Monday, September 18, 2017

Riding the Tram













Two weeks ago, as part of the GB's birthday celebration, we all took a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway. The Tramway, or "Tram," as we call it here, is a popular attraction. People take the Tram to ski the Peak in winter, or to hike in warmer weather. We hadn't been on the Tram in a few years and we decided it was time for another trip. Our Tram is pretty amazing, actually, a true engineering marvel. There are two tram cars, each able to carry 50 people. Riders are carried nearly 3 miles along the cables, ascending nearly 4,000 feet to the Sandia Peak - at 10,378 feet. From the Peak, you can see the entire Rio Grande Valley and beyond, to points all over the state of New Mexico. The panoramic views encompass about 11,000 square miles. You also get a sweeping view of the entire city of Albuquerque. We always try to look for our neighborhood, but it isn't easy to find with the naked eye. Binoculars help - at least you can find the major thoroughfares.

If you'd like to read more about the history and technology behind our Tramway, take a look here.

The day we rode the Tram, there was a lot of smoke in the air from the fires in Oregon; the smoke made our air quality quite poor, as you can see in my photos. Of course, the smoke was nowhere near as serious as the fires, and people in the Northwest were on our minds for days while the smoke lingered down here. It was very hot too, even up at the Peak, and the sun beat down. We didn't spend all that long at the Peak because it was SO very crowded, and so hot, but it was fun to look through the little lens-less "telescopes" that direct your eye to about a dozen different points of interest along the horizon and closer in, near the city, without actually bringing them closer. It's one of my favorite parts of visiting the Peak, actually. There's a lot to see around here, and so much of it is very, very old. It's easy to think of the Western US as being "new," but this is actually one of the longest-inhabited places on the continent.

Taking my children up the Tram reminds me that this place will be their childhood home, the place they will remember when they are grown. They're from here. Maybe more importantly, they will be from here, later on, whether they stay or leave. They'll recall a place that is old and new at the same time, quirky much of the time, maligned some of the time, praised a lot more often than some people realize. A place that is beautiful and harsh, crowded and sprawling, roasting hot and freezing cold, stormy and still, brown and blue.

(If you're local and you're reading this, please, please make the time to vote in the Mayoral election. I almost never say anything political here, but I'm making an exception this time - please vote). 

21 comments:

  1. Your photos show that it is a beautiful place, we live in a beautiful world xx

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  2. That's quite a view. And you're right about your kids thinking of New Mexico as home even if they leave. We first moved to Georgia when our daughter started high school. She then went on to College at Georgia. She left when she was in her early 20's and though she was born in Germany, if you ask her where she's from she'll say Georgia.

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  3. What a fun thing to do, and what a view from up there. I'd say it's a beautiful place to call home.
    I did go to the link for the tram - it's pretty incredible!

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  4. What a fun thing to do. We have several ski areas within an hour of here and we have ridden several of the trams in the summertime. So much fun. At the top of Mount Spokane we have the same little lenses and that's also one of my favorite things to do there. It's fun to look at places so far away. You are giving your children incredible childhood memories of the place they will call home all of their lives. We finally had some rain today. Blessed, blessed rain! Our skies, at least here in Spokane, are finally clear, even if it ends up being for only one day it was nice to breathe deeply for a change. :-)
    Blessings, Betsy

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  5. What a great tram ride and the sights are amazing. You always right beautifully Jennifer xo

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  6. What a wonderful birthday treat. The views are amazing and I loved seeing your local landscape. May I recommend a short novel to you Jennifer? It is "A Whole Life" by Robert Seethaler, translated into English by Charlotte Collins.

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  7. I don't have a head for heights but a trip on the tram would be so worth it for those views, incredible.

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  8. Wow, just wow, what an amazing viewpoint. It's absolutely breathtaking. We love to visit high spots and try and identify landmarks below. Nothing as stunning as that though, it really is incredible. I do love to hear a little about people's local area, especially the history of it all. It looks like a brilliant day out. Our thoughts are turning to birthdays around here as well. CJ xx

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  9. Wow, just stunning! I have been in a tram before, but small ones, holding about 8 to 10 people....can't imagine 50 in one tram. Amazing!

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  10. The tramway is amazing Jennifer, much bigger than any I have encountered. What a great asset for your city and a fun thing to take the kids on every year or two. You make a good point about their attachment to your area, the place of their childhood. We always remember those years best of any memories - my father forgot his career, and almost forgot his wife and children, but could still tell me about his first day at school! I have noticed our grandson seems to be laying down special memories of our house too, and asking for repeats of special things he loves.

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  11. That is an amazing feat of engineering and the views are a delight.

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  12. Your tram trip looks amazing, Jennifer. Is that animal a squirrel? Do you have squirrels in the US? I hope I haven't embarrassed myself with my ignorance! *blush*

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  13. Wow what great views, that looks amazing.
    When we say to people that we are from Hampshire (south England), they always say that they are from Kent (south East England). They were both born there but have no family living in Kent. We've never taken them back but one day I guess they may choose to go back.
    Living in Lincolnshire now (East Midlands) my boys have chosen to speak with a local accent. To me it just seems too unnatural. Speaking with a Hampshire accent I'll always be a 'new' person I guess. Cx

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  14. Sorry, 'they' is the my boys (teens).

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  15. What a great trip. Cable cars are reserved for Scotland in the UK. You have to climb up the rest! I do love a cable car though remind me of my skiing days. Jo x

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  16. It's good to visit the local tourist attractions in your own backyard every so often. What spectacular views! I rode up a tram car years ago in Vancouver, and was actually quite terrified (inside). For the entire time spent at the top of the mountain I was so fearful of the ride back down! I'm not good on ferris wheels either ha ha!
    Wendy

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  17. It looks like you had lots of fun, even though I do not like trams. Heights, you know?
    Your kids are such good eggs.

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  18. Very cool! Though I don't know if I'd be brave enough to go up in one of those though.

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  19. It's amazing! So high and such sweeping views. I always love to see photos of your local area as you know, it's so dramatic and full of contrast. X

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  20. Wow, what a view! And what an exciting thing to do – I would love to do that. You do live in a fascinating part of the world, Jennifer. It's interesting what you say about growing up in a place. My children still think of themselves as Londoners although we have lived here for 5 years now. I wonder whether they'll think that way when they're grown up...

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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