Last Friday I was waking up at the lake outside of Chama. Getting in the truck and driving back to GJ. Oh the week went way too fast. We took the long way back going over Wolk Creek and Slumgullion pass. It was so beautiful. We got to the gardens around 6 that night and had just enough day light to unload a truckload of plants (yes! another one!) and get them all a little drink. We also went down into the Uplands Conservation area and put markers out for the Tamarisk Coalition volunteers to plant the things we brought back from Los Lunas.
So what were we up to last Wednesday and Thursday? Plant aquisition! We stopped by Plants of the Southwest. What a cool place. Gail grows mostly New Mexico native plants but we had no problem finding a flat or two of things for the Gardens. There is a demonstration garden that shows how to utilize "grey" water. There is also this fantabulous restaurant where for $9 you get soup, salad, main dish and a lovely cup of tea. The deserts were only $2.50 so we had to indulge. The food was fantastic and of course all organic and locally grown. Yum. I insist you stop by the next time you are in Santa Fe.
Our next stop was the Agua Fria nursery. They also sell native plants. We kind of lost our heads and filled up what little space was left in the truck. The advice that was given to us about Agua Fria when we left GJ was "If you want it, buy it. Don't wait." The owners go seed collecting every year so there is a very good possibility that what you want won't be there the next time you go back.
Thursday was our day to play. Yeah. Like the rest of the trip has been nothing but duty, duty, duty, just awful. ;) We heard from a couple of folks that it was a good time of the year to go to 4th of July canyon to see the native maples turning color. So off we went with nothing but a recommendation. We found it though. It is on the east side of the Sandias and tucked off the beaten track. I love having to stop and ask for directions. You meet some really cool folks.
The maples on the hill hadn't turned yet but the ones in the canyon were gorgeous. The red leaves were so vivid they didn't look real. Nature is just phenomenal. It was kind of late by the time we were done hiking so we hotfooted it north and made it almost to Chama.
Because it was already dark when we set up the tent we had no idea what the countryside looked like. We ended up right next to a lake. It was a beautiful surprize in the morning.
And that ladies and gentlemen is the end of our big, southwestern, whirlwind tour. I can hardly wait 'til next year's!