Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Last day in Albuquerque

Today is our last day here in Albuquerque.  This has been a wonderful stop for us, filled with blue skies, warm temperatures, colorful balloons, a little hiking and autohiking and most of all wonderful visits with friends, old and new.

This morning Dave played golf with David from Los Lunas and I held down the fort catching up on laundry, bills and a little baking.   I was scheduled to meet Dave,  David and Ann after golf for a late lunch/early supper but Lewis seemed a little under the weather this morning so I decided to stick around for him.    It didn't turn out to be an issue and I got a lot done so things worked out for the best.

Sunday afternoon we were invited to Hector and Brenda's new home for dinner.  After finding a house they couldn't pass up they've decided to settle down and plant roots in Corrales, New Mexico.   I have to say,  if we had found this house, in this setting,  we may very well have made the same decision.   It's a real beauty, perfect for them.    

I took my camera along, but managed very few pictures.   They'll show you their "find" soon, I'm sure!

On our way to their home, we noticed clouds begin to build and darken.  Just as we arrived, the sky opened and the rain came down.   Hector built a cozy fire in their outdoor patio's fireplace and we sat down to enjoy a delicious bottle of local white wine (Milagro Vineyards right around the corner)  and some yummy cheeses.

Brenda points out the first rainbow

Hector takes aim

It took us a while to settle down to enjoy the repast, however, because there were rainbows!    Two of them in the black sky!   We ran from front to back to try and get the best view.  

And the clouds!   We were so fortunate to be in an area where the sky is a prominent feature in the views.     Another reason this small adobe house is perfect!

Mammatus Clouds and Alpenglo over Sandia Peak

Once the sun set and the evening chill set in we moved inside for dinner.   Hector grilled salmon and potatoes and we finished the meal with apple crisp and ice cream.    We talked and talked and laughed and laughed.

We didn't know Hector and Brenda well before our visit, but we left their company feeling like friends.   Thanks guys for your gracious hospitality.....and Alaska trip tips!

Yesterday, Monday, we packed a lunch and headed towards Cochiti Lake and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

The Lake's visitor center and bathrooms were closed and locked....must be near the end of their season.

 We had discussed moving Beluga to the COE campground there this week but decided that driving the jeep was preferable.  We really liked the campground and noted it for future stops.   We ate our lunch along the shoreline.

We had gotten a later start (what else is new!) than we'd planned so we didn't have high hopes for being able to hike around the Tent Rocks.    We bypassed the crowded parking lot and continued on the graded dirt road toward the Veteran's Memorial Overlook.

We had the area and fantastic views all to ourselves.   We both remarked on how absolutely silent it was, save for the wind fluttering the American flag.

We could see the Tent Rocks area clearly standing out among the green forests below.

On our way back down to the trail area we picked up a small hitch hiker on the Jeep's hood.    He stayed with us for a long time.

We parked, somewhat reluctantly, in the busy trail head parking lot, determined to walk the slot canyon area of these wild pumice, ash and tuff deposits.

the trail ends up there

We're spoiled....In the past, we've been able to enjoy many of these magnificent and unusual natural formations by ourselves, with no one else in sight.    The parking lot was full, we were expecting hordes of people crowding in the narrow recesses of the canyon.

Occasionally we did pass people along the trail, but not many, and not yakking loudly and checking their phones, oblivious to the beauty around them.   Most people seemed to be caught by the spirit of the place and were talking quietly and respectfully.

The footing was damp from the previous night's rain and our footsteps unlocked a wonderful light fragrance from the pines and small junipers as we passed.

When we moved our eyes off the trail before us we were rewarded with little surprises.     Beauty was all around us.

Parts of the slot were narrow, sometimes just one foot front in front of another, hands on the walls narrow.     As a result I put my camera in my pocket to keep my hand free.    Trouble is, putting the camera in and out of my pocket constantly evidently twisted the settings from auto to.....I don't know which ones.   If you're noticing slightly odd or blurry images now you know why.

In a few spots there were choke stones and roots to scramble over and/or under but nothing my short self couldn't handle.

So, in the end, we (think I) weren't bothered by having to share this magical canyon with others.   It was quiet with only the sounds of bird song and wind twisting through the curves.   The soft skitter of tiny pebbles, dislodged by the breeze, drifted down from above reminding us that this place is alive, ever changing.  


  1. What a lovely post. Friends, clouds, hints to possible future travel, and Tent Rocks! What a beauty...thank you!

  2. Surrounded by so much beauty. Who would think that ash and tuff deposits would be so beautiful. Just amazing how those junipers can grow without being anchored secure to the ground.

  3. Sounds like a lovely evening with Hector and Brenda:) It was very nice of them to put on such a great sky show! Beautiful rainbows and amazing clouds. Seeing the Tent Rocks has been on my list for so long. Glad your hike was enjoyable. Hopefully all will work for a visit next fall finally:) Hope Lew is doing all right:)

  4. Lovely! Yes, noisy people on the trail is one of my pet peeves too. How fortunate that a full parking lot didn't lead to a frustrating hike.

  5. Tent Rocks is is also on on our list Sue. Thanks for the beautiful pictures ! So nice to visit with Brenda and Hector...their home sounds wonderful and cozy !

  6. So glad you experienced the beauty of Tent Rocks! We loved our hike there, and also found it to be a peaceful, sacred spot. You described it well. And how fun that you met up with Hector and Brenda! You had quite the rainbow and cloud show that evening (and you captured it beautifully).

  7. Those clouds are incredible!! Looks like they found a perfect spot to put down roots with a camera :-) There's so much beauty in that area, we must go see the tent rocks next time. Thanks for sharing your wonderful hike through the canyon. That rock wave is unbelievable - Mother Nature knows no limits!

  8. What a great host and hostesses they were, putting up a great show for their guests and what a show it was.
    You are now the third blogger that has visited the Tent Rocks and like Laurel and Ingrid you have enticed us to take Betsy there one day.