When you’ve lived in the desert for a while, your relationship to rain changes. Coming from Germany, I always dreaded rain as a kid. Not able to go outside or putting on all sorts of uncomfortable clothes -- and rubber boots to boot.
Moving here to the Southwest as an adult seemed like heaven in comparison. Not only did I move here for love, but I also got sunshine. All year round. All the time. Still love it!
That’s when I first discovered my magic gift: I can make it rain. All I have to do is wash my windows and you can be sure we will get a downpour very soon. I have bragged with this magic touch for years, who wouldn’t? And many times people confirmed that they, too, had that same gift, be it through car or window washing or heavily irrigating the garden.
But last week – after a few too many days with clouds and showers – I found out I could make the rain stop as well. Here’s how: Put a dusty plant from the inside out to get cleaned up. In my case, it was a huge aloe vera I had to carry with the help of my husband. As soon as it sat outside for its shower, the sun came out and it hasn’t rained a drop since then.
But as the temperatures dropped slightly, we also went on hikes again, to Glenwood with friends, as has been our tradition for a couple of years now. This year was the first “adults only” trip and we found ourselves reminiscing of fun events of years past. But even without the not-so-little-anymore little ones we had a great time – including a very hard caramel crust on a cognac cake in honor of my friend’s birthday. We butchered it as good as we could.
And there’s water hikes there. In late August, it’s still hot enough to not only hike the Catwalk on top but get down and wet in the canyon, too. We generally go in water shoes (hiking boots take two days to dry) which always brings up lively discussions of which kind of water shoes work and which don’t. Teva shoes are fine, but don’t protect your toes from hitting rocks – a major issue when crossing the stream a couple of times. Keens protect your toes, but if a small rock gets inside, it’s much harder to get it out. And then there’s the issue of slipperiness of the soles. They differ not only by brand but also by model. And how would you try that out in the store?
This might sound whiney but really isn’t. We always have a great time in Glenwood. There are more hikes in the area, just ask at the Ranger Station south of town. Hot springs, mountain hikes and other canyons, but the Catwalk is always on our list. Be prepared to get wet.
In town is now a cute little art gallery/visitor center worth your while. Local artists show and sell their work there.
Last but not least the Alma Grill offers a great breakfast (we’ve never been there for lunch, but I am sure it’s good, too) to start your day of exploring.
Of German origin, Gabriele Teich has called Las Cruces her home for more than 20 years — and loved every minute of it, hiking the mountains in the immediate surrounding area and all over this beautiful state.