This year, there was no spring break road trip – adios, Albuquerque. Adios to the best week of the year. Adios to the canyons of the Southwest. The only novel adventure this year is named Corona – and I don’t mean the arch in Utah.
Albuquerque is about 6-8 hours down US Hwy 550. In fact, that highway starts in Montrose and ends in Albuquerque.
When I think of Albuquerque, I think of my 2014 road trip with my new dog, Maizzy, and my new Honda Fit, Mini Pearl. I had plans for Chaco Canyon and for Route 66, and what lie in between was a mystery – my choice of which way to turn on the open road. The first couple of years, I didn’t get reservations until the day I left the previous motel. More dogs = more planning.
I don’t like cities, so I was zooming as quickly as I could from US Hwy 550 to I-40 (Route 66) when I noticed a sign for Petroglyph National Monument. I was like – “Well, that sounds interesting”, so off I went. There was a dog friendly section where we hiked until mid afternoon.
Road trips through the Southwest are geology on wheels. I found these petroglyphs stunning because they were on volcanic rock and not red sandstone like I am use to. This one looks like Charlie Brown with a baseball cap to me.
From there, we headed west on I-40. I saw signs for El Malpias National Monument, so we stopped there for a short scenic drive. It was like a combo of volcanic rock and red sandstone. I realized they what I realize most everyday of every road trip – that I play too long and run out of time before I want to stop.
The other cool place near Albuquerque is Salinas Mission Pueblos National Monument. We didn’t run into these 2016. That was another serendipity where we were on a stretch of highway with nothing to do between point A and point B – then there was this photo on the wall of ruins – and I had to find them.
Last year, our trip took us through that area, again – so I went with all three dogs. I love the big old mission buildings as a background for my small dogs.
Kachina, Sazi, and Maizzy at Salinas Mission Pueblo Ruins National Monument – 2019
These trips to me are Albuquerque – unique in culture and landscape. Adios Albuquerque was added to my daylily garden in 2016, I think. After these trips that are forever engraved in my memory. I put it in my Southwest garden with (mostly) other Ned Roberts spiders.
The garden was put in where there was only rock garden – on the easement between the sidewalk and the street. I have no back yard, because it is a split lot – so I actually have almost all of these daylilies in buried pots in case the water main ever busts there.
I like the bloom – it is subtle. Albuquerque was Ned’s home until he moved to Colorado for treatment – at least that is my understanding. He, no doubt, loved the New Mexico culture. It is different from Colorado . . . it must have been hard for him to say Adios, Albuquerque. Fortunately, I have his daylilies to take me on a road trip on the year of the pandemic.