Albuquerque/Balloon Museum/ Museum/ Petroglyph NM
Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
102Trip End Jun 30, 2013
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Drove through “Old Town” and thank goodness it was a Sunday morning because the streets are narrow and parking for RV's is hard to find. Old Town has shopping, restaurants, church, museums and that quaint “Old Town” atmosphere. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 as an outpost and farming Spanish community along the Rio Grande. It was laid out around a church with a central Plaza and government buildings surrounding it. It became a major supply depot in 1847 following the Mexican-American War when a federal garrison was sent here for protection. When the railroads came through (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fee in 1880), the “old town” section was bypassed for a place two miles north. The city is the biggest city in New Mexico but it feels like a small town. The Sandia Mts are to the east and the Rio Grande flows through the town from North to South. When the balloon festival is on in October the sky is filled for nine days with 550 balloons in the sky during the day and at night and the designs on the balloons are great.
We drove west of the city and headed for the Petroglyph National Monument
Next we drove to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum on Balloon Drive, which had been recommended to us and was it worth it. First, on Sunday mornings the museum is free, and the museum was so enjoyable with some great exhibits about hot air balloons. George and I like to see hot air balloons but we do not really know much about them
Headed north to the Coronado State Monument next which is along the Rio Grande and is where Coronado with 300 soldiers entered the valley while looking for the seven cities of gold. He brought with him many things the Indians had never seen – one of them being horses. There weren’t any horses in this section of the country until he brought them over.
The museum has exhibits on the Spanish influence here and shows the ruins of the Indians that lived in this pueblo. When they were excavating this area they found over 1000 murals. Some of these murals have been copied and are on display in the museum. Art work from that time period that is on loan from our government is also displayed here. Nice museum.
We headed south for about seven miles back to the Sandia Resort and Casino on Tramway road. Nice casino and hotel and we were allowed to stay overnight in the parking lot facing the Sandia Mts. There were about ten other RV’s that were already set up. We had dinner in the casino. This casino and hotel was packed especially since it was the Sunday of Memorial Weekend.
We got caught twice trying to get on some roads in this city that we couldn’t go on because we were over 5 tons. They really should post the notices sooner. At the Sandia Casino the sign was posted but we went anyways to get to the casino. The signs were wrong because RV’s can drive to the casino but cannot head into the mountains to take the Sandia Tram that goes 2.7 miles up the Sandia Peak. They say the views are amazing from up there and it only runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and during the balloon festival.
We had a very busy day but it was enjoyable even though the temperature was to hit 90 again. Where we spent the night has cooling winds because the mountains are only about a mile away and we are sitting on top of hill looking at the mountains and at the valley below with the Rio Grande. Heading north tomorrow .