Our friend Tabb agreed to come and run the motel for 10 days while we all needed to return to Austin for a bit. Somehow Joe convinced him to drive to Sanderson, TX all the way from Virginia. In any case, he made it here, helped us run the Motel, explored the town, and made some friends. When we made it back to Sanderson to relieve him we expected he'd be departing the next day, but it turned out he landed a small renovation job for a neighbor. This kept him in town a bit longer than expected. For a moment there, it looked like Sanderson was gonna catch Tabb in its web like it did the rest of us. It was fun hearing about Tabb's stories from being here a week and a half. He agreed to guest-write a few blogs detailing his experiences, hopefully we'll hear from him sooner than later.
On his last night here, he told me about the bats under the railroad bridge behind the Stripes. Being from Austin, we've sat under the Congress Bridge and watched the bats swarm out. Its spectacular, the only downside is the number of people...
Tabb and I set out on foot for the 5 minute journey to the bridge. It was about 30 minutes before sunset. We got to the bridge and Tabb starting setting up his camera trying to capture the sunset and bats.
It turned out we got there a bit too early. The bats don't emerge in full force until about 10-15 min after sunset. In the meantime, I set off to flipping large rocks and old wood looking for a vinegaroon. I really wanted to show Tabb one of those mosters but none were to be found. I ventured down under the bridge, you can see the guano in lines on the ground (see pic below).
Against my better judgement, I decided to explore under the bridge. The smell of the guano up close was... lets call it a "motivating reason to run". I high tailed it to the north end of the bridge and was greeted by the south wind funneling the smell through the bridge in my direction. I tried to convince Tabb that my location was ideal for him to take an epic picture, but he wasn't falling for it.
We ended up walking to the top of the bridge and soon after the Bats started to swarm out. Below is a picture from our vantage point as the bats started to flood out.
Turns out it's pretty difficult to get a good picture of bats, something to do with bad lighting and how fast they move... But I can tell you it was fun. You'll have to come experience it for yourself. It's a private bat viewing!