3 Fun Daytrips for Summer

How about one more summer adventure? Here are three stories to inspire all of us to take (at least) one more summer trip into the outdoors.

A Day Hike in the Pecos Wilderness

by Yancey Ranspot

Yancey in Pecos

Yancey (left) and two friends at the trail head.

“This summer on a planned day trip to the Pecos Wilderness we decided take a usual day hike to the second meadow from the Santa Barbara Campground located in the Carson National Forest and spend the night so we could get in more fishing. The hike normally takes two hours with a day pack. With overnight gear and extra items we added to the 45-50 pound pack, the hike took three hours.

I enjoyed the slow walk–you see more of the wildlife and the scenery. I love to hike into Wilderness areas during the summer because the forests just seem to be in the peak of their glory. We did see a total of six bighorn sheep near the trail along with many bird species. With all of the rain we have received since May the wildflowers were everywhere you looked and quite a beautiful sight. Best wishes in the outdoors!”

Trip Tips…

  • Always have a good sense of where you are headed and familiarize yourself with a map before you head into any remote area.
  • Look at the local forecast and be prepared for extreme weather anytime you are two to three hours away from your vehicle.
  • I have also started using trekking poles due to the added balance. They help on uneven, wet and slippery trails.

Yancey Ranspot works for the US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Albuquerque New Mexico as the Grasslands Shrublands & Desert Ecosystems Laboratory Manager.

Paddling Adventures in Bernalillo

by Tammy Maitland

Tammy and friends on the Rio Grande

Tammy and friends on the Rio Grande

“We did a group kayak and paddleboard trip on the Rio Grande starting in south Algodones, stopping for lunch at the Coronado Historic Site picnic area, and pulling out at North Beach in Corrales.

We were a large group of mostly kayakers. The majority of us paid Quiet Waters to rent equipment (kayaks, paddleboards, paddles, and life jackets) and for the drop off and pick up service, but some used their own equipment and met up with us. I used a paddleboard and it was a little more effort than a kayak, but I got better views since I was standing up!

It was a nice, social outing. We got some sun, some exercise, and got to spend some time on the river.” 

Trip Tips…

  • We left one vehicle near our lunch spot so we wouldn’t have to carry it all with us. If you carry your own lunch, you could waterproof it in case it gets splashed.
  • Watch out for sneaky people in your group trying to knock you off of your paddleboard!

Tammy Maitland is a former 4th grade teacher turned photographer turned environmental educator. Her most most recent EE work has been with Talking Talons Youth Leadership, Hawks Aloft, and the NM Museum of Natural History and Science’s summer program.

 A Bike-Eat-Farm-River Hike Combo in Albuquerque

by Tammy Maitland

At the Old Town Farm

Visiting Old Town Farm by bike.

“This was a fun combination of activities. We biked from Nob Hill to the Old Town Farm, where we got some food and drink at Bike-in Coffee and explored the farm. A highlight was getting to pick and eat golden raspberries right off of the vine.

Then we biked down the Bosque Trail to meet our friend and her dog south of Tingley Beach and across from Kit Carson Park. We hiked to the river and then in the river.”

Trip Tips…

  • They had bug spray for folks to use at the farm because of the mosquitoes, but you might want to bring your own protection.
  • The water in the river was up to our waists at places. Make sure your dog is a really good swimmer with plenty of energy if you want to stay in the river for a little while. Our friend kept a leash on her dog when in the water, but it was attached to a harness. This seemed safer than if she had it attached to a collar.

What are your favorite summer day trips?

Tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your adventures!

This article was originally published in EE Connections for August 2015.