New Mexico – Day Four: Sandia Peak

SandiaTramOn our last full day together, my uncle and I decided to head to the world’s longest tram ride at the Sandia Peak Tramway! I was excited and nervous for this trip – I’m a big lover of the mountains and a slight daredevil, but I wasn’t sure what to expect going up the side of the mountain in a tram car. Turns out, it was pretty scary. I held onto the handrails inside the car the whole way up, my hands completely sweaty the entire way, especially when we went through the wire change spots and we did a little dip and sway mid-way up the mountain. My hands are getting clammy just thinking about it now. I still managed to move to the left side of the car, though, when I asked where the wreckage of the flight that crashed in 1955 was. I justhad to see it. Very wild that the pieces of shrapnel are still visible in the canyon more than 50 years later.

AmySandia2All was well, obviously, as I lived to tell the tale and I have the pictures to prove it. Standing on that ledge getting my picture taken was just as nerve wrecking as going up in the car, by the way. We were high up there, man! And it was windy! Well, just a little windy. But, still.

SandiaOverlookI was surprised at how cold it was on top of the mountain, too – there was about a 20 degree temperature difference. Once we started walking around a bit, it warmed up. We had a really nice walk – it was absolutely gorgeous. The air was crisp but headed to the warm side and the earth was just coming alive for Spring. My uncle and I had some pretty deep, meaningful conversations up there, too. We got to talk about all sorts of stuff from the past that we’ve never touched on before. I felt such a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to get closer to my uncle during this trip as we hiked along the mountain trails. I really am a blessed woman, ya know? And being in New Mexico at 10,000 feet, looking out onto the Albuquerque valley while spending time getting close to my only uncle made that fact very clear to me.

SandiaTram5The time came when we decided we’d had enough of the mountain top and were ready to take the tram back down. I started getting nervous again thinking about the ride. I mean, enlarge that picture and see if your stomach doesn’t feel a little funny when you look at it. As it happened, the ride down was easier than the ride up for some reason. The entire ride takes less than 15 minutes – it’s just the right amount of time – not too short and not too long.

We bought some items in the gift shop at the foot of the mountain and were on our way to find a place for lunch. I was talking on the phone with Rob when a roadrunner ran right in front of our car! I was so excited! That sucker was indeed fast, though, and I didn’t get a picture of him. Still, a very cool experience.

Once we finished lunch, we headed into Old Town to visit some of the galleries there. My uncle wanted to buy a pot before he left New Mexico – and he found the perfect one for him. We also went into a gallery of a friend of his and talked for a little while. She invited us to dinner at her house and we gladly accepted. She told us she lived near Sandia Peak and we saw some glorious homes in that area, so we were super excited thinking we’d get to see one of the million dollar homes. Alas, she lived in a nice house, but not one of the mansions we we had seen earlier in the day. Still, though, we had an interesting evening. Her husband is a geologist and her best friend is a hydrologist and all three are extremely educated and well-versed in modern events. The conversation at dinner was quite stimulating. And I felt completely out of my league, but that’s okay – it was great to be exposed to more culture than I’m used to in my sheltered life.

I was sad to go to bed that night because I was moving to a new hotel the next morning and my uncle was headed back to Virginia. The vacation part of my trip was coming to an abrupt end. I still had a great time the rest of my days there, though, and I’ll tell you all about that in my forthcoming posts.

Here’s the rest of my Sanda Peak pictures.

3 Responses to “New Mexico – Day Four: Sandia Peak”

  1. Colleen says:

    I remember being a little unnerved by the wire dips too. I don’t recall the plane crash wreckage…maybe because I was 12 when I made the trip? I’m going to read about that now!

  2. Deb says:

    What a nice time. I’m glad you got to connect with your uncle more, and it sounds like it was breathtaking views the entire day.

  3. Shantanu says:

    I have been reading quite a few accounts of New Mexico lately. Seems like a good place to vacation.