Getting Familiar with Albuquerque

Saturday May 25th 2019

It was a bright sunny day in the low eighties. Unfortunately, the wind is back. From late morning on there was a strong steady wind with some strong gusts. This is considered a normal wind day. Tomorrow and Monday are being forecast as wind events. The wind is supposed to be even stronger.

A sample of today’s blue sky.

I set out this morning to get the lay of the land. Albuquerque is an area I haven’t visited before, but I’ve talked with people about their visits and read a number of blog posts on the city from other RVers. The mental picture I’d developed was all wrong. My biggest surprise was the location of the Balloon Fiesta park. It’s actually north of the city center. In my mental picture it is south of the city. My second misimpression was the location of the Sandia Tram. It is well to the northeast of the city center. In my mind it originated right in the downtown area. In general the area is bigger than I thought and the elevations to the east and west of the city are higher than I thought.

Blossoms past, present and future.

I found the base of the Sandia Peak Tramway, but I didn’t ride it. Strong winds are one of the things that keep the tram from running. The last thing I wanted was to be at the top of the Sandia range trying to find a way back to my car at the bottom. The other issue was I didn’t have anything I wanted to do at the top other than look at the view. I wasn’t prepared for hiking any of the trails at the top.

Petroglyph National Monument Visitors Center.

I also stopped at the Petroglyph National Monument visitors center. There aren’t any actual petroglyphs at the visitors center. You can get information on the three main trails in the monument and shop at the gift shop. There weren’t any significant informational displays in the visitors center. My timing was wrong to watch the informational video. The new volunteer on duty couldn’t tell me if the next showing was in five minutes or an hour. It was his first day.

Wildflower blossom of the day

When I returned to the campground, I stopped at the “classic” car show in the casino parking lot. There didn’t seem to be any real theme to the show. I saw antiques cars, mussel cars, hot rods and a mismatch of other cars. It did, however, explain some of the strange cars I saw in the campground last night.

View looking east from the Route 66 RV Resort. Interstate 40 climbs the west side of the “hill” that makes of the west side of the Rio Grande valley around Albuquerque. The high ridge to the east is the Sandia ridge east of Albuquerque.
Sunset to the west.

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