Category Archives: albuquerque

Rail Yard Market, La Luz Trail and surprise encounters (Sam Donaldson and a rattler)  — Albuquerque 

As expected, The Rail Yard Market in downtown Albuquerque blew me away. Open seasonally, only on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, it’s a farmers market and crafts market inside a fantastic old Santa Fe Railroad building – an enormous brick, metal and glass structure with some busted windows to keep things authentic and almost seaglass-colored glass panes here and there — in various shades of green and yellow.  I found some great gifts (Ecuadorian jewelry, southwestern tea towels, green chili seasonings) and killer sticky buns and chili cornbread muffins at Burque Bakery.Dog with booties

Perhaps the best part was the people watching, lots of alternative types – multi-colored dreadlocks, vintage clothes, lots of tattoos and pierces, a Great Dane wearing booties.

Today we drove northeast (I am directionally challenged in this city) to the Sandia  foothills, where we went on a great hike on the La Luz Trail, once we found the trail head. Therein lies a tale. As we were driving in the foothills on a narrow winding road past a few large stucco homes, I spotted a silver haired man watering his lawn and asked if he knew where the trailhead was. He didn’t but he looked so familiar. I suddenly realized that he was a famous former TV reporter but couldn’t remember his name. In a few seconds as we were turning around in his drive, I blurted out. “Are you Sam Donaldson?” “Yes I am,” he responded. I mumbled something about appreciating his reporting and off we went. He covered the White House for years for ABC so I probably should have said I wished he was covering Trump.

Our other big encounter was with a rattlesnake, fortunately at the end of our hike. Another hiker spotted the rattler slithering across  the trail and gave us a heads up that it was in the brush at the edge of the trail but did not appear to be coiled or in strike mode so we assessed the situation and quickly walked past the brush. The  terrain reminded us a lot of our hikes in Tucson, with desert vegetation, orange and purple wild flowers and a glorious view of the mountains on our left and the valley spread out below, with downtown in the distance. One pleasant difference: the weather here is not as scalding hot as Tucson, 80s vs 100 plus weather.

One thing that has been irritating here is all the road construction, especially on Central Avenue. Driving is like an obstacle course at times with clogged streets, hard-to-discern rerouting, traffic jams. My relatives here are not happy about it and I can see why.


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BReaking Bad, Burger Boy, Farmers market and Silver Hill historic District and Airbnb — Albuquerque 

We are staying in a cool old bungalow on Silver Street in a historic district near UNM in Albuquerque, which  is a change since we usually stay with relatives here. But because there are about 30 of us, we spread out into Airbnbs all over. We arrived early enough to catch the last hour of the farmers market in Robinson Park downtown, which is always fun and has good baked goods (a fresh croissant place) and good tacos and vendors selling chilies. 

Some of those green chilies ended up on our burgers at Burger Boy, a roadside joint along the backroad to Sante Fe (the torquise trail) one of my favorite roads here (thru Madrid)  where we met up with adventurous family members who had just experienced “goat yoga'” so were in an especially jolly mood (and had hilarious photos). After our burgers and crispy fries, Wellington piled us into a van he’d rented to transport a rowdy Cuban band (who happened to be on our flight) who were playing at a Latin music festival. Off we went on a Breaking Bad tour, visiting several locations used for the famous TV show and some entrepreneurs capitalizing on the show, including “The Candy Lady” in old town where we could pose in Walter garb with rock candy resembling blue crystal meth. Kind of a weird thing to base your tourism on but whatever works!

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