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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Wednesday, July 7 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Touring New Mexico-what to see

There's a lot to see in New Mexico. On a high desert plateau of the Rocky Mountains, Albuquerque is the major city on the legendary Rio Grande, a fact that surprised me when I first learned of it, thinking of the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and Mexico, something it also is. But it begins in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, bisecting the whole state of New Mexico before reaching the Texas-Mexico border at New Mexico's southern border, and from there on down to the Caribbean. It's not much of a river most of the time, only when there are hard rains, which do occur occasionally in the desert.

The Rio Grande is paralleled all the way from El Paso across the length of New Mexico by I-25, which goes on to Denver and beyond to the intersection of I-90 in northern Wyoming.

Albuquerque is fun to drive around, with lots of neon on fast food and suburbia landmarks on all the major arteries. The main historical and photo attraction is old town, the historic district west of the current downtown, which surrounds the plaza that dates to days when this was part of the Spanish territories claimed by Coronado. On the plaza is a large historic Catholic church and many businesses in old-west-style frame buildings.

Around town are innumerable adobe houses, an improvement on the old mud huts they're derived from. Now adobes may have various wall structures, but traditionally they are bricks made from the local clay covered with stucco. They are in their way as colorful and photogenic as Ireland's thatched-roof cottages. There are many of these near the Old Town plaza and it's instructive to drive out from the city center and drive down some of the side streets that are lined by haciendas, many times small ranchos with horses.

The biggest tourist attraction at Albuquerque is the Sandia Mountain Tramway, a two-mile cable car ride in the sky from the foothills to the Sandia mountaintop that looms over the whole Albuquerque valley, something anyone from greater Johnstown should appreciate. Described as the longest such ride in the world, it consists of two cars that meet halfway over one mountain top on the way to—or from—another. Costing $15 for adult riders ($12 seniors over 62), it hangs on a thin cable (much smaller than the ones at the Incline Plane) hundreds of feet from the ground at some points. But it should definitely be in the itinerary of your planned visit to New Mexico; the views both on the way up and back down and once at the top are incredible, seeming to afford much of the state. The tramway runs all year. During the winter it carries skiers and snowboarders up to the peak so they can ski down the opposite slopes (the slope facing Albuquerque is too steep to ski).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Now you know everything (facts and allegations)

10. Apples are more efficient than caffeine at waking you up in the morning.
11. Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin. (No wonder my house is so DUSTY!)
12. The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. So did the first "Marlboro Man."

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Thought for today about growing older

One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Sent by Karl Essex 

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