More Than a Half Marathon

We did our long walk yesterday. tl;dr it was great!!!!!! No mishaps, the weather was fantastic. Would I do it again? Yes! Definitely. In fact we’re already planning the next one.

Read on for more detail and pics:

Karen, at the beginning of the trail
Ready to go

We intended to walk 12 miles, but Apple maps lied to me and it was 14 instead. I was a little worried that would be the case, but it turned out ok.

We shuttled the kids to a friend’s house, drove to our starting point in a grocery store parking lot, and parked next to a tree that we knew would make some shade over the car by the time we were due back (this is New Mexico after all, shade is at a premium, especially for a black car).

Equipped with our backpack, plenty of water, our hats, and sunglasses, we set out bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and super chipper. The path toward Tijeras was lovely, hot, with a nice cool breeze. Perfect day for a hike. After about 4 miles of a steady gradual uphill slope, my muscles were crying a little so I was pretty excited to see the 6 mile marker. But that’s also when we realized that we underestimated the distance. We thought we’d figured the distance at 6 miles even, but it ended up being 6.9 to the Subway where we were planning to have lunch.

Mile 6 marker
Mile 6, almost there

The scenery is of course magnificent, but we were walking on the highway, if you can call it that. So if you don’t like walking on pavement this trek is not for you. It’s not a really heavily travelled road, but there are cars from time to time. We didn’t really expect to find any alternate routes, but we kept an eye on the land to the south side of the road (the Interstate is on the north side) for potential off-road trails, but mostly the land was fenced off or there were no trespassing signs, so that was a no go.

When prepping for the walk I found out that a part of the highway eastbound to Tijeras is a musical highway. We checked it out the other day in our car just to see what it was like and it’s adorable. Even more adorable were the cars passing by as we walked, playing the music for us.

It’s a good idea, in my opinion, to hike the hardest bit at the beginning, this walk was perfect for that. Steady uphill out and mostly downhill back. And we felt rested from a short break and a sandwich at the Subway. But, wow, my feet hurt and I am sporting a couple of pesky blisters. That said, I got some nice pictures :)

This is Albuquerque to Tijeras:

This is Tijeras back to Albuquerque:

Edited to include image of the RunKeeper map because it’s cool. Check out that elevation change!

Tijeras to ABQ RunKeeper map

Am cooking genius (Butternut Squash Crack)


I was trying to think of what to make for dinner tonight and my amazing coworker Pam shared this with me. It looks so yummy don’t you think?

Originally posted on pyjammy's {identical} triplets:

I have to tell you about this recipe that I like to think I invented (but I’m sure I didn’t, but maybe I did?) but either way, you must go make it right now. It is extraordinarily delicious.

I wish I had some pictures to share with you, but truth be told, it’s not exactly a pretty dish, and anyway, I ate it all too fast to photograph it.

Took some pictures! See below.

I call it

Butternut Squash Crack

or maybe I should call it something more descriptive like

Butternut Squash with Italian Sausage and Sage (and Goat Cheese If You’re Not Going Dairy-Free For a Little While Like Pam Is)

Take your pick.

A butternut squash (are you surprised?)
1 package of turkey sweet Italian sausage (the kind I buy has 5 links in the package)
1 bunch of fresh sage (or dried, but fresh smells so…

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Prepping for the Long Walk

In prep for our upcoming Long Walk we did a 10.53 miler. Got childcare, the weather was fantastic, planned a route, and off we went.

We were an hour in when we saw this:

That’s a massive storm cloud across the valley, approaching our location, in case you’re not sure what you’re looking at. About thirty minutes later it looked like this:

That’s basically on top of us. We were walking North and the wind was blowing something awful, sand flying and the whole mess, but we finally turned East and it wasn’t so bad for a while. Onward we trudged. I’m kidding, we weren’t trudging.

We got to our halfway point just in time for a thunder clap and a steady drizzle. But this is what our halfway point had to offer, so yay!

The rain sort of petered out a bit so we figured we could forge on and get wet but not terribly soaked.

As you can see, pretty wet but not too bad. We were not dry by the time we got home but when you live in the desert you learn to not complain about rain. And when it rains you see these kinds of surprises:

All in all a successful endeavor, next time I’ll bring a light hoodie, as the temp here in New Mexico can drop pretty fast and I got a tiny bit cold.

Here is a screenshot of our path from RunKeeper:

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 5.21.40 PM


Walking from Albuquerque to Tijeras, New Mexico

For some time now I’ve wanted to walk from Albuquerque to Tijeras, a nearby town to the East of ABQ. From time to time I bring it up and then for one reason or another it never happens. Well, no longer, we’ve decided we’re doing it. Here’s what that looks like:

Why this route? It’s a gorgeous piece of road through the Tijeras Canyon and part of historic Route 66. It’s a musical road which of course we won’t experience walking and the views are killer.

What about training? Who knew you have to train for a long distance walk? Not me. But so say the interwebs. It will be ok though. While we haven’t intentionally been training, I think we’re close and can knock this goal out in the next week or two. Especially if we keep an eye out for the most common mistakes people make when walking long distances. We can comfortably walk 67 miles (for my metric friends, I’ve linked the numbers to the km conversion, you’re welcome) and have often walked 10 miles without too much discomfort. So yes, 13.8 miles is a bit of a stretch, but we can do it.

And of course, I’ll live blog it so stay tuned!

Kids Growing Up

My two oldest children are away, visiting their Grandma and some friends in South Dakota. This is the first time they’ve been away from us longer than an overnight at a sleep-over. I know it’s cliche, but I’m having a moment. I’m thinking about my babies all grown up and how it was only yesterday I was changing diapers all day long and breastfeeding the rest of the time.

At the risk of embarrassing my oldest, who follows my blog, here they are then and now:

* to be honest, while our house is quiet with no teenagers in it (crazy!) and I KNOW it’s good for them to experience being on their own a bit, this mamma is having a hard time not having her babbies around, not knowing what they’re doing, not being involved. Ug.

Sunset on the Sandias

Sunday night we drove up to the Sandia Crest (for those of you not from Albuquerque, that’s the top most point of the mountains on the east edge of town) to watch the sunset. There’s a great viewing area and tons of great trails. But on Sunday we were not there for hiking, just sunset watching.

We’ve lived in Albuquerque 10 years and frankly, I’m surprised we’ve not done this before. My parents are in town this weekend we thought a sunset watch sounded like a great idea.

The desert sunset did not disappoint. The light was phenomenal. And while the sunset was lovely, the view in the opposite direction, behind the mountains, was especially amazing.

Check this picture out, it’s the shadow of the mountain on the clouds. See the dark semi circle that looks like a hill? That is actually a shadow on the clouds in the flatlands on the backside of the mountain. Really, you had to be there but trust me, it was cool.

More pics.

Seeing Buenos Aires

As I mentioned, I spent the weekend in Buenos Aires. Normally on these work trips I have very little time to explore, but because of the way the flights worked out, this time I actually got to squeeze in some sightseeing. I won’t bore you with the details, but in a nutshell, I went to WordCamp Buenos Aires, then walked through the Cementerio de la Recoleta, wandered around an artisan fair, popped into a church I cannot remember the name of, walked through the Zoo, and took a ride on the Subte (subway). Pics below: