Gutierrez Canyon Recovery Walk

Mai and I took a walk on the far side of the mountains today at Albuquerque’s Open Space area in Gutierrez Canyon.  I looked at my bicycling journal and saw I had ridden nine days in a row.  Too many!  I try to take at least one day off the bike every week.  Taking a walk in a beautiful landscape seems to be one of the best ways to recover the body from bicycling.

We saw one other hiker on the trail with his good looking doggy

We saw one other hiker on the trail with his good looking doggy.  A few signs of horses and mountain bikes

It was cold today and breezy though the trees protected us as we were hiking

It was cold today and breezy.  The trees protected us as we were hiking.

Beautiful grasslands fill the valleys and junipers, piñons, even ponderosas and oak swarm the highlands.  Cactus all around.  Sunny!

Grasslands fill the valleys and junipers, piñons, even ponderosas & oak swarm the highlands. Cactus all around. Sunny!

I rode my bicycle out here yesterday.  This is my favorite two hour ride. I live right near the I-40 multi use trail in Albuquerque that leads to the gateway to the east mountains area, Tijeras Canyon.  The I-40 trail helps me get out of the city with ease, and once past the Tramway/Central and Central/Four Hills intersections, its open road.  Amazing to experience the contrast of landscapes as I pedal through Tijeras and on to higher elevations in the east mountains.  Oh the joy of the open road!

The back side of the Sandias are forested and inclined, very different from the city side

The back side of the Sandias are forested and inclined, very different from the city side

The chilly mountain air was refreshingly clean, astringent pine scent, thin and pure

The invigorating mountain air is refreshingly clean with an astringent pine scent, pure, light, delicious to breath!

The character and shapes of trees varies tremendously

The character and shapes of trees varies tremendously.  Form changes with light.  An infinity of unique moments.

The trail begins around 6,700′ and there was snow on the ground in places.  Over on this side of the mountains it is the mountains themselves that make me awestruck and humble.  Over on the Albuquerque side in the high desert it is the expansive sky that makes it so magnificent.

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the trail hugged the hillside and took us up and over the ridge

 

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many prominent rock outcroppings with vegetation tailored to the piled contours

 

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South Mountain in the distance

Now when I ride my bike down on the road below I have a better feeling for the shape of the land.  Getting to the know the landscape requires time and attention, just like people do.  I do believe that this is one of the primary ways in which I can enrich my life, spending time outdoors that is.  It definitely softened the day and melted away a lot a tension, and we really enjoyed a hot dinner upon returning home!  Thanks Albuquerque for preserving this open space.

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