My stay in Albuquerque was wonderful. I love the mountain/desert combo climate... Steven and I got up early and did some awesome hiking in Sandia's. The mountains are so beautiful, a grayish purple in daylight but in the glorious New Mexican sunset glow pink. Truly one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen. Thankfully no snake sightings but we did see lots of road runners who apparently eat the rattlers! I recommend watching a youtube video of it as it is quite amazing how these birds kill the snakes. They grab it in their beaks and literally slam the snake head against the rocks until it is dead and then swallow it whole.
The Dorothy Stewart trail offered great views of Santa Fe, Sun Mountain, the Jemez, and the ski basin. One of my favorite parts of this hike is that the rocks making up the trail are full of micah and quartz so the whole pathway literally glitters the whole way up and down the mountain.
One of my besties from Brooklyn flew in for my last day in NM and we drove out to White Sands National Monument, the largest gypsum sand dune in the world. There are really no words to describe the 250 mile dunes, where you can walk and sled through the endless mounds of white powder against the backdrop of the San Andreas and Sacramento Mountain ranges. Please check my Instagram or Facebook for pictures. (Happy side note: it is pooch friendly!)
The next day we headed drove to Sedona with a midway pitstop in the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest (or as I refer to it "Dinoland".) Named for its abundance of fossilized wood from over 225 MILLION years ago this was the most supernatural looking place I have ever been to. The endless blue and gray plateaus and red soil layers look straight out of the textbooks of the prehistoric landscapes. At one point I said aloud, "if a brontosaurus came treking out past me right now it wouldn't seem out of the ordinary." Again, I feel words do not do this place justice so please check out my social media accounts for pictures!