at night, and despite some worn-out parts am not yet all that old. The humid east in summer is a whole 'nother beast. Basically it all gets down to sleep deprivation, which is torture. Literally, under the Geneva Convention, it is torture. A hot sweaty buggy night = no sleep. And I can already see over my horizon to the time when sleeping on the ground is all over for me.

Like I said, I've been pondering those small fiberglass trailers - Scamp, Casita, whatever. 21 foot and under, something you can pull with a 4 Runner or Tacoma. My main hold-backs have been 1) a place to park the thing between trips and 2) fear that having it will stop me from going places it can't go.

I didn't even know Scamp did a 5th wheel type style. That thing looks sweet!