Monday, June 17, 2013

Memorial Weekend 2013

Karla and I once again enjoyed another wonderful Memorial Weekend holiday down in Albuquerque! Thank you to my parents for opening their home, we call it our 5 star hotel. :)

We boogied down quickly on Friday afternoon, hit some spectacular storms but thankfully nothing that delayed us for long. I wish I'd gotten some better pictures of the hail, but I was afraid to pull the camera out! In full gear we were absolutely safe, but that hail was big enough we were laughing so hard in between "ow, ow!!" that we could barely breathe. ROFLMAO! It was so beautiful, the clouds throwing the hail broke up to clear blue sky just to the west of us, so the sun was visible as it was setting throwing some beautiful light and making rainbows!! It's a memory I won't soon forget. I just have this cell phone picture from the gas station to give you an idea, and it'd been melting for 20 minutes already!

On Saturday we spent all day with my parents, what a joy to have them so close! Went up to Santa Fe, did some shopping, picked up a case of wine from Trader Joe's. Evidently I didn't take any pictures, whoops!

Sunday we hopped on the bikes and did some exploring. I wanted to check out the dirt road (NM-165) that goes up to Sandia Peak from the north west side. Glad we did, it was a hoot of a good time and Mom reported they closed the road the following week because of the severe drought conditions. My research on the road popped up the "Sandia Man Cave," which was discovered and excavated in the late 30's. They've kept it open and you can explore unattended!

Nice little hike from a dirt parking lot off 165 up to the cave, can you see it in the distance? About half way up the trail in this picture:

Folks belaying off the cliff wall

In we go!!

Lots and lots of fine, powdery dust. It got everywhere!!

Further and further... This is fun!


Get small!

Did I mention the dirt and dust was super fine??

Happy to visit the roadside stream for a bit of a wash

From there we headed up to the crest. Hazy/smoky/something today, but still quite a view

But what is Karla taking pictures of? No surprise here, lol!

Short hike out to the CCC built stone hut. Nice day for it, not too windy, cool and no storms.

LOADS of dead wood up here, this area is gonna burn fast when it finally does

Reached the hut in short order

You can see the tram over in the distance (we came from the other direction). The Sandia Tramway is the world's longest tram. Took Karla on it the first time I brought her down to Albuquerque.

My favorite picture from the weekend

Took a different trail back to the bikes, a bit more open and direct

Waiting patiently for us

Home in plenty of time for a nice dinner and get things packed up for an early departure Monday morning.

Took a slightly different route home this time around, to add in some more twisties instead of a direct shot. Didn't really add much time according to Google maps, so we were game. About 1/3 of the way in we come across this....

We both like a good adventure and have experience on dirt roads like this, so we were practically hooting and hollering in our intercoms with joy at this find. Only slight reservations about the case of wine on my backseat (Karla and mom thankfully packed newspaper between the bottles) and about 3 bottles of sauces my mom was going to use in Karla's bag. Hmmm, well if it breaks it's so worth it! Away we went.

Yep. Glad we continued on!



Found a small park in Pagosa Springs for lunch

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm leftovers

Continued on, really enjoy Wolf Creek Pass! The trick to enjoying this incredibly scenic pass is slowing down and just enjoying the view. There's a local sheriff that controls this pass, constantly patrolling for anyone doing more than 5 over. So, do the speed limit and just soak in what you see! As we started up the pass, saw a couple on a Harley parked in a scenic pull off. The woman was flapping her arms like nuts warning us to slow down. I'm thinking, "yes ma'am, thank you so much for the warning, we certainly know there is always atleast one police officer up the pass we will mind our speed." Well, that's what I thought what was going on until we came around a corner up the pass and saw:

Holy smokes that was a big semi on it's side and that's a loooooooooong drop past those concrete barriers! It was a fresh accident, thankfully it was clear the driver wasn't hurt. No cars, bikes or bicyclists involved. Whew.

The silly fun started in South Fork when Karla's Red Bull can exploded at our stop in South Fork. LOL!

"Is my intercom on?"

No more pictures, uneventful and beautiful ride up 285 home. It was a fantastic ride the rest of the way, for once it wasn't super windy north of Buena Vista. Yep. Great trip. Can't wait til next year!! I'm sure I'll find some new surprises for us to explore in the Albuquerque area. :-)

Full slideshow here, 45 pics in total