I have told you about getting out and hiking. We have talked about hiking on low trails. Next it was hiking up high. So now it is time to have fun in the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande?
When you hear about the Rio Grande everyone immediately congers up a vision of the border between the U.S.A. and Mexico. That is the case in Texas from the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas city of El Paso. After El Paso the Rio Grande makes a right turn and heads almost straight north through the middle of the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. By the way New Mexico is part of the USA and has been as of 1848.
Keeping cool in the Rio Grande. Sipping a beverage and Chillin !
Time to get Wet !
To deal with the lockdown I have edges everyone to get outside and go on a hike. I have hiked down low in the Galisteo Basin. Then I hiked up high to the top of Atalya mountain. One of the first outside adventures was taking a group up Hyde Park road to the forest along the Borrego Trail. The temperature is rising so now it was time to get wet and have fun in the Rio Grande.
What to do in the River?
How about a little picnic by and in the river? That sounded like an excellent idea! I loaded up the car with chairs, a cooler, drinks, snacks and some lunch and headed north of Santa Fe on highway 285. Fifty mile up the road is County Line river access. A great place to put in a raft, kayak, paddle board or just set some chair in the river and chill.
Fantastic view of the Rio Grande Valley. No virus worries here !!
Chillin’ in the River !
Chairs in the river. Cold water cooling my legs. A cold beverage in my hand. Bright sun above. Watching the rafters and kayakers drift by. Fun in the Rio Grande. This is the perfect way to forget about coronavirus or anything else for that matter.
If you want to find out how to have fun in the Rio Grande, contact Santa Fe Footprints.
I have always liked cactus, even when I lived in areas were cactus were virtually unknown. Although I knew next to nothing about them I still found them fascinating. One reason was their thorns. Thorny plants will keep people from stepping on them! Another plus is cactus required very little care. After moving to Santa Fe I discovered the Eldorado Cactus Garden and I thought I was in heaven.
What and where is Eldorado?
Eldorado is a community located about 10 minutes south of Santa Fe just off I-25. The houses there are on one to three acre lots and most of the ground has been left in a natural state. The sight of this natural state may be a bit of a shock to those coming from the East or Midwest. Back in those parts, plush green lawns are the norm. That is not the norm in New Mexico. Local gramma grass and cactus are well adapted to the dry climate. To properly appreciate how beautiful this type of landscape can be you must visit the Eldorado Cactus Garden.
Layout of Cactus at Eldorado
A big surprise for those coming from back east is discovering that cactuses flower. Cactus flowers come in all different colors and many are quite spectacular. The Eldorado cactus garden contains over one hundred verities of cactus. May and June is the time of year when most verities are in bloom. It is a sight not to be missed! You will be amazed.
My own little Garden
Those who are new to the area I recommend you start your own little cactus garden. I have cactus in pots and in the ground. Cactus likes being in pots just as well and in the ground. Pots work very well for Beaver Tail, Scarlet Hedge Hog, Banana Yucca, Claret Cup and Cholla. Cactus are very easy to transplant so some in the ground it is no problem to move them to a more desirable location . Start your own cactus garden and you will become a true son of Santa Fe.
To take a cactus hike contact Santa Fe Footprints.
On my last adventure I hiked up Atalya mountain. An excellent adventure. It was also a strenuous work out. But it was worth it. Now it was time to hike among the cactus. Aren’t cactuses those thorny things that stick you? True but this time of year all the cactus varieties are blooming.
Where to go
One of my favorite places to hike among the cactus is the Arroyo Hondo open space. This is a nice easy trail located only a ten-minute drive from the heart of Santa Fe. It is just down the road from the world-famous Harry’s Roadhouse. Well I’m not sure it is world-famous but it is a popular watering hole for movie stars and Santa Fe notables. You can see Harrys from the top of the trail and it is a great place for breakfast before or lunch after your hike.
Prickly Pears and Dogs
The most ubiquitous cactus that I find on the Arroyo Hondo trail is the Prickly Pear. They have large flat paddle shaped pads with thrones that can be two inches long. For those concerned about their dogs, there is no need to worry. I have hiked with a dog, with groups who had dogs and seen many hikers on the trail with dogs even off leash. Dogs seem to instinctively know to keep their distance.
This time of year, late May and early June is a special time to hike among the cactus. The Prickly Pears have a bright yellow flower. Scarlet Hedge Hogs have a red blossom among its many thorns. The Claret Cups are a personal favorite. This year they covered with red flowers. Of course, let us not forget the tree Cholla with its unique yellow blooms.
If you would like to hike among the cactus, contract Santa Fe Footprints for a hike or historic tour of Santa Fe.
I need fresh air. We are still locked down. The NYT has published stories that sun, warm temperatures MAY not kill this virus. Never mind that it kills all known viruses and fresh air and sunshine has been good for people for centuries.
Where to Go?
A beautiful day to be on a trail in the Galisteo Basin. You can see for 50 miles.
The main question I had was where to go. Last week I had led a group up into the mountains and hiked among the trees. This week I wanted semi flat and wide-open terrain. I knew the trails at Galisteo Basin were just the ticket. The Galisteo Basin is only a fifteen-minute drive south of Santa Fe.
Old windmill stand silent along a trail in the Galisteo Basin.
I began the hike at 8:30 am. I need fresh air and it was plentiful. The temperature was just right. Not to cool and not to hot. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright. The views extended for 50 miles in all direction. I like these trails because as I said they are fairly flat. At least they start out that way. The view is un-interrupted for 360 degrees around you. Starting a hike on this fairly flat terrain allows your mussels to flex and stretch. You fill your lungs with fresh clean air and spirts begin to lift.
The trails at Galisteo Basin are not all flat. After you get your legs working and you breath in copious amounts of fresh Santa Fe air you begin to go up hill. The ridges are not too high. Just enough to work the legs a bit more. The climb makes me take some deep breaths. I take more deep breaths. I need fresh air! I’m getting that fresh air!
The ridges are certainly not the top of the world here around Santa Fe but they do provide and unobstructed view for miles around. I never get tired of these fantastic views which hiking around Santa Fe provide.
Three hours on the trial has revived my spirts and given me hope for the future.
A hike with Santa Fe Footprints is just the ticket for you.
A glowing path with glowing trees. Experience the magic at the Santa Fe Garden.
The Glow in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is one of the many excellent reasons to visit Santa Fe during the Christmas season. This is an event I look forward to every year.
You have finished shopping or skiing and are thinking what to do before dinner. I always advise my tour guest to make a late dinner reservation. A late reservation in Santa Fe is between 7:30 and 8:30. Why do that, I’m asked? Because, I say, there is nothing quite like the Glow in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. The night will be cool and crisp. The lights on the plants and the art work are breath taking. Don’t forget to look up at nature’s light show as the stars fill the heavens.
Did you say cold? Yes it will be cool, we don’t say cold in Santa Fe, but part of the price of admission is hot food, hot chocolate, hot cider and many varieties of wine. All of that will definitely take the cill off.
Oh, did I mention the free music? New performers every night.
The Garden glow is each weekend, Friday to Sunday, through out December. Don’t miss it !!
Click this link for more details, Garden Glow.
When you need to take a day off from the fantastic skiing or the incredible shopping, consider a tour of this historic city. Click here for more information about a great Historic Walking Tour.