It may not look like much to some folks, but to me there’s nothing more beautiful than a sunny, March afternoon stroll along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Northwest Albuquerque. I’m continually amazed that our apartment is within the city limits, within walking distance of many shops and businesses, but, also, a short walk to a series of trails that meander through the Bosque, along the banks of the Rio Grande River.
On a Saturday, such as today, when the morning is already committed to other activities, there isn’t time to drive to some of our other favorite hiking spots. After weeks of colder than normal temperatures, the weatherman promised that today would be warmer and not windy. There was no way I was going to spend my afternoon indoors. Being able to stroll out the back entrance of the apartment complex and get on the Bosque Trail is the perfect way to satisfy that hunger for some of nature’s refreshing beauty.
I’ve always loved the desert, ever since the years in the late 70’s through the early 90’s when I lived in the southern part of New Mexico. I spent the first 20 years of my life in gloomy, cold Michigan and swore I would never live “back east” again after that move to New Mexico. But life has unexpected twists and turns and in 1993 I accepted a job offer that moved me to northern Virginia. I didn’t realize at the time that I would spend nearly 20 years putting down roots in that beautiful place.
I had never been to Virginia before I moved there for the job and didn’t know what to expect. It did violate my “don’t live back east” principle, but I was willing to give it a chance. I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and spent many happy hours on hikes in Shenandoah National Park, as well as all the wonderful hiking spots in nearby Maryland and Pennsylvania. It was a difficult decision last year when we packed up and traveled the country for 9 months, trying to decide where to resettle.
I still can’t believe my good fortune that it was Albuquerque that we chose as our new home. Any place that you live, there are residents who tell you that they love the place, but others who complain about it. Some of the complaints that we’ve heard about Albuquerque are that it is too brown and dry and dusty. That’s particularly evident in the winter months as you can see in today’s photo. While I do miss the greenery of the southern and eastern states, I still see such beauty in the stark landscapes of the desert. And the best part of all, what I can’t seem to get enough of, is the gorgeous blue of the endless sky overhead. And from the valley here in Albuquerque, it’s a short trip over there to the Sandia Mountains, another world that awaits as soon as I get a free day for some hiking there. Desert and mountains, the best of both worlds, all in one place close to home.