The Memorial Day Weekend was four days for me this year and I was super excited. There were a lot of plans that were almost executed by for some reason college age students have a problem solidifying plans more than an hour before they happen, myself included. There was talk of back road camping, day trips to Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and White Sands National Monument, hiking La Luz trail and riding the Sandia Peak Tramway back, watching the Minor League Baseball Team, the Isotopes, versus the Sacramento River Cats or visiting the volcanoes in the Petroglyph National Monument. For the most part, all of this happened, but I ultimately had to pick and choose. I ended up going on the Embudito trail in the Sandia Mountains and the baseball game.

The plan was to hike up the canyon and meet up with the Embudito trail heading down. The original idea was to drive an hour and a half or so out of Albuquerque and hike there. But we were told there was water in the canyon from the extra bit of rain we got this spring and it was really pretty. So, on Saturday, I got up early and packed granola bars, trail mix and PB&Js for the day. We drove no more than 20 minutes or so and started up the canyon. We found water pretty soon and there were tiny little waterfalls down boulders as we kept heading up.

Being in the middle of the canyon was so beautiful. There were cool rock formations and the smell was amazing. I got a kick out of the fact that we would go through very traditional forest areas that were shady and super green and lush and next thing I know there was a cacti patch. Something that also blew my mind was the number of butterflies there where. They were everywhere. We would walk through a bunch and I felt like was at the special butterfly exhibit at the zoo for free.

The hike in total was about 9 miles. We went pretty high to get an amazing view of the city while we ate lunch. There was a lot of scrambling on the way down. It was a little bit harder to find the trail to lead us down. We went about two miles out of the way but the views and the escape into nature was totally worth it. I will admit, I underestimated the hike when I was first invited. I wore my old Nike running shoes with little to no tread and I definitely wish I wore better hiking shoes. I fell three times, but a really great hike isn’t complete without a few falls.

Some takeaways: Through all the scrambling, I learned that yuccas are really sharp. If you are going on a hike, don’t wear shoes without any tread (I might as well have done the hike in Converse). The Sandia Mountains are truly gorgeous. Do not forget to stretch after! By the time we got back, I immediately showered and then fell asleep for 12 hours. The hike totally wiped me out.

The next morning, I went to a yoga class at Indi Yoga Studio. It is about 6 minutes from campus, and I am just trying it out. I probably started going about a week ago because I found a really awesome deal. I have practiced yoga for about a year and a half but since moving to ABQ I’ve jumped around between studios, classes and self-practice. I have really started to like this studio and was super happy to have scheduled a Sunday class because I know I would’ve been in a lot more pain the next few days.

That night I went to the baseball game with a few friends. I had never been to Isotope Park, but it was fun to look around and see all the concessions and vendors. Sadly, the Isotopes lost, but there was a pretty long firework show after.

Ultimately, I think my weekend was the perfect balance between exploring, some fun and some relaxation. I hope you all enjoyed the break and had a chance to remember and honor people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Anna