On May 19th, this was the weather:
Our new digs boasted a yard, which I hoped would suffice for exercise and running about time, but although it is almost half an acre, it’s less of a backyard and more of a fenced in meadow.
So it looked like we needed to find adventures outside of our rental.
The landlord had walked me through a google map of a path that would lead to a stream and a park. (“Well, our version of a park—dried up grass in an open space,” he pointed out.) I had tried on a few evenings to make it to this trail and park, but not knowing the terrain, I was fearful of being stuck out there after dark. The sunset called us home before we reached our destination every time. We were no longer in the “city” of Santa Fe. We were in the wild.
Finally, waiting for an afternoon when it was not-so-surface-of-the-sun hot, Tucker and I went on search of this trail and park.
After walking a decrepit asphalt road, we came to the private land whose generous owners created a pathway for us to get to the stream.
It had only been an hour of exploration, so Tucker and I went back to the lower road and took it in the opposite direction of home.
To our surprise, we found a park. A real park. With an expansive lawn. And trees.
Tucker was most impressed with the colossal horse head.
First he lied down in the middle of the street in the hot sun. I advised him it would be more productive to find a shady spot. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and didn’t find it particularly warm, but I didn’t know how hot the ground was.
I let him stay there for a few minutes to get up enough energy to head up the hill and the remaining three blocks.
Half way through the second block, he needed another break.
One thing was proven without a doubt: Tucker is not a desert dog. And I am not a desert person. Give us mountains and streams any day, but the hot, dry earth and unrelenting sun is just too much for us.
Finding our nature havens in the winter was a bit easier. Now it was a matter of a lot more research, and taking less risks (I can’t lift Tucker and carry him out of the desert if he collapses from heat exhaustion) in order for us to find our little places of forest in the vast desert.