This is Part 4 of our recount of our Winter Road Trip. You can find Part 3 here.
On Day 8, we left Taos to drive back to Albuquerque.
In the morning, we planned on doing a hike at Elena Gallegos Park. I read up on it and it’s a dog friendly park with wide spaces and plenty of trails. Dogs has to be on leash though.
I originally planned for all of us to go on the hike. However, I didn’t expect it to be so cold! It was minus 3 degrees Celsius. The cold weather made it unsuitable for Chyler, who has shown that she doesn’t tolerate freezing cold weather well. So the husband opted to stay in the car with her, quite gleefully too I might add.
I took QQ and went on a 1 hour walk with him. It was cold, but it was quite pretty. Parts of the trails were covered in snow, and we had a view of the distant mountains.
It took QQ awhile to understand that the husband and Chyler isn’t joining us. For the first 10 minutes, he kept standing up on his hind legs and looking back towards the car. But after awhile he started to focus on enjoying the cool weather walk.
I wished we could have gone for a longer walk, the views were really quite breathtaking. Sadly, the freezing weather is also breathtaking, and not in a good way. So after an hour, we got back in the car and headed for lower elevation.
In the afternoon, we visited the Petroglyph National Monument. The lower elevation and afternoon sun warmed the weather up nicely, and this time, the whole family get to go for a hike together. Petroglyph National Monument is famous for the many petroglyphs created by Puebloans 400-700 years ago.
Not all of the Petroglyph National Monument is dog friendly. The more popular Boca Negra Canyon isn’t. We first visited the Rinconada Canyon, which is supposed to have up to 400 petroglyphs. Leashed dogs are allowed at this trail.
Petroglyphs are hard to spot. A lady that looked like a local passed by and told us not to lose heart if we don’t see any. Apparently it depends largely on the light and angle. Visitors were advised to bring binoculars. We didn’t have any, but it didn’t matter really. The weather was wonderful and we just enjoyed the walk. We did see some though!
The trail was a loop trail, approximately two miles. We did not see many people on the trail and enjoyed taking our time trying to spot the elusive petroglyphs.
We also visited the Volcanoes day use area, which do not have any petroglyphs, but do have some volcanoes that you can climb. We climbed the smallest one and had a lot of fun before finally calling it a day.
Day 9 was the best day of our road trip.
We drove down south to White Sands National Monument. There really isn’t much to say, except that if you ever have a chance, you should definitely bring your dog there.
White Sands National Monument is dog friendly. The place is what its name say, a place entirely covered with white sand dunes. The sand is so soft, I heard someone saying it’s just like snow. We went on a beautiful day, and it might have been the best day of QQ’s life. Dogs has to be leashed. But White Sands National Monument is huge. It’s easy to find a space for your own enjoyment. We walked the dogs on leash far away from the road until we couldn’t see anyone, and basically let them drag the leash. If we see anyone coming, we picked up the leash quickly.
QQ is a sand dog. He loves running on sand, and digging in sand, and basically anything that has to do with sand. And this sand is so, so soft!
Prepare for a photo spam.
To be honest, there isn’t really much to say about White Sands National Monument. There really isn’t anything there but sand. But just the sand is enough. Sometimes, simple is best. The husband isn’t a fan of traveling, but even he talked about returning, just because of how much fun QQ and Chyler had. And when you love your dogs as much as we do, seeing the joy in your dogs makes anything and everything worthwhile, even if you really hate driving 3000 miles. We spent almost the whole day there and had a hard time leaving. The dogs were absolutely zonked out at night.
And with the photo spam, we conclude Day 9 and Part 4. To be continued…