Above: Staying in, can also include going outside—if you plan on going for a hike, that is. Photograph by M. Angie Salazar.
We get it. It’s been quite the week. You’ve put together a workable work-from-home setup, cooked a few of your favorite recipes, and practiced some safe social distancing. But the weekend is here. So … now what?
It’s important to stay healthy and make room for good feelings. So, here are seven things you can do over the next few days that may spark a smile, won’t break the rules, and support the local community. We’re in this together.
GO FOR A HIKE
While our vast open spaces make it easy to get some much needed exercise and helpful vitamin D, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management have made it even simpler by waiving all entrance fees. If possible, call your planned destination ahead of your visit. Some services are limited, and some Pueblo sites are closed to the public. Carlsbad Caverns, for example, has elevator service only; you cannot freely roam the caves.
These family-friendly trails are definitely open and suitable for beginners:
Santa Fe’s Dale Ball Trails has two access points—one off Hyde Park Road on the way to Ski Santa Fe, and another at the intersection of Upper Canyon Road and Cerro Gordo. Close to downtown, the 22 miles of trails offer a wonderfully accessible way to snuggle up to the Sangre de Cristos while keeping your personal distance. The narrow, dirt paths are favored by mountain bikers, and dogs are welcome on-leash.
The 16-mile-long Paseo del Bosque Trail winds from the verdant farmlands in Los Ranchos into the heart of Albuquerque. It passes Tingley Beach and curves through the South Valley, making the Río Grande Valley State Park one of if not the longest and most narrow state parks on earth. Big cottonwoods line the trail, and pink flowers are blooming on the fruit trees, offering a nice breath of spring.
Keep your eyes peeled for the rare Organ Mountain primrose as you hike Dripping Springs Natural Area, in Las Cruces. It is an area rich in wildflowers, canyons, rocky peaks, and the ruins of an old sanitarium and a hunting lodge, all crowned by springs that make it feel like a little oasis. An easy hike in, it’s also a good place to spot a red-tailed hawk or, if you’re really lucky, a golden eagle. The visitor’s center is closed, but the park is open. Pay the $5 entry fee at one of the self-pay stations.
LIVESTREAM A YOGA CLASS
Even if you aren’t a diehard yogi, a class may be just what you need right now. Breathing, stretching, and sweating are great for your body and your mind. Tons of studios are livestreaming classes as a way to bring a little inner bliss to your home, including Body Santa Fe and Soulfire Yoga, which have multiple virtual classes available. Emily Branden, who teaches Sunday mornings at the Railyard Performance Center, is moving her class to Zoom for now. Check it out; her playlists are wonderful.
GET TAKEOUT FROM SAWMILL MARKET
Your husband wants noodles, the kids want pizza, and you want ice cream for dinner. Check, check, and check. Opened March 12, Sawmill Market, New Mexico’s first food hall has quickly transitioned to be the take-out place dreams are made of by offering curbside pickup from any of its vendors, which include Flora Mexican Restaurant, Tulipani Pasta, Naruto (a ramen bar), Neko Neko (serving taiyaki and soft serve ice cream in cute fish-shaped waffle cones), Plata Coffee, XO Waffle, Dr. Field Goods, and more. Call 505-563-4467 to place an order and support this new entry into the Albuquerque dining scene.
LISTEN TO A POEM
Gary Glazner, who runs the nationally acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, is doing poetry walks on Facebook Live. A former New Mexico resident who now lives part time in Brooklyn, Glazer takes viewers on a trip through Greenwood Cemetery as he reads poetry each day at 1 p.m. MDT/3 p.m. EDT.
So far, he has covered historical subjects like the Civil War and the Prentiss brothers, and visited the grave of Jean-Michel Basquiat while speaking about the relationship between art and poetry. Friday afternoon, Glazner introduced us to the trees in Greenwood Cemetery and explored their nature in the context of poems by Claude McKay and thoughts by ecologist Suzanne Simard.
GAME NIGHT, WITH PIZZA
Pizza is a people pleaser, and one likely to satisfy you and everyone in the house. When you order a pie from Slice & Dice Board Game Pizzeria, in Albuquerque, they live up to their name and deliver board games with your cheesy goodness. With an impressive array to choose from, there’s a game for every type of player from Boggle and Scrabble to Cards Against Humanity and tons of role-playing decks.
Have your pizza and game delivered or opt for curbside pickup. Either way, the Slice & Dice team is following contactless protocol, so they will drop the package at your door or car to maintain distance. Plus, you get a 20 percent discount on food when you buy a game and a pizza.
“We can make suggestions for families with kiddos of different ages, or based on interest,” says Tamara Shope, who teaches board games at Slice & Dice. “We have a lot of really cool board games that help with STEM learning, and while parents continue their kids’ learning, we have helpful suggestions about how to get that done.”
And, we’re going to say it, #washyourhands. You’re sharing game pieces, so keep that in mind.
GET YOUR CHILE FIX
Chile is packed with vitamin C and stands as the ultimate New Mexican comfort food, whether you’re putting it in your eggs, on a sandwich, or making enchiladas, tacos, or frito pies for dinner. Plus, ordering a jar from your favorite New Mexican restaurant is a great way to support them through tough times.
Try a jar of spicy green chile from The Shed. A Santa Fe institution since 1953, The Shed is temporarily closed for at least a few weeks, so buying online is a great way to support them. James Beard Award-winning restaurant Rancho de Chimayo jars its green chile, red chile, adovada sauce, local honey, and house salsa.
Born and bred New Mexican Marshall Berg started his chile company, Los Roast, when he moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2008 and couldn’t find his beloved chile anywhere. He also invented a new version of the chile roaster, which is much prettier and way harder to burn yourself on than the old-school, black iron ones we all see in grocery store parking lots. Today, he jars green and red chile, sauces, and salsas using chile grown in Hatch. You can buy a whole case from him, or stick to a few jars. He offers varying degrees of heat, so if you are a heartburn baby like me, you can get some that won’t hurt you.
FINALLY: CALL SOMEONE YOU LOVE
Call a friend. Call your mom. Call your grandparents. And … #washyourhands.