Summer 2013 - Southwest
Take Two

Albuquerque, NM

August 4, 2013

Local Information

Area Map


Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

Today was a low mileage day. We stayed within the city limits of Albuquerque. Our first stop was at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a difficult trip, across the street. The Cultural Center has a number of permanent exhibits dealing with the culture and arts of the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico. There were also exhibits of Zuni map art and one dealing with the churches of the pueblos. The Cultural Center, like other museums, limits photography so we don't have any pictures of the exhibits. After viewing the collection, we watched Hopi dancers performing some of their traditional dances. The dance group consisted of a father (sings and drums), his nephew and two children.

After lunch we went to Expo New Mexico, home of the New Mexico State Fair. Susie wanted to see the Great Southwestern Antique Show. It was a bit of a disappointment because, while they did have vendors selling antique pottery and figurines, the bulk of the vendors were selling turquoise jewelry and other antiques that had nothing to do with the Southwest... did you know Japan was in the Southwest... they had Japanese and other Asian wares.

The final place we visited was one that we have been trying to get to since the first time we came here nearly twenty years ago. That place is the top of Sandia Peak. To get there, we needed to to ride up on The Sandia Peak Tramway. The first time we were here, the wind was blowing in excess of the safety limits and the tramway was shut down. Other times we were passing through and did not have the time to take the ride. We finally made it. The tramway, at 2.7 miles long, is the longest tramway in the world. It rises from the base station (6,559 ft.) to the top terminal (10,378 ft.). The span between the second tower and top terminal is 7,720 feet (1 1/2 miles) and, at one point, is over 900 feet above the terrain below. Once at the top, the view is spectacular. Unfortunately for us, there was significant haze from distant forest fires. As we were walking along the top of Sandia Peak we noticed dark clouds to the south and they were heading our way. These storms, although generally brief, can kick up enough wind to shut down the tram. Not wanting to chance getting caught at the top, we headed to the top terminal and took the tram back down.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Click for a brief video of the dancers

Sandia Peak

The Rio Grande River marks the western border of Albuquerque. Vocanic cinder cones are visible in the background.

Downtown Albuquerque

Does this look like a giant fish?

This boulder is larger than the Tramway cab (which can hold 50 passengers)

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