Thursday, June 12, 2014

Turquoise Trail and a Sandia Mountain hike…


Our last few days in Albuquerque were coming up and one drive we wanted to make was the Turquoise Trail. The Turquoise Trail is New Mexico Highway 14 and it spans from Tijeras to Santa Fe, NM. The approximately 50 mile drive winds through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains and is a very enjoyable drive.

Along the route we came to an artsy town called Madrid (pronounced Mad-rid not like the town in Spain). There were lots of art galleries and shops in this small little town. There was a festival going on  that day but it was not one we planned to visit. Instead we took a walk through town and could tell that this could be a fun little place given the right festival.

imageWe left Madrid and stopped for a quick visit in the town of Cerrillos and then drove on into Santa Fe NM. We found a parking spot near the downtown square and someone very conveniently left an hour on the parking meter! We have visited Santa Fe many times in the past so we were just interested in seeing what changed and were surprised to find very little change in the downtown area. However, the rest of the city has grown quite a bit since our last visit. Since we will probably be coming this way in the motorhome we didn’t spend too much time in town. We drove back to  Albuquerque on Interstate 25 our likely route north when we leave on Sunday.

imageAnother day we had a nice hike atop Sandia Peak as we made our way up the twists and turns required to drive up the mountain. The Sandia Crest is covered with numerous radio towers as it is the tallest peak in the immediate area. According to the sign the elevation is 10,678 feet, plenty high to make us labored in our breathing.

imageThe Tree Spring Trail is not a terminal trail but one that connects to other trails some of which will lead to the top of Sandia Mountain. We were only interested in getting in a good hike in the cool woods as temperatures at the top were in the upper 60’s just right for hiking. Now the hike to the dry spring is all uphill and of course it had us huffing and puffing again. Along the trail there were many places  where we paused to catch our breath and look out over the foothills all the way out into the desert, some very nice scenic views. We hiked a couple of miles in and then retreated back out to our car.

I had a birthday a few days ago and Sharon unfortunately had a stomach bug and was under the weather so we waited a few days before celebrating my birthday. We were also celebrating my good news after having a good checkup at the dermatologist where I received the all clear sign. We celebrated by visiting couple of Albuquerque’s better breweries. We visited the  La Cumbre Brewing Company which featured a very nice IPA called Elevated IPA. Sharon enjoyed a Hefenweisen and we felt the place had a good vibe with a lot of customers, many of which

imageAlbuquerque NM 045

appeared to be regulars. We only had one pint since we wanted to stop at another place called  II Vicino Brewery which also had a great IPA, Wet Mountain IPA, and Sharon liked her Hefenweisen there even better than the first one. No celebration is complete without ending the day eating some fine Red Chile on some tender Carne Adovada. If you like really spicy Red Chile you must try Mary and Tito’s Café, a real road treat. I found them by reading a New York Times article on visiting Albuquerque and knew we had to try them out. Fantastic Carne Adovada with Red Chile and spicy hot indeed. I haven’t ruled out stopping by there one more time before we leave…


  1. Great news on the doctor visits and happy belated birthday, looks like you found a great way to celebrate both.

  2. we drove the Turquoise Trail as well. . .but the thing I loved the most about Albuquerque, besides the Guided Walking Tour we took in Old Town, was the Sandia Peak Tram ride. . .spectacular!

  3. It's so much fun to find great road treats as we travel down the road. Thanks for sharing!

  4. We like Mary and Tito's a great home town mexican place.

  5. Happy Birthday and great get good news from the doctor:) Time to celebrate for sure! I love the area you are traveling in now.

  6. Happy belated birthday and congratulations on the news from the doctor. We loved the little town of Madrid and its funky art galleries.

  7. Happy belated birthday.
    We also drove the Turquoise trail, and enjoyed the Tram ride to the peak.