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Meet the New Mexico, Same as the Old Mexico

Rob Across America

Albuquerque, NM—I seem to be hitting my stride; the four hours in the car today were nothing. The fact that the drive was equally as scenic as yesterday’s but more populated and less lengthy helped quite a bit. However, had I known what Albuquerque had in store for me, the trip probably would have seemed much longer.

I knew next to nothing about Albuquerque before today, and I now know slightly less than nothing. The little bit of new knowledge I have comes thanks to Mark Bixby and his excellent girlfriend Jody, my generous hosts. They have a beautiful home with beautiful cats and dogs at the base of the beautiful Sandia Mountains. This place of residence is the most foreign this unabashed city boy has had the pleasure of coming across so far. The pueblo-style architecture, the high altitude, the vegetation scarcely taller than me, the threat of scorpions—these are things we don’t have in Philadelphia. We also lack the world’s longest arial tramway.

From the Sandias

Mark and I rode in a box dangling from a cable for 2.7 miles to reach the 10,378 foot Sandia Peak. On a clearer day, it apparently offers an even more incredible view than the incredible view we had today. A short, photogenic hike (which was a good warmup for the forthcoming Grand Canyon) prepared our appetites for an outstanding Mexican dinner at the very charming El Pinto. It was good enough that I didn’t even mind that it was too late for Mario Kart by the time we got back (though I wouldn’t be surprised if my hosts were woken up early tomorrow by the sound of screeching tires and Italian-accented cries of “Here we go!”).

Of Anthems and Traveling Companions

Tomorrow marks a new chapter in this story as my good friend Wayne will be joining me for the next nineteen days. I’ll tell you all about him tomorrow, but for now, I want to mark the occasion by revealing what I’ve decided to be this trip’s theme song, chosen simply for the fact that it gets stuck in my head every time I see the name of this site. Enjoy!