Sandia Mountain on the Turquoise Trail

This was an incredible excursion for us flat-landers. The mountains we’re used to are the Blue Ridge in the Virginias and Carolinas. Average elevation there is around 4,000 feet. The mountains in New Mexico average double that and sometimes more.

Sandia Mountain, so named for its rosy colored granite on the western face (not on hazy days like when we were there) is almost 11,000 feet at its apex. Sandia is the Spanish word for watermelon.

The air is thin the higher you go. We had taken plenty of water with us, but still found ourselves breathing heavily after a short hike on this mountain. We gave up the hike and drove to the gift shop/restaurant near the summit. As you can see from the photo below, the elevation at that point, still about 400 fee from the top, was 10,678 feet. It is one mile above the city of Albuquerque and two miles above sea level.

Turquoise Trail, NM

There was a trail below this area that shows the contrast between the rocks and the trees, and lets the viewer see somewhat of the incline going up the path. Unfortunately, it was a bright hazy day so the photos are not as clear as we would like, but we would be leaving the are, thus not having another opportunity for better photos. From the summit one can see one hundred miles in any directionn

Turquoise Trail

This photo is from an overlook from which we could see the city of Albuquerque far below.

The Turquoise Trail

Bees, butterflies, and indigenous flowers and plants always capture our attention. This next photo is, according to the pictures I searched on the internet to identify it, a New Mexico Locust Tree.

Turquoise Trail

Some trees just seem to go with the flow, bend with the wind, never defeated, as the tree shown here:

Turquoise Trail

Again, based on the photos on the internet, this next flower appears to be Mountain Parsley. I’m not sure what the purple flowers are that have intermingled.

Turquoise Trail

Due to this little bee being so busy he came out fuzzy, but we found him in the Purple Locoweed.

Turquoise Trail

A small butterfly is just as lovely as a larger one. This one also likes the Purple Locoweed. Can you spot it?

Turquoise Trail

Well, that’s all for this segment of the trip. Tune in next week for the next segment. Stop by and say hello. We’re always glad to meet new folks, make new friends, and chat with the ones we already have. Bye for now.

Note: All photos were taken by Tom and are copyright protected.