Westward Ho

May 21, 2014

Today is go home day. We straightened up the house a bit, ate what we could of our various foods, packed, then headed out… back to the Turquoise Trail and eventually on to Albuquerque for the flight home. New plans for the return trip, though… First stop was Cerrillos, a mining town with something like twenty one saloons in its heyday (1880s) and once under consideration as New Mexico’s capitol, but now pretty ghosty. Tons of turquoise came out of there (and gold, silver, lead and zinc, too).  Its streets are dirt and its building have seen better days.  Not terribly charming, but old… bunch of movies have been shot there, so there’s that. P1160835


Then we went back to Madrid (pronounced MA-drid (MA, like cat) and spent a lot of time exploring the galleries and small shops. Now that the festival was over, you could actually go into some of the stores. It’s not chic (at all) like Santa Fe, or even Taos… but lots of authentic stuff, especially stones and pottery  I bought a turquoise ring (but of course).



Then, highlight of the day: a fourteen-mile, steep climb to the high point of the Sandia Crest:  10,678’… not a trivial elevation!


It was actually cold up there, and there was a little bit of snow still.  I was dying to wander around along the crest, so did.  There were great views!



From the Albuquerque side, a tram takes people to the top.  You can just barely make out the tram station and can see the cables in this picture. They say this is the longest aerial tram in the world (2.7 miles).  I’d been on it long ago, but not today. P1160854

From the Crest House, I didn’t go all the way over to the Tram Station (1.5 miles), but got to this..  



and took a more interior route back, which had some good uppity/downity.. and a pretty meadow: P1160856

Next time will hike there… seems like there are a lot of great trails. We then hurried down to downtown Albuquerque and met Carol and Bill for a fast and late lunch at the Standard Diner (on Route 66, of course).  Great sandwich (meatloaf, here) and vanilla cream soda (with actual cream poured in.. fantastic). Flight left at 5:30, and had a 3-hour layover in Salt Lake City… lots of time to upload photos!  The SLC airport is in a very spectacular setting:



Marc picked us up at about 11pm, and with that… trip over.  As time allows, I’ll fill in more trip details.  But bottom line: wonderful, full, easy.. good variety: fantastic house to stay in, beautiful weather and views everywhere, several museums, a few churches, many really nice dinners and lunches out, a bit of hiking, some shopping and material acquisition, friend meet ups, amazing natural wonders (gorge, rock formations, mountains, river), countless galleries and art everywhere. Seriously… ALL THAT.  The time with Carrie was easy-going and fun, and it was especially nice to be there as she learned the location of her brother’s ash scattering some forty years ago… Anyway..more details to come.

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