Sandia Mountain Trip

While we were in New Mexico, we took a trip just out of town to the other side of the Sandia Mountains.  We had learned of the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center which is affiliated with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Sciences and the local school system.  The center provides an outdoor classroom for all of the fifth graders to visit each year and is only open to the public about two days a year.  We happened to be in town for one of those days and made the trek out.

It was easy to find and the location is beautiful.  The East side of the mountains is a long, steady slope.  The West side of the mountains is a jagged wall from the uplift that created the range.  The center is on the East side.  There are several buildings and several miles of well defined hiking trails.

When we arrived, we were surprised to learn that one of the paleontologists from the museum would be providing a lecture on the Ice Age Mammals that lived in New Mexico.  We had some time before the lecture started and he graciously spoke with us about the fossils he had brought with us.  He invited us to stay and listen.  I was game.  Unfortunately, my companions were not interested in sitting through a lecture.  Instead, we decided to follow one of the trails for a while.

Lyn enjoyed herself despite not wanting to follow the path for more than about 10 minutes.  I don't think she ever let the buildings of the center out of sight.  When half of our party decided to turn back, the rest of us continued on for a few more minutes, finding a scenic outlook area and open-air classroom at the top of a hill.  It was lovely.

We were investigated by several hummingbirds who hovered a few inches from us.  They would dart away before we could get a picture of them.  This fine fellow stood still long enough for a portrait, however.


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