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New Mexico - Day 3 - Sandia Peak Tramway, Old Town Albuquerque & Route 66
5 April 2015
After driving back north to Albuquerque, we took the aerial tram up to the top of the Sandia Mountains. At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, the summit still had plenty of snow on the ground and was 20 or 30 degrees cooler than the city below. We went down Old Town Albuquerque (relatively speaking since the city resides at an altitude of over 5,000 feet) to walk around and have lunch before taking a drive on historic Route 66. It's now named Central Avenue and is slightly past its glory days but there are still a lot of cool old hotels and restaurants with old neon signs.

(click any photo for a larger version)

DAY 2 | NEW MEXICO INDEX | DAY 4
3-001 El Sombrero Restaurant 3-002 Bison 3-003 Sandia Mountains
Our first New Mexican lunch at Frank and Lupe's El Sombrero Restaurant in Socorro
Just some bison roaming in a field
The Sandia Mountains mean we've arrived in Albuquerque
3-004 Sandia Peak Tramway 3-005 Sandia Peak Tramway 3-006 Sandia Peak Tramway Sign
Sandia Peak Tramway climbs to the 10,300 foot summit of the Sandia Mountains
Sandia Peak Tramway climbs to the 10,300 foot summit of the Sandia Mountains
Sandia Peak Tramway climbs to the 10,300 foot summit of the Sandia Mountains
3-007 View from Lower Tramway Station 3-009 View from Lower Tramway Station 3-010 View from Lower Tramway Station
The view from the lower tramway station at 6500 feet
The view of Albuquerque from the lower tramway station at 6500 feet
The view from the lower tramway station at 6500 feet
3-011 View from Tram Car 3-013 View from Tram Car 3-014 Tram Car
Riding up the Sandia Mountains. For a sense of scale, there are 2 people in the lower part of this photo.
Looking out over Albuquerque from the tram car
Passing the other tram car
3-016 View from Tram Car 3-017 Kiwanis Cabin 3-018 View from Sandia Peak
Climbing higher and higher in the Sandia Mountains
The structure at the top is called the Kiwanis Cabin
Views like this are why the iPhone's panaramic function was created.
3-019 View from Sandia Peak 3-020 View from Sandia Peak 3-021 Tram Car
The view from 10,000 feet where it's 30 degrees cooler than the city below
The view from 10,000 feet where it's 30 degrees cooler than the city below
The tram heads back fown the mountain
3-023 Sandia Peak Sign 3-024 Ski Lift 3-025 Mom and Snow
Sandia Peak sits at 10,378 feet above sea level
In the winter Sandia Peak is a ski resort
We found snow in New Mexico atop the Sandia Mountains!
3-026 Michael and Snow 3-028 View from Sandia Peak 3-029 Ski Lift
We found snow in New Mexico atop the Sandia Mountains!
The view from 10,000 feet
In the winter Sandia Peak is a ski resort
3-030 Bear Sign 3-032 Ski Patrol Shack 3-034 View from Sandia Peak
We saw no bears… whew!
Ski Patrol for the winter months
The view from the 10,000 foot Sandia Peak
3-036 View from Sandia Peak 3-037 Kiwanis Cabin 3-038 Tram Car
The City of Albuquerque as seen from Sandia Peak
The structure at the top is called the Kiwanis Cabin
Sandia Peak Tramway car
3-040 Upper Station 3-041 Descending View 3-044 Tramway Tower & Tram Car
The upper tramway station and the gear that got us safely up and down the mountain
On our way back down
Approaching the tramway tower and the other car
3-046 Cibola National Forest Sign 3-047 Tramway Crossing Sign 3-049 Tram Car
The Sandia Peak Tramway is in Cibola National Forest
You don't see many tramway crossings
The tram car crosses the road on it's way into the lower station
3-051 Old Town Albuquerque 3-052 San Felipe de Neri Church 3-054 San Felipe de Neri Church
Old Town Albuquerque
Built in 1793 with walls 5 foot thick walls, San Felipe de Neri Church is at the center of Old Town Albuquerque
Built in 1793 with walls 5 foot thick walls, San Felipe de Neri Church is at the center of Old Town Albuquerque
3-055 San Felipe de Neri Church Interior 3-057 San Felipe de Neri Courtyard 3-058 Cactus
Built in 1793 with walls 5 foot thick walls, San Felipe de Neri Church is at the center of Old Town Albuquerque
The courtyard in front of San Felipe de Neri Church
For an east coaster, cacti never lose their novelty
3-060 Church Street Cafe 3-061 Church Street Cafe Sign 3-062 Plaza Don Luis
Church Street Cafe resides in the oldest building in Albuquerque and they serve up a delicious meal
Church Street Cafe resides in the oldest building in Albuquerque and they serve up a delicious meal
Old Town Albuquerque has many plazas small and large. This is Plaza Don Luis.
3-064 Towel Swan 3-066 Kimo Theater 3-067 Kimo Theater Sign
I think it's safe to assume our maid at Hampton Inn used to work on a cruise ship
Built in 1927 along Route 66, the KiMo Theater is one of Albuquerque's best known landmarks
Built in 1927 along Route 66, the KiMo Theater is one of Albuquerque's best known landmarks
3-068 Route 66 Sign 3-069 Central Avenue Sign 3-070 US and New Mexico Flags
Driving along the historic Route 66
Route 66 is now known as Central Avenue in Albuquerque
The flag of New Mexican flying along Route 66
3-071 imperial Inn Motel Sign 3-072 Hiway House Motel 3-073 Nob Hill Sign
The Imperial Inn Motel has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
The Hiway House Motel has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
The Nob Hill neighborhood is near the University of New Mexico
3-074 Premiere Motel Sign 3-075 De Anza Motor Lodge 3-076 Zia Motor Lodge Sign
The Premiere Motel has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
The De Anza Motor Lodge has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
The Zia Motor Lodge has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
3-077 Hiland Theater 3-078 Desert Sands Hotel Sign 3-080 University of New Mexico Sign
THe Hiland Theater on Route 66.
The Desert Sands Motor Hotel has one of many classic roadside signs along Route 66.
University of New Mexico
3-081 66 Diner Signs 3-082 66 Diner 3-083 66 Diner SIgn
The 66 Diner has an impressive collection of signs
The 66 Diner on Route 66 serves up great food and milkshakes with a classic feel
The 66 Diner on Route 66 serves up great food and milkshakes with a classic feel
3-087 Don Francisco Cuervo Y Valdes Statue 3-091 San Felipe de Neri Rose Garden 3-093 Hacienda del Rio
Don Francisco Cuervo Y Valdes founded Albuquerque
The rose garden at San Felipe de Neri Mission
We didn't get time to eat at Hacienda del Rio but stopped in to buy some Indian jewelery
3-094 Ristras 3-095 Tower 3-096 I-25 & I-40 Ramps
These hanging chile peppers are called ristras and they can be found all over New Mexico
Native Indian designed art makes for an easy landmark when driving I-25
New Mexico's colorfully painted highway overpasses put the other 49 states to shame
3-098 66 Diner Interior 3-099 66 Diner Interior 3-101 French Dip & Chile Cheese Fries
At the 66 Diner on Route 66 you must wait for the walk signal belore playing hopscotch
The 66 Diner on Route 66 serves up great food and milkshakes with a classic feel
The French Dip is my favorite diner classic. The 66 Diner spices it up with some green chile cheese fries.
3-102 66 Diner 3-103 66 Diner Sign 3-104 Tewa Lodge Sign
The 66 Diner's neon beckons you in off Route 66 for a milkshake and delicious meal
The 66 Diner's neon beckons you in off Route 66 for a milkshake and delicious meal
The Tewa Lodge is one of many classic neon signs on Route 66

GO TO DAY 4

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