My kids and I went for a Letterboxing hike in Albuquerque a few weeks ago, and I’m finally getting around to posting the photos and the fun that we had.
The trail we hiked was only about 20 minutes west of our our home, among the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, just above and east of Albuquerque.
These trails are all a part of the Albuquerque Open Space and are open to horseback riders, too. Since this area is 2,000 ft lower in elevation than our home, these trails are a good place to hike or horseback ride in the winter, since they usually don’t get snow, and if they do, just a dusting.
This was a perfect day for a hike…blue skies, sunshine, no wind, and temps in the upper 70s. The trails were smooth and sandy, and only gently hilly.
From these trails we could see Kirtland Air Force Base and the Albuquerque Sunport in the distance, and watch the airplanes taking off and landing.
Along the way, there were lots of boulders to climb and explore.
Boulders bigger than cars are fun to climb.
More boulders beckoned from atop the ridges.
I always have a great time hiking with my kids.
Soon we could see Interstate 40 down below us.
Also down below us we could finally see our destination: The Aluminum Yucca!!
Approaching Albuquerque from the east on I-40, a public art installation welcomes visitors to the city: The Aluminum Yucca.
Since the letterbox was down near the Aluminum Yucca, which required a rugged hike over and through some large boulders, Jen and I chose to stay up on the side of the hill, while the boys hiked down to retrieve the Letterbox.
The Aluminum Yucca is a 22-foot tall sculpture created by artist Gordon Huether using salvaged aluminum fuel tanks from F-15 aircraft. At night, the giant yucca is illuminated by LED panels of slowly varying color, powered by solar energy.
Visit this link to see a beautiful nighttime photo: Aluminum Yucca at Night
While we waited for the boys, Jen and I enjoyed the views from above.
Jen especially liked watching all of the semi-trucks and traffic down below on I-40, wondering where they had come from and where they were going.
But soon the boys had climbed back up to us, and after stamping in, Jax and Jem took the Letterbox back down to rehide it near the Aluminum Yucca.
While waiting on them to finish up so we could head back to our car, we noticed these interesting boulders seemingly blushing with orangey red along their edges.
And on all the boulders around us we noticed the sage green and pink colored granite, which created the name for these mountains: Sandia, which means Watermelon in Spanish.
My Dobbie Girl didn’t mind posing for a photo on a granite boulder.
But Mustang Sally was ready to go.
It was a beautiful day for a hike and I do enjoy hiking and spending time in the outdoors with my kids.
Before we headed back up through the canyon for the drive home, we went out for some dinner in Albuquerque and found one more Letterbox. And on the way home, we were treated to some beautiful views:
The Sandia Mountains
And a pretty sunset