The Land Enchanted

New Mexico’s Beauty on Full Display

John McKinney

Our latest destination was to a part of that bastion of beauty, the American Southwest. This was my first trip to this area, I’ve wanted to go for awhile but just never made it the priority it should have been. We were headed for Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have to admit, when I pictured Albuquerque in my head, I envisioned a vast desert with little diversity in the landscape. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Geological Diversity

This is the first in a series about our time in New Mexico. It’s a testament to the diversity of the area that I can’t cover our week in one or two posts. I couldn’t believe how incredibly different each day was or even each hour was. We roamed vibrant red rock deserts, skinny slot canyons, towering pine forests, and vast plains resembling Wyoming. In addition, we also traversed ancient Native American cave dwellings and the mighty Rio Grande.


We rented a house just outside of Albuquerque in the Sandia Mountains just off the famous of Route 66. This large house was beautiful, the picture below was from the back patio where we had all our breakfasts. The throw pillows and rug were cowhide which, in conjunction with the Western decor, created a ranch-esque feel.

From our house, you could watch the sunset reflect on to the mountains. Doing so made it apparent why they were named the Sandia Mountains, which means watermelon mountains. They would glow pink as the sunset opposite them. It was nearly impossible to take your eyes off of them.

“I envisioned a vast desert with little diversity in the landscape. I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Last Thoughts

Despite our trip taking place in August, the weather was beautiful. This is, of course, relative. Being from Florida where August brings temperatures well into the 90’s and enough humidity to make you feel like you’re swimming. There was no rain during our trip. I know, you’re shocked at the lack of rain in a desert.

The nights and mornings were cool, cool enough to throw on a jacket. The afternoons were still mild for me, somewhere in the 80s if I had to guess.

Overall, I was very impressed with New Mexico. The food was delicious, I especially liked the green hatch chile salsa, as were a number of restaurants we grabbed lunch or dinner at. The brewery scene is absolutely incredible out there. I’m not really sure why so many people in New Mexico know how to make great craft beer but they definitely do.

The scenery was beautiful, mountains are always majestic to me, most likely due to the fact that the highest natural point in Florida is Britton Hill, at a towering 312 feet. Stay tuned for more adventures in The Land Enchanted!

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