This was my first trip to the American Southwest for a hiking trip. I have to admit, I was not expecting it to be nearly as beautiful as it was. I expected New Mexico to be a vast desert with little diversity in the landscape. I always kind of wondered why people would live in what I viewed as such as a harsh climate. I was never so happy to be wrong.
I'll be going into more detail about a couple of the places we hiked in subsequent posts. This is just a small post about my overall experience in NM.
We spent a week in and around the Albuquerque area (still can't spell that right without spellcheck). Our house for the week nestled in the Sandia Mountains. As we ventured out into the wilderness, the true beauty of the state became apparent. We saw red rock deserts, pine tree covered mountains, Native American cave dwellings, the Rio Grande, white limestone mountains, and plains resembling those in Wyoming. I was amazed that on one particular driving day, we saw most of that list in just a few hours.
The climate was also comfortable, this being August and the weather, while warm, was nothing compared to Florida's 90's and humid summer days. Personally, I'm just more partial to hiking in cooler weather and like to save my multi-hour hikes for the cooler months.
Overall I was very impressed with the New Mexico. I always love diverse landscapes. Mountains are majestic to me, most likely due to the fact that the highest natural point in Florida is Britton Hill. This hill is a towering 312 feet. Even foothills are wonderful to someone who grew up 50 feet or less above sea level. I think my next trip to the Southwest will be to finally check out the Big Five in Utah or to see the Grand Canyon from up close, as opposed to just flying over it.
However, as gorgeous as the Southwest was, I'm happy to be living in the Southeast. I have never been so thirsty for a week straight, my throat was constantly dry. I'm sure I'd get use to it, I'm just not sure I would want to. I don't mind the heat and humidity of Florida and the non-summer months are incredible weather-wise.
Remember, Adventure is Calling!
August 10th, 2015