Rodeo has a store-cafe but no gas station. With so little to look at it was impossible not to notice the Boston Whaler. I mean, a Boston Whaler in the desert?!!
Traveling, as I do, sans itinerary, I stopped to ask if they minded talking to strangers. Chris Biro was willing and we commenced.
What follows is, of course, a truncated version.
Twenty-five years ago Chris acquired a hand-made cedar plank boat that became the "set" for his pirate-based education program about parrots. He travels the country presenting at county and state fairs and had made a decent living. But he lost the boat and over 30 parrots in his recent divorce. He said it'd taken several months to get his feet back under him but thanks to the internet he located a suitable "new" boat in Boston. Similarly, he found a "new" trailer in Florida.
When I asked how he'd gotten to Rodeo he told about a couple who, years earlier, had tried to reintroduce Thick-billed parrots into the Chiricahua Mountains across the street.
They hadn't been successful, but Chris thought he could make it happen and had come there to try.
He has tremendous talent with parrots and in addition to his conservation work teaches avian training.
While working at getting the parrots reestablished he's converting the whale boat into a pirate ship and rebuilding his parrot stock. He's also working with a Canadian billionaire who's built a cruiseship port in Honduras. Coincidentally, the last remaining flock of wild Thick-billed parrots is in Honduras and the man has invited Chris to give presentations to the cruise-ship travelers.
Chris's degree was in engineering and attributes part of his tenacity and ability to discern solutions to his "engineering mindset." It seemed like a conundrum...whether the mindset came first, or the degree. Either way, he said his passion for Thick-billed parrots -- and parrots in general -- is what keeps him going.
Here's a video of Chris and Sherona, the scarlet Macaw.