Average New Mexico Day.

So, there were no exciting adventures in New Mexico Land yesterday.  We basically hung out with the kids around the house, and I went to the mall for a little while.   Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, but only the 59th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.   From the house out in suburbia where I’ve been staying you can see the whole city as you drive in (it’s down in a valley from where we are staying).  In every city I’ve lived in, you can’t really tell the difference between the city and the suburbs and it all kind of blends together.  Not so here, at least not yet.   However, they built the roads out to the suburb area where I’ve been staying as single lane roads.  The traffic can get really bad trying to get out here during rush hour and I’m thinking they should have built at least one of the roads as 2-lanes each way instead of one.  I mean, all there is out here is wide open dessert and brush anyway, it’s not like they don’t have the space!

I also helped Krissi cook her fantastic Chicken Pot Pie last night.  I’m not a chicken pot pie person.  I’m generally not a fan of gravy, and chicken pot pies often have vegetables in them that I could live without (ie peas).  Also, carrots and potatoes I’ve had in chicken pot pies usually taste gross.  But the way Krissi does it (sans peas and with perfect sized chunks of precooked vegetables) it turns out soo delicious!  I rarely cook because I don’t really know how and whenever I try to cook, it’s always with a recipe and I overanalyze EVERYTHING.  Krissi cooks all from scratch without recipes.  I don’t think I will ever be like that, but I would at least like to start cooking more so I can eat good meals more often.   Anyway, the extent of my help involved rolling dough, and chopping and pre-cooking some vegetables, but it was help nonetheless.  And as always, the pies turned out DELICIOUS!

I’m still really hoping to do the Sandia Peak thing today!  I keep getting suggestions that we could just drive up there, but honestly the tramway is really the whole point for me.  I realize the view from up there is amazing and there is stuff to d0 once you get up there, but what I’m interested in is the 2.7 mile journey in the air and seeing all the New Mexico scenery below on the way up 🙂  It brings up fond memories of Switzerland, AND it’s the “longest aerial tramway in the WORLD”!  How can you pass that up? 😉

We have to do it today, if at all, because we (myself and the married couple I’m travelling with) are scheduled to leave the family behind and head out for a 5-hour drive to a cabin in Nowhere, Colorado tomorrow.

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Petroglyph National Monument

Knowing there were signs nearby for the Petroglyph National Monument, we set out yesterday to go hiking without getting directions or finding anything out beyond “it’s close, it’s a national monument, there are petroglyphs.. let’s go!”

So the first sign we saw said Boca Negra Canyon, and we turned there thinking it was the Petroglyph place, but when we got back in the canyon and nothing said “Petroglyph National Monument” we thought we’d went to the wrong place.   So we continued on back down the main road until we hit the Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center.   There, after slathering on sunscreen and preparing a pack of water and snacks, we went inside to find out that there are no trails at the Visitor Center.   There are 3 different areas where you can go to hike and see petroglyphs, and as it turns out Boca Negra Canyon is one of them, and is the most popular.

So, back to Boca Negra we went.  Boca Negra only contains about 5% of all the petroglyphs in the monument, but the main trails are somewhat paved and there are restrooms and running water available (which if I’m not mistaken is not the case at the other two locations).   Archaelogists believe that some of the petroglyphs date back at least 3000 years, although most of them (estimated 90%) are from around 1200-1700 A.D.   The hike was pretty easy with lots of visible petroglyphs and great views.  I think we spent about an hour and a half total including walking down to the lower area and then walking back up to our car.

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I think Boca Negra is a great introduction to the Petroglyphs because there are several short, fairly easy hikes (ranging from 15-45 minutes), and again they are mostly paved, and restrooms are available.  So a good plan for families and/or people that aren’t used to strenuous hikes.   Just remember to bring the $2 for parking so you don’t have to walk all the way downhill and back up again, unless you want that extra part of the trip 😉   I also recommend starting at the Visitor Center because the Rangers are very helpful and can provide trail maps and information about which trails are the most helpful.

Today, I am crossing my fingers hoping that we take the tramway to Sandia Peak!