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Albuquerque New Mexico

Albuquerque New Mexico can best be described as a cross between the San Fernando Valley, Palm Springs, and Phoenix AZ. The mountains to the east offer stunning scenery, the old town is simply cool, and route 66 passing through downtown was neat. The neighborhoods surrounding are not well kept, good when compared to the rest of New Mexican cities but not real nice. There are clear signs that suburban sprawl took off at the end of the housing boom but left a lot of developments only half finished.

Mountain Tandem Ride

We took an opportunity to take the tandem out along their Foothill Mountain Bike Trails at the base of the Sandia Mountains. Ranging from easy to technical the single-track trails were fun and challenging at the same time.

Petroglyph National Monument

Within the city limits is Petroglyth National Monument which protects the several hundred year old rock carvings on the volcanic outcrops west of the city. The park visitor center is right across the street from regular neighborhoods which is different when compared to other national parks/ monuments we have visited thus far. The carvings themselves are unique and different but add in the historical significance and age of the drawings and really nails the point home. We are looking at drawings that could possibly pre-date Christopher Columbus’s voyage. The major sights are all within a few miles of each other so this is a quick destination to hit in one day.

Turquoise Highway

Mixed in with the main photo gallery at the bottom are pictures from our rainy day drive along the Turquoise highway. Following a mountain road on the opposite side of the Sandia Mountains this trail passes through old towns once home to mines but now home to touristy type places. The drive itself was stunning for the scenery. As we cleared the storm we found ourselves in an old town of Los Cerrillos. Much like an old style Spanish town the streets were empty creating a surreal feel to the place. From there we took a dirt road back to I25 (not a good idea after a rain storm as our two trips to the car wash afterward could attest).

Sandia Peak Tram

Albuquerque is home to the longest aerial tram in the world. Using two tram cars running opposite one another the Sandia Peak tram took us from @6000 ft in Albuquerque to 10500ft at the top of Sandia Peak in 15 minutes. The tram covers 2.1 miles and only goes over two towers, the rest is just wire strung from the two towers and two base stations. At the top of the tram there is an excellent restaurant, High Finance Restaurant , that served us a wonderful dinner as we enjoyed the sunset in the west. Well worth the trip the temperature difference between top and bottom was 20 degrees.

Ride Rio Grande

Our next adventure in Albuquerque had us taking the Tandem out along a bike path that follows the Rio Grande. Starting at a public park near old town (where kids could take a child sized train ride) we rode up stream to the end of the path and back down for a 20 mile ride. Along the way we took a detour up Bicycle Ally which passed by Historic Old Town. We stopped by and took in the sights and sounds of the old city.

Nuclear Museum

Something we overlooked when posting about our drive down from CS was the unique package we spotted in tow behind a big rig. Let’s see if you can recognize this cargo:

drive_csprings_alb_05

Do those containers remind you of anything… Now that we go back through the pictures they probably should remind you of nothing because we never posted the picture! Damn it what kind of storytellers are we… Okay now close your eyes and imagine a city park in Arco, ID (oh wait don’t close your eyes you won’t be able to read this… open your eyes). Eyes open now? Good we will continue with the story. The town is located near Idaho Labs the place where they are packaging up the old radioactive waste and shipping it away. Well the containers on the back of that truck (that just passed us going 75 by the way) is the radioactive waste being shipped to New Mexico somewhere. Needless to say we didn’t get too road ragey with him and let the truck speed on its way.

Fast forward a few days to our trip to the Nuclear Museum in Albuquerque. Unlike the sister museum in Las Vegas this one delves into more topics than just nuclear testing. They have interactive exhibits, movies, and pictures taking visitors through the history of nuclear. Some of the cool artifacts include Trinitite (the glass formed by the first nuclear bomb test at White Sands Missile test site 60 miles from the location), replicas of Fat Man and Little Boy, and countless missile casings and Cold War nuclear stuff. They also have a display covering the cleanup and storage of nuclear waste hence the picture above.

Other Albuqerque Pictures


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