A fond childhood memory is the classic cartoons of Bugs Bunny in a desert scene, usually saying the line, “I shoulda’ taken a left at Albuquerque!” That visual image of the desert scene is possibly all over the globe and with it, a possible misconception as to the environment of Albuquerque, of New Mexico and of the eastern Navajo Nation reservation.

Another memory as a Navajo youth is bathing in the first winter snow and noting how cold and awakening the snow is. After such an experience I would race back inside the house and warm up by the wood oven.

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I share these memories as a travel tip for your safety. If traveling to the northwestern region of New Mexico, during the late Autumn and Winter months, there is winter weather. Not a Bugs Bunny desert scene winter, but a winter over a mile high up from sea level. There is a need for coats, gloves and even thermal underwear if one intends to be outdoor for several hours. Some of the roads can be dangerous to travel, even with grading/salting of the roads. If traveling during winter conditions check out the website www.NMroads.com for some helpful travel routes and information.

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A favorite of the winter months is the great snow setting on the environment. Fantastic scenery for photos such as snow capped Cabezon Peak, cedar branches with juniper berries set against snow are fantastic. If you are fortunate, understanding the seasonal cycles using the tools of the Ancestral Pueblos at Chaco Culture National Historical Park is amazing to experience. In each of these experiences, plan for colder weather and not short pants and tank tops.

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