Day 1:    Sandinistas on the Sandia

Main Page > 1997  The Charles Kuralt Memorial Tour >

Being cheap S.O.B's, the wrong-way Boys headed the wrong way by flying to Pittsburgh in classic Mike and Bone fashion, Having a coupla of hours to kill in a layover before the flight to Albuquerque, the Boys decide to tour the lovely town of Pittsburgh !!


Starting a New Mexico Trip,,,, in Pittsburgh  !?!

Since College Football season was starting up, It made since to check out Danny Marino's old haunt, so the Boys jumped a train bound for Downtown and the Carnegie Mellon/University of Pittsburgh neighborhood. Once off the one hour ride, the Boys realized they had just enough time to check out the main campus, grab a burger and beer at a local College hangout, then have to hurry back to the Airport, not really wanting to hang the whole trip in Pennsylvania !!


So High in the Sandia's !!!

For the entirety of the 4 hour flight from Pittsburgh to Albuquerque the Boys dickered and drank bad beer, with Bone bemoaning how the Wolverines were sure to suffer yet another 8-4 season under Lloyd Carr. Landing in the early afternoon (1:00PM Mountain Time), in quirky Albuquerque, the Boys had been traveling for over 10 hours, between the flight from G.R. to Pittsburgh, and Albuquerque and were glad to get off of the plane. Heading to the rental cars, the Boys were blasted with the 110 degrees of extremely arid heat. Jumping into their convertible, they decided to head directly outta town and into the nearest mountain range, the picturesque salmon-coloured Sandia Mountain Range, which provides Albuquerque a natural Eastern City limit. The Sandia Mountains top at 10,678 feet and are the "High Point on the Turquoise Trail". The view from the observation deck is awe-inspiring.  The Boys took the Sandia Peak Tramway, the longest jig-back tram in the world to a very cool (interesting) and very cool (temperature) place. The view is simply spectacular with a 360 view of the entire city and surrounding Deserts. The desert on one side of the Mountain range is completely different than the desert on the Albuquerque side. There also happens to be a tourist store and restaurant at the top, which just so happens to serve drinks, as the Boys were to experience !!

Taking advantage of the effects of Pulmonary Edema !!   What kills most mountain climbers that don't fall off of the mountain? Its the lack of oxygen !! It is the reason the folks from the Midwest huff and puff in the Mile High City of Denver. Being at  8,000 feet, mid-westerner's Mike and Bone thought it would be "kool" to soak up a few margarita's (to fight off the desert thirst you know!) at the Restaurant at the top of the trolley. 3-4 four margies into the experiment the boys discovered that each margie's effect was doubled at 8,000 feet !! Staggering around, half baked the giggle twins thought it would be appropriate in their light-headed state to hike around the top of the ridge.


A Post-Margie Mike


The Vast Valley below the Sandia's


Mike, Contemplating Life


A Wolverine on the Sandia Range !


The Boys planning to despoil the Natural Beauty of New Mexico below

The views from the top of the Sandia's were spectacular, with one side over looking a green, pine covered set of ridges as far as the eye could see, and the other, a stark, red-toned desert with Albuquerque at its base. After a couple of hour of hiking around the Boys returned to the Trolley at it grew dark to check out their trey kool digs for the night the Jazz Bed & Breakfast !!!


All that Jazz B & B !!




On traditional Mike and Bone trips, the Boys stayed in the cheapest, sleaziest motels one could find along the road, all to save a buck more for beer ! This time, shamed by both their wife's (Sherrie and Sherry), Mike and Bone decided to upscale and stay in a nice bed in breakfast in the Old Town Neighborhood of Albuquerque. Old Town is the center of Albuquerque that has known a European presence for over 500 years, in a city that was founded in 1706. Flags flying in the plaza represent countries of Albuquerque's history: Spain, Mexico, the United States. The Confederate States of America even ruled for a few short weeks. Buildings around the Old Town plaza and on the side streets are authentic adobes up to 300 years old, many built in Albuquerque's distinctive "Territorial Style" architecture combining traditional adobe building methods with Greek details. Being connoisseurs of Jazz music and eclectic neighborhoods, the Jazz B&B seemed like a great choice.


The Peculiar Proprietors !!

"Yep !! It shore is eclectic !!!! Checking in to the Jazz B&B, the Boys discovered that Jazz was in name only, the place was a uniquely decorated home, ran by a couple trying to break into the B&B business with a child. They gave Mike a kids bed to sleep on and Bone a futon !! Despite the lack of plush accommodations they were both gracious and pleasant people and gave the Boys a great recommendation for a chi-chi Southwestern restaurant in Old Town.


Late Night Dinner in  Old Town

Taking off from the B&B around 9:00 Mountain time, it was pitch black as the Boys drove into Old Town and onto Historic Route 66 which was the Main Street of Old Town, and to the Tune Town Cafe, where the food was expensive but excellent along with very cold Corona's. The Boys did not get too carried away that evening, with getting up at 4:00 EST., flying to Albuquerque via Pittsburgh, and getting hammered on the Mountains, they quietly had their dinner and headed back to the Jazz B&B for a most uncomfortable night of sleep in completely inadequate beds.