So, the second part of my time in New Mexico was several days spent venturing out on my own – no more guided tours were booked. I went to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Sandia Peak, Old Town Albuquerque, Historic Route 66, and Sante Fe before returning home on October 4th.
When I got to Albuquerque the day I left Farmington, I went to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and then went to the Sandia Peak and rode the tram up to the top – 10,300 ft elevation! Both were really cool and I was really ready to hit the pillow in my hotel that night, for sure!!!
Sandia Peak Tram:
This tram was an enclosed ride up the side of Sandia Peak – up to 10,300 ft elevation! The ride itself wasn’t very comfortable – had to stand in a crowded tram for something like 15-20 minutes, but the views were pretty cool and time at the top was nice. I also had a late lunch at the tram start point with a nice view, so it was a good time!
Watching the tram return while I was at the top!
This is the spot of a bad plane crash a few years back – the plane flew right into the side of the mountain!
Heart shaped rock! 🙂 ❤
My view during dinner……
…..and, my dinner!
I purchased a few things in the gift shop, too……some t-shirts for my niece and nephew……two gorgeous cowgirl angels and a wonderful cross – all for myself:
I’m glad I didn’t have a whole lot planned right in Albuquerque – not impressed with it – very congested city with horrid traffic! It took me over 45 minutes to drive just under 13 miles through rush hour traffic…..not fun! But, after a good night’s sleep, I went to Old Town Albuquerque the next day……that was much nicer – I really enjoyed spending time wandering around there!
My first stop in Old Town Albuquerque was the San Felipe de Nere Church — incredible!!!
And…..there was so much more to see in Old Town Albuquerque:
On my way back to Albuquerque, I drove down Historic Route 66 for a bit and had lunch at the famous Route 66 Diner……that was way cool!!!
Of course, I had a burger, onion rings, and a vanilla milkshake —- and it was DELICIOUS!!!
they have a “selfie” wall……someone at the end table offered to take my photo, instead of just doing a selfie!
but, of course, I still did a selfie……cause, why not???
It was a bit unsettling, though, to have Elvis watching over me while I was taking care of business in the ladies room! hehehe
Woo Hoo —- a pink flamingo!!!
An old preserved ghost sign across from the diner!
After lunch, I drove about an hour to Sante Fe and found the Old Santa Fe Trail through the historic district……LOVED Santa Fe so much!!! But…..I was running low on gas – I paid to bring it back empty because they locked me into a good price for gas and told me that coming back during the balloon festival will guarantee a MUCH higher price, if I wait…..of course, I didn’t know then that I was cutting my trip short, but that’s OK. So, I was trying not to put too much in when I got low…..but, I wasn’t paying much attention and it got VERY low by the time I got to Santa Fe – like almost completely out of the red zone on the gauge empty!!! I started looking for a gas station……none to be found, easily, so I asked my GPS to find one……every one it directed me to was either closed up or not there at all……finally, I couldn’t wait much longer, so the last one the GPS told me to go to was actually a UPS Store, so I went in and told them the story and asked where the closest one was – they said it was close – just a block away!!! YAY!!! I pulled in there and there were NO diesel pumps (remember, the rental car was a VW Passat)!!! UGH!!! By now, the fumes I was riding on were likely fading away!!! I went inside the convenience store and told them my story and they said “oh, boy – you can only find diesel on the main highways!” Rut Ro!!! They directed me to the main highway about 4 blocks down and another 4 blocks over……I finally found a station with diesel fuel and made it in time!!! WHEW!!! Once I had enough gas to ensure my trip back to Albuquerque and to the airport the next morning, I could relax and see a bit of beautiful Santa Fe!!!
I stopped at the stunning Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi
the first Native American Saint
This is a walking garden with several sculptures representing the Stations of the Cross Prayer Garden consisting of fourteen life-size sculptures representing stages during the events in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. It was very impressive and solemn……
So, that concludes my Colorado and New Mexico trip……if you’re reading this one first, keep scrolling – there are two posts focused on New Mexico and six focused on Colorado!!!
Summary for this trip:
Dates: September 24th – October 4th (11 days – 5 less than originally planned, but it was enough to get to see the best parts)
Flew Buffalo to Denver, Denver to Albuquerque, and Albuquerque to Buffalo
Two rental cars with total miles of 1,478!!! Almost as far as it is from Albion, NY to Monument Valley (the furthest west I went) – which is 1,733 miles as the crow flies!!! Add that together and I traveled over 3200 miles on this trip!!!
To break down the mileage, I put 584 miles on the Hyundai Santa Fe in Colorado (saw and did more there, but everything was closer – less driving) and I put 894 miles on the VW Passat in New Mexico!
And, the best part is I saw some amazing sites, did some really cool things, and made the most awesome memories!!! Definitely a trip well worth the time and money…….fantastic!!!