By Tina Mitchell
The alarm buzzer slices through the darkness – 5:15 on a mid-December morning. Take a quick shower, pull on layer after layer of warm clothes, gulp down some breakfast and head out by 6:30. At U.S. Hwy. 50, we point ourselves west to Salida. Along the 18-mile drive, the Arkansas River and Bighorn Sheep Canyon slowly emerge in the pre-dawn light. Off to the annual Salida Christmas Bird Count!