Making our way south from Durango, we spent four days and five nights in one of our favorite US cities, Albuquerque, New Mexico. We love the bicycling there, but this time we were also excited to be there during the International Balloon Fiesta. We'd never seen anything like it and had heard how great it was supposed to be.
But before we show you photos of all the dazzling balloons, we thought we'd show you some of the other things we saw and did during our stay and save balloons for the next post or two. Okay? Okay!
On our very first ride on the Paseo del Bosque Trail, a real gem of a paved trail that is one of the reasons we love riding in this city so much, I heard a rustling in the brush right as I entered the trail from the road. I looked over, and what did I see but two coyotes, very close and seemingly unfazed by me. Woah! I've never seen them so close before. They wandered off, but not until Barry had snapped a couple of photos.
Here's some more wildlife we saw while pedaling the trail. This is either a Cooper's or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk; they look very similar.
We always see a Roadrunner -- or two -- while riding the trail.
One one of our days in town, after viewing balloons in the morning, we headed south on a couple of different paved trails and checked out the University of New Mexico; the first time we'd seen that. Here's one of the trails we rode on to get there.
The campus is large and fun to ride around in. Here's some colorful art we ran across while riding around campus.
And a fountain....
This mural was not on campus but right outside it.
Also right outside campus boundaries is the Frontier Restaurant, an Albuquerque tradition we just found out about on this trip from our farmer friend Jennifer from Walla Walla! She highly recommended we check it out, and we are so glad we did. We didn't have a bike lock so had to settle for a couple of their world-famous cinnamon rolls to go.
Cinnamon rolls in tow, we headed back across the street to campus, where we devoured them. They were so amazingly yummy!
Here's another of the trails we rode, right along I-40.
Fall foliage just starting to show up here alongside the Paseo del Bosque.
And a cool bike sculpture along the Paseo del Bosque in memory of an Albuquerque cyclist.
As you probably noticed from the photos above, we didn't have the typical bright blue skies and sunshine Albuquerque is known for. The remnants of a Pacific tropical storm were passing through, bringing us mostly overcast skies and some rain while we were in the city. That was too bad, but we still had off and on sunshine peeking through, including one time when we rode into Old Town.
Here are some of the many sculptures outside the Albuquerque Museum.
I'm always up for a little silliness!
More sculptures outside the museum....
I love the beautiful tile mosaic art on this entrance to Old Town.
And the dried chile peppers are cool too!
We stopped in at "La Choco" for a sweet treat -- toffee and Green Chile fudge! It was delicious but pricey. Old Town is very tourist-oriented and prices reflect that. The fudge actually tasted kind of like gingerbread -- yum.
This tiny cottage right by Old Town really caught my eye. It's amazing how the colors perfectly echo those in the morning glories. I think they planted the flowers first, then painted the cottage trim to match, don't you?
To get to and from Old Town, we took this "Bicycle Boulevard" right off of the Paseo del Bosque. Its low speed limit and lighter traffic makes it a good connector road for cyclists going to and from the bike path.
Of course a trip to Albuquerque wouldn't be complete without a visit to our favorite restaurant, the Range Cafe. I still owe my friend Becky back in North Carolina for telling us about this place a couple of visits back. We haven't missed it since!
This timeI had some really delicious salmon served with a potato puff and snow peas. I also had a cup of butternut squash soup, while Barry started with a bowl of the same. Mmmmmm....
Barry kept his dinner light with a green and fruit salad topped with chicken breast -- he was saving room for dessert! They are known for their desserts and have a huge case that makes it nearly impossible to choose.
Here's what he saved room for -- this amazing warm brownie sundae topped with lovely homemade ice creams, chocolate and caramel sauces, and nuts on top. Crazy decadent, no?!
I went "light" with Key Lime Pie...so good. I was already full when it came, so Barry got some too!
Despite less than perfect weather, we surely had a great time in Albuquerque once again...and you know what comes along after the rain, don't you? A double rainbow, that's right!
Stay tuned for balloons, balloons, balloons!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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