Get Outta Here: Escaped Gloomy Seattle For This Stunning Tram Ride

And the food doesn't suck, either.

November 7, 2018

by Gregr

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Though we're gifted the occasional beautiful day cutting through the gloom of a long grey autumn/winter/spring, it sure can feel good to escape to a place where the sun regularly shines and do our best lizard impression soaking up the warm rays of light atop some dumb rock.

Amidst the high deserts of New Mexico exists a small outpost town where Bugs Bunny regularly made a wrong turn, Albuquerque. It's a funny place - at about a million people in the total area, it's the biggest city for 4-5 hours in any direction driving. A wonderfully dead brown desert, once the floor of the ocean, Albuquerque feels like the type of place you'd own a horse. A mixture of hardened people who conquered the wild west along the Rio Grande river, the town is a cultural mixing point between Mexican, Native American, and Spanish conquistador culture with a great racial/economic blend. It's pretty cool.

It's a giant flat basin, accented by a big muddy river and a beautiful mountain range to the east: the Sandia Mountains. To get to the top you can drive around the green backside of the Sandias or scale the front craggly side via steel cable tram car. We rode the tram. It was awesome.

Here starts the journey of the Sandia Peak Tramway from 6,559 feet to a top elevation of 10,378 feet. Albuquerque's elevation is crazy!

Both cars travel simultaneously on the cable around 15mph thanks to these giant wheels.

As we approached the summit, tour guide dude hits us with a mind-boggling stat: from atop Sandia Peak, on a clear day, you can see 11,000 square miles of New Mexico - that's about 10% of the entire state! A quick googling tells me that New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the USA. 

Wow! You can buy a one-way ticket and hike down should you wish. Think I prefer just taking the 15-minute lift back down.

Sandia Peak Tramway decent --

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Anyway, Albuquerque is a pretty weird place to escape to from the gloom of Seattle should you need it and not like baseball enough to go to spring training! I recommend October when the International Balloon Fiesta fills the sky with beautiful hot air balloons!

Bonus photo: go to a place called Vic's Daily on the weekend and they'll make you a plate of huevos rancheros piled onto a base of Navajo fry bread and smothered in a combo of red and green chili sauce. 

Can't wait to go back - mainly for Vic's...