Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trip To The Other Side

On Saturday we headed out to the "other side" of the Sandia Mountains via road 165 which is our Placitas road. This is a dirt road that crosses the mountains. I had gone up it about 7 or 8 miles before Jeff got here checking out Sandia Man Cave and assorted picnic areas. It is a lot cooler up there (as in foggy and chilly the day I went before) and there is running water from the Las Huertas creek. This is a good "get out of the heat" summer spot I am told. Also it it great for cross country skiing in the winter when the road closes. I have seen bikers on it but when cars go by it is dusty so I don't think I'd like that when there is car traffic. We passed the cave, passed some picnic areas and continued to Balsam Glade before the curves started to get to me and I needed a break. We got out and scoped out picnic areas, trails, benches etc.

We saw a really neat bird I had seen at the house. The trees started getting denser and denser the higher we went which is opposite of what they do in Seattle! There are oaks and aspens and junipers and pines and a lot of trees that look familiar that I don't remember the names of. In fall it must be as spectacular as now - new leaves now and changing colors in fall. We continued past Balsam Glade up to the Sandia Crest and headed back down. The next stop was Sulphur Canyon where we did a 3 mile mini-hike.
The dirt was red, the geology was really neat, the bright green new leaves were electric and we saw either an alligator pine or juniper...everything smelled like pine but I didn't look close enough to tell which it was. All the areas were garbage free with bathrooms that were open, clean and stocked and trails that were peppered with benches and picnic areas. Interpretive signs gave good information about trails, plants and animals. We then continued toward Albuquerque to look at bicycles (REI sale). It was then that I spotted the sign for Tinkertown! I had read about this - Ross Ward was a collector and carver who took 40 years to construct a miniature world of circuses, towns and storefronts that have moving items in them. He dragged them around to carnivals and did puppet shows I think. Anyway, it was an eclectic and interesting little stop. Not really a destination but great for kids and decent if you have any kind of imagination!

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