Sandia Crest Scenic Byway

A couple of days after we arrived in Albuquerque, we decided to drive up into the Sandia Mountains in the Cibola National Forest.  We took the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway (also known as NM-536) up to the 10,678 foot summit of Sandia Crest.

The two-lane, 13.6 mile road was in good shape and suitable for all vehicles (well, maybe NOT an RV!).  It was a quite curvy road, of course, as we climbed almost 4,000 feet from the valley on the east side of the mountain where the road began.  As we gained elevation,  the temperatures dropped several degrees.  It was a breathtaking drive with spectacular views as we winded our way through the high desert and dense forests.

At the summit looking west, we stood right at one mile above Albuquerque and the surrounding valleys!  To say the views were fantastic is an understatement.  The panoramic view was close to 180 degrees or more.  Once again, the pictures don’t do it justice; you might just have to come to Albuquerque and see this for yourself!


Of course, the highest point in the area HAS to be home for ALL the cell and satellite towers.



This is the view from the summit looking east/southeast



That is Albuquerque a mile below us.



Again, part of Albuquerque from the summit.. The “dark” area running left to right in the picture is actually the Rio Grande and the lush green vegetation on both sides of the river.



You can see the Rio Grande better in this picture.

The best view is IN PERSON, so if you are in the area, this drive to Sandia Crest is really worth the time.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!



We are now in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The day after we arrived in Albuquerque, we decided to visit Old Historic Downtown.  Historic Downtown Albuquerque is actually right on Old Route 66 (well, one block over, but that’s close enough, isn’t it?).

Old Historic Downtown dates back to the early 1700s.  On the square is San Felipe de Neri Church which has served the community since 1706.  It was originally founded and served by Franciscan friars, then by the secular clergy of Durango, Mexico in 1817, the Jesuit Fathers and Brothers in 1868, and since 1966 by the secular clergy of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  It was quite humbling to tour the beautiful church and think about walking on the same brick floor that the priests from the 1700s and 1800s also walked on.



What a gorgeous sanctuary! Zoom in and look at the brick floor.



I have no idea where this door goes, but I thought it was so beautiful.


When I turned around to go back outside, I noticed how beautiful and old the doors were.


There are numerous shops around the square as well as on the streets surrounding the square.  Many Native Americans come and display their handmade jewelry directly on the sidewalk.  And, believe me: it is GORGEOUS jewelry of the highest craftsmanship!  We ate lunch at a little cafe just off the square and then walked around to explore the area.


Some Native Americans are showing their jewelry and crafts on the sidewalk in the shade in this picture.



I even bought this unique piece of pottery.

It was a lovely afternoon!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


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