New Mexico, Albuquerque, Home to the World’s Longest Tram


The two and a half mile tramway from Albuquerque’s foothills to the top of ten-thousand-foot Sandia Mountain is no longer the longest in the world.  It enjoyed that record until less than one year ago when a mile longer one opened in Southern Armenia.

Yesterday, as the guest of my Safari Trek pals, Ken and Cathy, I took the 15-minute ride.  The late afternoon sun was full upon the rugged cliffs and canyons for the eastward, ear-popping 4000-elevation gain.

No bears had been sighted for three days when a mother and two cubs had been spied.  Sometimes we were less than 100 feet above the ground, then the ground dropped from below us as we soared a 1000 feet above a deep canyon. 

Off to the left was TWA Canyon named for the TWA flight that wandered in on the night of Feb 19, 1955, and was claimed by the walls of the box canyon.  Wreckage is still visible to the sharp-eyed tram rider or hikers up to the 5-hour athletic challenge.

From the top, Albuquerque lay like an Indian blanket with a hundred miles of desert, mountains, the Rio Grande–a silver snake–in the foreground and virga rain clouds (showers that fall from high clouds into dry air and do not reach the ground) stretching into forever .

We watched the sunset.


And the city lights come alive.

Thanks, Ken and Cathy.

9 Responses to New Mexico, Albuquerque, Home to the World’s Longest Tram

  1. Colleen Rae says:

    Al
    Absolutely breathtaking! Thanks for the photos. BTW, I’m still in the Bay Area. We enjoyed the beauty of Santa Cruz and the delicious tasting of wine up north. Tomorrow have a luncheon with my Fourth St Writers. Will try to make the CWC meeting in Marin in afternoon.

  2. Alan stowell says:

    Excellent pics Al!
    Still miss you as the skipper of a one-ton Pearson 36 tho.
    Oh well!
    The corrida season starts here in Pachuca tomorrow. Back to “my” thing”!
    saludos y cuidate,
    Alan

  3. Dave L says:

    Great photos and nice piece of writing as well. If we move from here, and that’s likely. Albuguerque will be high on our list. If you get up to Taos, you must stop at the Taos Country Inn and say hello to Yoland Deveaux. Karen and I were married there in 92 and back again in 97. She’s a sweetheart, you’ll love her.
    Taos Country Inn
    720 Karavas Road
    Taos, NM 87571
    Phone: +1-575-758-4900
    Fax: +1-575-758-0331
    Innkeeper
    Yolanda Deveaux

  4. Al,

    Great post, I have never been to New Mexico sure looks great. Isn’t your year almost up? You haven’t even crossed the Mississippi, enjoy another year or two. Patty and I are fine, the B&B is over the top on Trip Advisor see some of her reviews sunpassranch.com and the boat business defies all odds, we are still closing deals. Love your travel stories and beautiful photos. Enjoy, my brother.

    • allevenson says:

      LOL. I thought I’d be rounding the top mark somewhere in the Canadian Maritimes about now and getting ready to set the chute for a long leg to leeward. I find more and more to slow me down and bring me to a halt. I am giving the next year to the east coast and I am hoping a year is sufficient. No surprise to me that if anyone would b able to survive and prosper in a bad economy it would be you. You’re the best. Sunpass is still on my bucket list. Thanks for the note. Gran abrazos to you and Patty.

  5. Going to be flying in there in mid-October to spend a few days in Southern Colorado. Probably won’t have time for the tram, but we sure looking forward to that part of the world.

    Talk to you later!

  6. kristija48 says:

    Al, last spring my friend Leanne linked me to your site as I was planning to become a full timer. You told me about wordpress.com. We have been on the road since June and I have been learning to blog. We are in Santa Fe’ now and decided last night to go to Albuquerque this week and take the tram. And lo, I open up your blog this morning. Wow. The pictures say it all. Can hardly wait.
    I write my blog for friends and family to keep up. I am not the writer you and Pat Bean are. But I love sharing our journey with my friends. I am kristija48.wordpress.com.

    • allevenson says:

      Kristija. Thanks for the note. I will have a look at your blog. Blogs are fun on several levels. Not the least of which is the private pleasure of the writer. since you are close by, I’d urge you to visit Madrid, an intriguing and curious place. In some ways the people here are living in a time warp. Madrid is between ABQ and Santa Fe on route 14. If uou get this way, stop at the boarding house and sit on the porch for a while. Tell them AL sent you.

  7. karen wittgraf says:

    Seems you have a real love for New Mexico and I don’t blame you. Your pics were mind blowing (especially having just returned from New York). Onward to Kansas, right? Doubt you’ll find too many scenic views there. I’ll be anxious to see!

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