A little touch of Switzerland (24 May)
While the riders made their way to Albequerque, I drove ahead to the Sandia Mountain Airial Tramway and traveled up to the top of the mountain at 10,320 feet. In contrast to the hot desert floor with its gusty winds, here there was a cool breeze and shady forests, just perfect for hiking. The tramway was originally built by the Bell Company in Kriens, Switzerland (which no longer exists) and the new cars are also from a Swiss company, so I felt just a little proud about it, especially when the driver asked if anyone was out of the country and I could say: Yes! Switzerland. (On the other hand, with my fear of heights, I was not so especially delighted to learn that they boasted the second longest free hanging rope between two towers in the world ... more than a mile!)
The area at the top was truly beautiful with well constructed paths, thick forest and lovely wild flowers. There were, of course, lots of people at the viewing deck, but the further you walked, the fewer people there were. For long stretches I could enjoy birdsong and the rustling of the trees without a soul in sight. After four hours, I returned to the bottom of the tram (the wind had picked up, so the ride down was "exciting") and was just programming my navigator when Emil called to say he was already at the hotel.
This evening we had to say good-bye to two lovely members of the group: Lawrence from L.A. and David from Maine. David made up part of the foursome with which Emil usually rode. He will be sorely missed by all.
We will miss David's quiet humor.
We will miss Lawrence with his ready smile and cheery nature