Friday, July 12, 2019

Plenty To Do Around ABQ


Monsoon season has arrived

Things are going well with our house and catsitting job in Albuquerque. It's good we are parked in one place for a while as Jim had to have a tooth pulled a couple weeks ago, then about a week later had a corneal abrasion due to his dry eye issues and had to see an ophthalmologist. He's got follow up appointments for both over the next couple weeks. Yes, it is always something.


Anyone know what kind of hummingbird this is?

We are finding lots of things in the area to keep us busy besides the regular neighborhood walks, pickleball, and gym workouts. Looking for a different place to walk, one day we went to the campus of New Mexico University. Not only is it a lovely campus, but there are also several museums that are open to the public. We visited the anthropology museum and two art museums that had some nice works. 

A few scenes from around the campus.







Jim had to take it easy for a few days after his tooth extraction so one day we drove about 45 miles to the east side of the Sandia Mountains to the small towns of Madrid and Los Cerillos, located along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. Madrid (pronounced with the accent on Mad) is the oldest coal mining region in New Mexico, and Los Cerillos, just a few miles north, is known for its turquoise, gold, silver and lead mining. When the minerals were gone and the mines closed down, most of the residents also left, leaving them ghost towns. 

Main street of Los Cerillos

This was the only business open on a weekday, a small general store.

The village of Madrid is a bit more lively since it was revitalized in the 70s first by squatters and then by artists. Although it now consists mostly of galleries and shops, it still retains much of its historic charm. Also, a number of movies have been filmed here.

Madrid was once a bustling company town for the Albuquerque and Cerrillos Coal Company.

Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe steam engine.

An employee in one of the shops here told us there were a lot of Vietnam draft dodgers who squatted in the abandoned houses during the 70s.



We were impressed with most of the artwork we saw in the shops. 

With the temperatures heating up into the mid-90s, yesterday we drove up to Sandia Crest, the highest point in the Sandia Mountains. At 10,600' it was only in the mid-60s, perfect for a hike in the woods. 

We can see all these towers from the house.
 
Looking down on our neighborhood.

On a clear day, you can supposedly see for 100 miles.


Sandia Crest House Gift Shop and Cafe.


Back of the Crest House from the rocky Crest trail.


With dark clouds building in the sky, we decided to hike over to the tram station on the Crest trail, about 2 miles away.



We took a little detour to check out the Kiwanis Cabin, originally built out of wood by the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club in the 1920s. It burned down a couple years later and was replaced by another wooden structure that was destroyed by high winds a few years after that. In the 1930s they asked the Civilian Conservation Corps to build a new cabin, which they did in the summer of 1936, this time out of local limestone, that is still standing.










Quite a view from the cabin.


Continuing along the wooded trail the dark cloud over our heads began dropping rain on us. By the time we got to the tram it had turned to sleet, but at least no thunder and lightning.



It stopped raining shortly after we got to the tram, so we were able to sit outside on the deck and eat our lunch while watching the tram come and go.



The Kiwanis Cabin is on the high point across the canyon.

After seeing how many people they crammed on the tram we knew we had no interest in taking the ride.

The sky began growing dark again so we quickly hit the trail back to the car. Very loud thunder rolled around us, getting closer by the minute, but we made it back to the car after a fast two miles with most of it uphill, which made our lungs hurt at that elevation. It's really pretty up there so we hope to go back on a clearer day.

And that's about it for now from Albuquerque, where we'll be for another month. The cats are doing well and we love having them around. Here is sweet Keira laying with Jim on the bed while he reads.








18 comments:

  1. Seems like a nice area to me. Thanks for the tours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a nice area, but everyone in Albuquerque warns us of the high crime rate.

      Delete
  2. When we were there at the tram station on top, a guy was riding up on the top of the tram enclosure! Wonder if they charge more for that ticket :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you mentioned that, since as we were watching it come up Jim commented that there was room on the top for someone to ride. I'm guessing the guy you saw was an employee?

      Delete
  3. Try taking the back road from Bernallio to Sandia Crest. It is doable in a regular car & is a neat drive. We've been to the Balloon fiesta a number of time & always make that drive. Lunch or dinner at the Range Cafe in Bernallio is always nice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, we wondered about that road but we turned off where it starts and the sign said high clearance vehicles only and no turn around. It looked pretty narrow and rough so we just went back the way we came. If we still had the Subaru we might try it but our CRV doesn't have great ground clearance.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing! Always a pleasure to tag-along virtually with you guys :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. A very nice area , we took the Tram up and back years ago in the late fall,, the views amazing and was not crowded when we went.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it would be better in the fall when the kids are back in school :-)

      Delete
  7. When it's not too hot there are some nice little trails near Cerrillos, no shade though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the elevation there is only 6-7,000' so it would be pretty hot hiking in the summer. Pretty area, though.

      Delete
  8. So glad to see you are enjoying your time in ABQ!! Good you can get out and do some hiking.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Plenty of hiking trails, great cats, and a very comfortable house. We're happy to be here!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We love the Turquoise Trail - and the little towns along it. If you get back to Madrid, pick up a treat from the chocolatier - his daily concoctions are the best!!That is quite the view from the Kiwanis cabin. Glad you made it back ahead of the storm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did we miss the chocolatier in Madrid?? Will be on the lookout for it if we get back there.

      Delete
  11. I just caught up with your blog, and I missed all the excitement of the many changes in your life. I think that housesitting is one of the best way to test the waters of living in one spot again. It seems to me that we are also on that mind set, in search of that place to call home. We are still on the road and we thought this might also be our last year.
    We too love the Turquoise Trail and at one point thought of living in NM, but the winds at springtime just killed the thought. - MonaLiza(LowesTravels)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We like New Mexico but not sure we'd want to live here. You are right about the spring winds, but then it seems to us they are everywhere out west.
      Good luck finding a landing place. It's hard when you can pick anywhere!

      Delete