The weather was so warm and sunny this week that we decided to hit the road and take a short one-day road trip up to New Mexico. My family had some time off and with summer being upon us, a road trip was the perfect way to get out of the house and go exploring.
Early Monday morning, we packed some snacks, got our furry babies into their harnesses, and drove off. Being the first-time cat mom that I am, I of course wanted to bring Sophie with me on our adventure. It has been quite a while since she set paw in a car, so she was pretty anxious at first. Meowing at this and that, and climbing all over me as she tried to get a better view from the windows. After a little while of driving through the desert, she finally calmed down and settled herself inside her carrier to take a nap.
Our first stop on our road trip was White Sands National Monument. Anyone who lives around our region has visited White Sands at some point in their lives. This, however, was my first time visiting the place. I had heard a lot about it before, not only because it is a popular tourist attraction, but also because many movies have been filmed there. It is a very majestic place, pure white sand dunes as far as the eyes can see, and a stillness that only nature can offer. To me it was a place to relax and spend some time quietly enjoying our surroundings, but to the many people spending their weekend there, it was a place to have fun sledding and throw a family BBQ while listening to loud music.
My mom’s Shih Tzu pup was happily running this way and that, exploring all the new scents and sights. She even decided the sand was so comfortable that she must dip her whole nose in it! Sophie was quite surprised by the sand. She crawled along down on her belly as if she were stalking a prey, always alert. Finally, after climbing up a steep hill, her only thought was to get back inside her carrier and let her humans carry her the rest of the way. After taking many pictures and video of the lovely scenery, we went back in the car and started off on the second leg of our road trip.
It is so strange and wonderful how after leaving the desert, we found ourselves in a lush, green forest only after driving for a short while. The roadside was now filled with trees as we made our way up the mountains to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Here we found a beautiful spot where a railroad used to be. A small historical plaque explained that back in the 1800’s, people from El Paso and the surrounding areas would come up there to stay during the Summer months. It was a place especially sought out by those who were sick and who would otherwise perish in the heat. Being from the hot, dry desert myself, I could definitely understand why so many people would choose to stay there while the heat passed. Everything was so green and as soon as you stepped outside of your car, you could feel the temperature change. My body was honestly expecting more heat, but it was met with a very nice and relieving cool weather.
Cloudcroft is a very small village with many cabins and a road strip filled with small shops. We shopped around looking at all the locally made products and simply took in the relaxing and friendly atmosphere of the place. One thing that stood out to me was how pet friendly this region is. Everyone was out walking their dogs and I even got nice comments from people who saw Sophie in her carrier. This to me was perfect! Living in the city you are only met with obstacles when it comes to taking your pets out, so it was a relief experiencing this.
For our lunch, we decided to have an impromptu picnic in a park we had seen as we drove into Cloudcroft. We ate our sandwiches that we bought under a tree and rested a while before heading back. However, the fun was cut short when it suddenly started to rain! It had been cloudy all day and a storm was finally catching up to us. We packed everything quickly and got back in the car to head home for the day.
The road home was just as beautiful as the rest of the trip. Even while it was raining hard, you could see the lovely mountains in the distance and I couldn’t help but to film a great deal of this to keep for myself. Our very short road trip came to an end and we arrived home still early in the day. Very tired, with an ungodly amount of sand in our shoes, but very satisfied and happy with the one-day adventure. 🙂