I’ve not ever spent much time in Albuquerque before, even this trip was less than 24 hours, but a good 24 hours it was. Rich has a nephew in ABQ, so we called Chris and Mia and asked for a dinner date. That’s our third this week with people we enjoy. I enjoy seeing people in their own environment, it’s one of the best things about being on the road. Anyway, they suggested a local favorite, Sadie’s. The food is plentiful, spicy and just down right good – it’s classic New Mexican cuisine and the place was packed. Add the Giants win to the mix and a pitcher of margaritas and it was a great night. We also asked for some suggestions as to where the locals take their friends when they come to town. So these were our stops on Saturday morning….The Frontier for breakfast, right down by the UNM – I counted no less than 9 cashiers and 300 people; great, fast breakfast in a
1960’s era restaurant, it was very cool. Then a trip to Sandia Peak and a ride on the Tram, we saved the rest of the suggestions for our next visit.
The view from the top of the mountain was impressive, you could see all directions from the peak of the mountain at over 10,000 feet, the Tram takes you up 4000 vertical feet in just 14 minutes, I’m counting this as one of my 50 new places this year. On the West side of the mountain is the view of Albuquerque and parts beyond, on the East side is the Sandia Peak ski resort. We stood at the top telling our favorite ski stories.
I learned to ski when I was 16, not a very pleasant memory, a current boyfriend took me to Pomerelle and I skied the Milk Bowl all day, it was exhausting. Not long after, my folks were going to Lake Tahoe for a week, so they invited me to go and put me in ski school. That was the best thing they could have done for me, I never got very good but at least I wasn’t afraid anymore. The first day was at Incline, the second at Heavenly (I fell off the lift), the next two days it snowed – I was secretly thankful because I thought I was done, but the last day we went to Squaw Valley.
Jim Swartz had been my dad’s best friend since the early 60’s, he had a beautiful young wife who I had known since the early 70’s – I still count her as my oldest friend. Jim was a helluva skier, he was short and round but his body was like a Weeble, he might have wobbled, but he never fell down, Jim could ski anything. The afternoon at Squaw, Jim took Diane and I on a run, the powder was so thick. I don’t remember all of it, but I do remember skiing down this long sweeping hillside that was not very steep, Jim leading, I had the rear, somewhere along the way, Diane fell, I fell beside her and the powder buried us. We laid there laughing hysterically while Jim trudged back up the mountain to pick us up. I can’t imagine his thoughts as he turned around to find us and couldn’t see us anywhere, but he could sure hear us. We lost Jim a number of years ago, his memory stays alive in me in the many adventures we shared.
My last ski trip was probably 20 years ago, a Sunday trip up to KellyCanyon, I still wasn’t very good so I stuck to the same trail up and down, up and down, by the time I thought I had it figured out, I went and got on a chairlift all by myself. That was a mistake, I got on the wrong lift. When I got off, I braced myself for a long trip down, I was doing ok until I got to this steep mogul field, a deep breath and I plunged off, I was almost to the bottom when my skis went out from under me and I bounced my head off the mountain. I laid there for a minute trying to catch my breath when ski patrol rolled up. The guy helped me up and said “I thought you were going to make it.” I looked at him quizzically and he admitted he had been following me since I got off the chair lift. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who knew I didn’t belong on that part of the mountain.