Monday, September 24, 2007

Day 8 to 9 – Sandia Crest, Albuquerque to Tucson

The tramway to the top of Sandia Peak is the longest in the world, 2.7 miles, and was manufactured by Bell Engineering of Switzerland. Sandia itself is 10,338 feet high, but we started from the lower platform already at altitude 6,000. That is because the drive to the Tramway is a long incline from the valley floor at about 5000 feet. I’ve included photographs from the nature trail at the base of Sandia Peak as well as photos of the tram itself, and views through the clouds at the crest. In the winter the Northeast side of the crest is a ski and winter sport complex with several chair lifts. We looked at the slopes and ski trails. Joe looked at me and said, “Na-a-a-h U-u-u-u-u-h!

The road to Tucson from Albuquerque is by way of I 25 south to Las Cruses in New Mexico, then I 10 from Las Cruces to Tucson, about 460 miles because you take the 2 short arms of the triangle instead of the single long arm. However, there’s no way I’m driving across this huge desert on secondary roads with few towns, and scant access to gas, oil, and water. At one point I got out of the car and took photographs in 4 directions in the attempt to demonstrate just how isolated we were as we drove to Tucson.

Tucson itself is called “The Green Desert” because of the pinion, varieties of mesquite, imported African tree varieties, palms, and of course the various cactuses including the giant saguaro. Yesterday we looked at houses in the foothills to the Catalina range to the North of the city. Joe was ready to move in to one modern completely renovated rancher with two private patios, living room, family/TV/rec. room, three bedrooms and staggering views of the desert. I will devote future entries to the Tucson area.

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