Oct 9, 2014

Hiking Elena Gallegos Open Space

From my first visit to New Mexico last year, I discovered that one of the things that sets Albuquerque apart is its gorgeous landscape. Enjoying the outdoors is one of the things I was looking forward to the most when we learned that we would be making this city our new home.

Over the weekend, we went on our first hike in Albuquerque since we moved here. It also was Gus's first hike ever! We decided to head to Elena Gallegos Open Space or Elena Gallegos Picnic Area, which it is alternately called.

The location of the park allows for amazing views of the Sandia Mountains.

The weather was sunny and beautiful, and the sunlight illuminated all of the colorful desert plants.

We did not bother to look at the trail maps before we went because we did not think Gus would last very long, so we just picked a direction to go in and then turned back around when it seemed like he had had enough exploration of nature.

Gus was very curious about all of the plants. He was a little too curious about the cacti though because he wound up with a spine stuck in himself! Ouch!

The trails were well maintained and well-marked. We wound up going on a portion of the Pino Trail, but I can't tell you how long the trail is or where it leads to because we had to turn back after about 0.7 miles.

The park is located at about 6,500 feet so we also had great views of some of the city below.

When it was time to leave, we hopped in the car and made our way back to the exit. I missed a turn and wound up in a different part of the park. Then I saw something in the middle of the road that made me exclaim, "That is awesome!" I put the car in reverse and there it was: a huge hairy tarantula!  It was at least the size of my hand. Normally, I would be grossed out, but seeing this thing out in the wild was....well, wild!

I hope to never find one of those in my backyard though! I would probably throw up and then faint.

Hopefully, we will have lots more visits to Elena Gallegos Open Space in our near future.

Elena Gallegos Open Space
7100 Tramway Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111

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