June 27, 2012

Trip Start Apr 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The campground we are staying at
is located on the historic Route 66, and has been in business in one form or
another since the late 1940’s; and to showcase its heritage they have several
vintage campers and a 1949 Hudson Commodore, all of which we had to
photograph.  Our first stop for the day
was the “Sandia Peak Aerial Tram” located to the east of Albuquerque.  On a 20 minute cable car ride we went from
the base at 6,559 feet above sea level to the summit at 10,378 feet, a
temperature averaging 20 degrees cooler and an ecosystem featuring large
ponderosa pine trees.  The ride up
provided fantastic views of the mountain side and canyons that can be seen only
from the tram car.  At the summit we were
treated to views of Albuquerque, the surrounding valley and vistas stretching
beyond; unfortunately because of the forest fires in Colorado and New Mexico
there was a haze that hung in the valley that limited the distance that we
could see.  We took a short hike along
the ridge trail enjoying the mountain air and the forest on the east side and
had wonderful views of the valley below from several rock outcroppings.  Also on the hike we came across a Mule Deer
grazing on mountain grass, we watched for several minutes and approached to
within 20 yards before he slowly moved off. 
The tram car ride back down was just as fantastic as the ride up.  Our next stop was at “Old Town” Albuquerque;
this is a section of the old city that has been converted into a collection of
shops and galleries selling clothing, art works, jewelry and souvenirs.  The only building that retained its original
appearance and functionality was the Spanish Mission that has evolved into a
large Catholic Church.  “Old Town” was a disappointment
to both of us.  Our final point of
interest today was the “Petroglyph National Monument”, a 17 mile line of
volcanic rock on which various Native Americans scratched their symbols into
the rock.  There are over 20,000 images
etched into the stone, and it is estimated that most of them were made 400 to
700 years ago, but some may be 2,000 to 3,000 years old; most are not accessible
to the public but many are.  There are
several hikes originating from 3 different points, we chose to take two short
hikes in the Boca Negra Canyon.  Unlike
many other Petroglyph sites here we were able to get right up to the rock; it
was amazing to be able to look at the carvings so close that you could see
every detail. 

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