Anyone who has ever visited Duke City knows that a major attraction for tourists (because of the views) and the locals (because they do unspeakably physical things–like run up it) is Sandia Peak.
It boasts the World’s Longest Aerial Tram, a great draw for the kids, and some trails on top. My parents live close enough to Sandia that their homeowners’ association offers free tickets to the tram. In limited numbers, so we were only able to snag one–for Sunday. Fortunately, it wasn’t pouring like it was on Saturday. But the top of the mountain was shrouded in cloud.
On a clear day, the view of Sandia from my parents’ house is this:
From the top on Sunday morning, though, this is what you got–10,300+ feet up:
Luckily, the kids aren’t much for the landscape. They are all about DOING. Not so much about SEEING.
After lunch my parents took the kids to the aquarium. Taxman and I hiked from their house back to the base of Sandia Peak, through Cibola National Forest. It was very nice, although hiking at 7,000 feet, even on a pretty flat trail, is a whole different ballgame from ambling around at sea level. But for the first time in years we got to move at a reasonable pace without hauling anyone with us/on us–Taxman graciously volunteered to carry the water, so I was carrying….nothing. Rather freeing.
* In fact, either Taxman or my mom bathed the kids every day of our vacation. That was the most vacation-y aspect of the whole week for me, and I reveled in it. Funny how your standards change.