This is Part 3 of our recount of our Winter Road Trip. You can find Part 2 here.
We arrived in Santa Fe on Christmas Eve, this was planned because we wanted to attend the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, which is Santa Fe’s signature seasonal event.
We started off the day wandering around Santa Fe’s Plaza, the heart of Downtown Santa Fe. It was rather quiet and deserted, because we were there really early. However, that didn’t stop us from having fun, mostly because this was the first time QQ encountered snow.
QQ’s first sniff of snow, a strange white substance he had never saw before.
In the beginning, QQ didn’t know quite what to make of it. In the meantime, I was busily snapping away.
Isn’t QQ pretty in the snow?!?!
He quickly learnt that this strange white substance is very fun to play with.
The snow-covered Santa Fe Plaza
We also walked to Santa Fe’s State Capitol.
In the afternoon, we visited Frank Ortiz Park, a off leash dog park in Santa Fe. I previously looked it up because we need to find a place to let the dogs run off leash. This dog park got pretty good ratings, but it way exceeded my expectations.
It’s not a gated dog park, it’s really big and there are multiple trails for the dogs to explore. It’s also lightly dusted with snow, and afforded beautiful views of snow-capped hills.
QQ posing just off the trail.
Beautiful views. This dog park made me wish we live in Santa Fe.
There’s also a big flat area near the parking lot that allows for the dogs to socialize. QQ met a samoyed that he kept following around. It’s so cute, like he found a big brother.
tiny dog, big dog, small dog
The park also had a festively decorated Christmas tree, and naturally I had to get a picture of it with the dogs.
It was a really fun afternoon spent at the park. Nothing makes us happier than to see our dogs run free.
In the evening, we visited the Railyard Arts District. Santa Fe is famous for its galleries and the Railyard district is known for the contemporary art galleries. I’m happy to say that all the galleries I visited are dog-friendly. The husband isn’t interested in art and opted to stay outside with QQ playing with his phone. I carried Chyler in the galleries though, and everyone made a fuss over her. She was the best behaved dog ever, she never made a squeak and allowed anyone who wanted to to pet her.
I did get some photos of QQ outside SITE contemporary art space though.
at the park outside SITE
After visiting the galleries, it was time to go for the Farolito Walk. Unfortunately it was dark and we didn’t get any good photos. But it was definitely fun. Canyon Road is lined with multiple art galleries that went their way out to decorate for Christmas. Thousands of luminarias line the road and there were so many people that it didn’t even feel cold. I had to carry Chyler most of the time because we were afraid she’ll be trampled accidentally, the husband even picked QQ up several times when we had to go through a crowd. But it was beautiful and the mood was so festive. It’s truly a signature event and we are happy to experience it.
The next day, we drove to Taos on Christmas day. We visited a couple of famous churches on the way, and also drove by Rio Grande Gorge. We visited Taos Pueblo to see their annual Native American Christmas dance. Taos Pueblo is dog friendly, but the Pueblo had a lot of dogs of their own and they run off leash. They are not shy about coming up to people and dogs to sniff them. Chyler did well because she doesn’t get rattled easily over other dogs. QQ was a little tense and the husband decided to stay in the car with him because we didn’t want to risk a fight breaking out. Taos Pueblo do not allow photos.
We ended the day walking around in Taos Plaza and the downtown Historic District.
Huge Christmas tree in the middle of Taos Plaza
At Taos Plaza. Finally a Christmas tree in QQ’s size!
It snowed in the evening just before sunset on Christmas Day. We had our wish, that QQ get to experience falling snow and play in fresh snow. We had a White Christmas.
White Christmas! The snow was so heavy that QQ literally sank into it.
The next day was freezing cold as it usually is after snowfall. The lowest point was below 21 degrees Celsius. We decided to do the Enchanted Circle Scenic Drive, mostly so we can stay in the car. This is a well known scenic drive. It is a 84 mile loop that starts and ends in Taos, circling Wheeler Peak. It was really beautiful with snowy scenes. We were lucky and actually saw a family of elk on the drive! I was so excited and wanted to stop for longer to observe them. However, QQ did not like foreign animals and started to bark his head off. He barked so much he even got Chyler to start. With two dogs making such a racket, we didn’t have a choice but to snap a couple of photos and quickly drive on.
Family of elk that did nothing to QQ. They even had their backs to us! But somehow this is not to be tolerated by the guard dog of the family.
We visited Kit Carson Park after we got back from the drive. Kit Carson Park technically had a dog park. But everything was covered in heavy snow and after trekking around for awhile, we couldn’t find the dog park. We met a local who was walking his two dogs off leash, and he said that the dog park is really small, and since there wasn’t anyone around, we might as well allow our dogs off leash where we are. Seeing as there truly wasn’t another soul within sight, we let QQ off and he got to run around in the snow with the two other dogs. We tried letting Chyler off too, but she kept trying to climb up a tree to get away from the thick snow so we picked her up and held her the entire time while QQ played to his heart’s content.
QQ, in his element surrounded by snow. That was the tree Chyler kept trying to climb up.
It was freezing, so this is a testament to our love for QQ that we actually stayed in the park for over half an hour. After the two dogs left, QQ couldn’t stop running, jumping and digging. I originally planned to leave within 15 mins because I was worried that he might get too cold – we didn’t make him wear shoes. But he was so happy I extended the time. We wiped his paws down the moment we got inside the car, and he didn’t show any signs of discomfort. I have zero experience in caring for a dog in such weather so I’m not sure exactly how long we should allow the dogs to play in the snow. For QQ, clearly 30 mins wasn’t enough, but that was pretty much all he got because I’m paranoid.
We went home after to get warm, and also to do some laundry.
And that’s the end of our 7th day and the first week of our two weeks road trip.
To be continued….
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