Do you have a home away from home? Or more than one? A place to relax, a place that replenishes your soul, or maybe a place that fills you with joy?

I’ve been contemplating the idea myself for the past couple of weeks. I’d been asked if I wanted to contribute a blog post for a “home away from home” campaign for the nice folks at DogVacay.com. DogVacay is an online service that helps you find local pet sitters to care for your pet while you are on vacation. I’d heard of them because one of my sisters used them last summer and was happy with the service. They contacted me through my blog. (You can like their facebook page by clicking here.)

Company coordinator Priscilla says, “DogVacay is a helpful website that allows pet parents to find nearby homes to board their dogs while the owners are away from home”

From the website, “”DogVacay is an online community that has over 10,000 vetted and insured dog sitters across the country ready to care for your dog like their family member!”

It’s an alternative to kennels, so I think we can all agree that that’s good, right?

Yes!

My garden is my numero uno home away from home. Except that it’s at home so I don’t think it counts for their campaign. Plus, you guys have seen my garden a million times.

If I was going to do this post as a favor for them, I wanted to make sure not to bore you, my regular readers.

But where was another home away from home for me?

I gave it some thought – I didn’t have time to drive to Jemez or Santa Fe, or up to Taos. It finally hit me, there was a place in the heart of Albuquerque that felt like a vacation getaway. A place to reconnect with Nature, to rejuvenate your spirit.

I’m talking about the bosque along the Rio Grande.

The bosque is the area of vegetation along either side of the river, which snakes north/south through the city. The cool thing is that there are bike and hiking trails that run the length of the city along the bosque (which is the Spanish word for woodlands).

These trails are great. There are tons of access points along the paths, and you can go as far or as short a distance as you want. Once you’re on the trail, you barely tell there’s a bustling city around you.

Here, I’ll show you how nice it is there. I brought my camera along. (I’ve posted bosque photos on my blog before but these are all new ones.)

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

We parked just west of Old Town on Mountain Road and accessed the bosque there. You can see there’s a paved trail. There is also a dirt trail and a gravel trail.

We opted for the gravel path, and crossed two arroyos (water ditches) to get there:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

The arroyos are right next to each other, and they run parallel to the Rio Grande, which you can see when you get to the gravel path:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

The bosque is beautiful. You can see why the Cottonwood trees have worked their way into the culture and literature of the Rio Grande Valley.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

We walked south from the Mountain Road access point. I like this walk because it goes right past the Botanical Garden and the Aquarium.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

The gravel path merges with the others at the BioPark, which is next to where Central Avenue (Route 66) crosses the Rio Grande.

We walked to an observation point on Central because I wanted a photo of the volcanoes in the distance:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

The colorful structure below is the butterfly pavilion at the Botanical Garden (empty this time of year, but totally charming in the summer):

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a trip to the river in Albuquerque

Such a pretty place for a bike ride!

No trail in New Mexico would be complete without some sort of fire danger sign:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

There’s also art along the bosque:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

The paved path goes underneath Central Avenue:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

And drops the cyclist/walker/jogger/family off just to the north of Tingley Beach.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Tingley Beach is adorable. It’s not a beach, but a recreation area along the river. Apparently back in the day it was a rockin’ scene. The city has been working on renovations for a long time, and the area is starting to look nice.

They added an observation deck on the riverbank, which was great:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Walking south toward the ponds (fishing areas) is awesome, too:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, a walk along the bosque in Albuquerque

Tingley Beach doesn’t have the same “in the woods” feel that the rest of the bike path area along the bosque. But it’s very friendly, and social, and crowded with families. The train tracks are for the cutest little train that shuttles people between the zoo, Tingley Beach and the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium.

That’s our little gem of a bosque, or a slice of it anyway. The bike path keeps going south past Tingley and north through the whole city.

I hope you enjoyed the fieldtrip. Thanks for coming along! And thanks to the people at DogVacay for prompting me to remember how much I love the bosque.

I’ll be back on Monday, hope to see you here.

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