So here is my bucket list. It is by no means comprehensive, and I will probably think of twelve things to add as soon as I hit the publish button. Also, I might not be able to accomplish all of them in the next year, especially the races. But I plan to try, and it's enough to keep me busy for a while!
Races to Run
This marathon through White Sands Missile Range honors a group of World War II heroes who, after being surrendered to Japanese forces, were forced to march for days through the hot Philippine jungles. Their story is worth reading, here and here.
1. My sister lives near here, so free lodging and a sister visit? I think so!
2. The race is environmentally friendly and all proceeds go to charity (exactly what charity, I couldn't find--worth looking into).
3. And the distance choices are delightfully odd: 45 miles or 45k (27.9 miles). A great stepping stone distance on the way to a 50 miler, or a small step up from a marathon for someone's first ultra!
I enjoyed running this 50k last year--my very first (and to date, only) ultramarathon. Or maybe I'm only able to say that now, seven months out from the pain. I would love to go back and run a faster time this year, or even try for the 50 miler...but I also want to try new races in new places. Torn.
|Photo credit: TPWD http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon|
One of my favorite state parks, Palo Duro Canyon is gorgeous and I would recommend it to anyone, whether you like to run, hike, camp, mountain bike, ride horses, or just enjoy the scenery. It is about seven hours away from El Paso, just south of Amarillo, Texas, but I figure this is probably the closest we will ever live. And, okay, I really just want to go there. When I found out they have a race in October, I considered it for 2012. The timing was bad this year, but I am committing for 2013. And hoping to
Transmountain Challenge/World's Fastest 10kThe Franklin Mountains run north to south through El Paso, cutting the city in half. Transmountain Road is the only route through the mountains, winding steeply up above 5,000 feet and then back down. I hate driving it. Oh, but I would run a race on it! The World's Fastest 10k is March 23, and starts at the top, finishing on the west side. The Transmountain Challenge is a half marathon that goes up and over. It takes place in October, which might be bad timing with the Palo Duro Canyon race, but they have a relay and a 5k as well.
Places to See
|NPS Photo by Peter Jones|
This national park is about two and a half hours east of El Paso in southern New Mexico. My parents took our family here when I was younger, but I don't remember much of it. There is a self-guided tour and several ranger-led tours for a range of fees.
Like many (if not most) national parks, Carlsbad does not allow pets outside of paved surfaces. But I learned while researching the park that Carlsbad Caverns Trading, inside the park, offers a kennel for day boarding so visitors with pets can explore. What a great idea! We have often wanted to take Bruno and Howdy along on our trips, but left them behind because of concerns about how they might limit our activities.
Things to Do
Wine and Vineyard ToursEl Paso and the surrounding New Mexico area boasts a large wine culture. According to the official Santa Fe travel site, New Mexico is the oldest wine-producing area in the United States. There are a few vineyards and wineries close by and all over New Mexico, which would make for a fun weekend getaway! The New Mexico Wine Growers Association even has a passport program--you can earn stamps and rewards for visiting New Mexico's wineries and wine festivals!
|NPS photo by William Leggett|