Albuquerque Balloon Museum – The History, Science, Sport, and Art of Ballooning

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Long known for it’s annual balloon fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s climate is especially supportive of the aviation type known as Ballooning. Over the years, I’ve taken only a couple of rides in hot air balloons, and I’ve attended the Balloon Fiesta once. Last November, I was to learn that Albuquerque has a first class museum dedicated to ballooning. The large building is home to some balloons of historical significance, and many models of early balloon airships along with panels that tell the stories of their pioneering aviators. Continue reading

Cumbres and Toltec Railroad – Goes Where No Automobile Can

Antonito, Colorado.

The day finally arrived when Lynn and I were scheduled to ride the steam train from Antonito to Chama, New Mexico. The day trip started in the morning and the 64 miles (103 km) would take us most of the day. There are several options for the trip depending upon your schedule. We opted for the entire 64 mile trek with a bus ride back from Chama to Antonito. If you live or are traveling closer to Chama, you can ride instead from Chama to Antonito. Two trains depart from the opposite ends at about the same time and share a single track. About half-way along the route, it will be lunch time. Continue reading

The Albuquerque Museum – Art. History. People

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Yes, I know… some people find museums boring. However, if you are like me, you’ll find plenty to see with over 10,000 works of art, 27,000 historical objects and over a hundred thousand photographs in their archives. Art and artifacts from the area’s early history are always on view. And the museum has contemporary exhibits as well. Like I said, you will have plenty to see and enjoy if museums are your “thing.” Continue reading

Gorge Bridge – Spanning the Magnificent Rio Grande

El Prado, New Mexico.

Travel out of Taos, New Mexico west on US Highway 64 a short eight miles (13 km) or so and you will come upon one of the largest steel span bridges in the United States. Opened to traffic in 1965, the long span bridge crosses the large gorge that the Rio Grande River spent millennia creating.  The bridge rises some 650 feet (198 m) above the river and covers the 1200 foot (366 m) gorge in three sections, a 600 foot (183 m) center span is flanked on either side by two 300-foot (91.5 m) approach spans. Continue reading

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – Gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Since wintering in the southwest, I’ve become more interested in the history and culture of the Native Americans. Regular readers may have noticed a thread of travels in my journeys here that features events and places that focus on that part of the history not only of the United States, but of the North American continent and its earliest residents. This week we journey to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a museum focusing on the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. Continue reading

J and R Vintage Auto Museum – Visit While You Still Can

Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

This winter, a family friend who is also a “car nut” shared a hidden treasure near Albuquerque. This vintage auto museum is well worth a visit and if you’ve the desire and funds, you might just be able to take home one of the classics on display. When we were there, a few of the cars had “For Sale” signs on them. That’s not usual for a museum…

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Dargah – Final Home of a Sufi Saint

Taos, New Mexico.

It is through a familial relationship that I was introduced to the concept of a dargah. It’s all very complicated but to make it easy, my great-nephew, Beau Gano, was one of the construction managers in the building of this revered place of rest for Murshid Samuel Lewis. In the mountains near Taos, a small village of the faithful followers of Murshid SAM has the honor of caring for his remains. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 1 July 2018

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It was morning over the Rio Grande. The air was relatively still, though we couldn’t tell sailing above the terrain, the hot air balloon riding along with whatever wind pushed us along. One year ago today, our Albuquerque Steiner family reunion concluded its three-day celebration. When in the balloon capital of the world, it’s not a bad idea to get a bird’s eye view of the area. Regular readers may recall my collection of images from that experience. You will find it here. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 20 May 2018

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In November 2015, we found ourselves on a short, but quite easy uphill, trail that ends at the Sandia Cave. The trail meanders up the side of a canyon wall where Native Americans discovered a natural cave. Spelunkers today can explore that cave, most recently rediscovered in 1936, but check with the USDA Forest Service to determine what might be needed on a given day to begin exploration. More photos and a more complete description of our trip to the cave can be found here. Continue reading