Recently I traveled to New Mexico on business. Having never spent time in the Land of Enchantment state, I stole away for a few hours to drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe to go to the Georgia O'Keefe museum. The museum was small but lovely and I'm glad I went (and can now cross this off my travel bucket list) but I wish I had more time to explore.
On my last day there I also wanted to ride the world's longest tramway, the Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway. [www.sandiapeak.com] - I had visions of me hurtling up the side of a mountain in a James Bond ski chalet style tram, as a I drove well out of my way up the side of a mountain ... only to find once I reached the guardhouse that the Tram was CLOSED FOR ANNUAL MAINTENANCE. They might have wanted to mention that on their website, maybe. I felt a bit like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation when they show up at the gate of WallyWorld - except not really because I wasn't actually that upset, just a little disappointed.
never one to let travel snafus slow me down, I quickly changed plans and decided that if I couldn't take the tram, I would drive my damn self up the mountain. Or up a mountain at any rate. So on a Friday in early November, I found myself driving to Sandia Crest, a 10,700 foot elevation in the Cibola National Forest.
While it wasn't that cold down on the ground/non mountain elevation, at the top it was freezing, and I actually saw snow flurries at the peak. I'm sure the view from there is fantastic, at the moment I was there it was swathed in clouds so you could literally see nothing, but it was kind of neat feeling like I was inside a cloud.
The getting there was half the fun as they say, a nifty drive with lots of switchbacks. Before the flurry elevation, I saw light rain through a bright sun ... red rocks, sandstone ... evergreen trees and hiking trails ... signs warning of bear country. Wild turkeys! Clouds rolling over me like spirits ... sharp blue skies in the distance ... log cabins. My ears popped. At one point I was on Route 66, getting my kicks.
I can see why many artists and those with a spiritual bent are drawn to the area.
More on my observations of NM at another time.