Today however, it was beautiful!!. There were high clouds but the sky was a brilliant blue and there was snow on the mountain...so of course I set out. This time however I decided to go up the back way on Route 14, The Turquoise Trail.
Tinkertown was closed for the season [see link at right] so I did not stop there. The roads started out great....but as you'll soon see that changed....
The Sandia Mountains can be very deceiving. The western slope gets the most sun and is very much the southwest in appearance: dry, lots of rock and brush and very brown. The eastern slope however is very much forest land. Green, cooler and during monsoon season very lush.
In 2005 a friend of mine had come to visit and I thought I'd take him up to the peak from the eastern slope. From down below on the western side it was cloudy but very much a mild day. As we got to about the 7000 feet on the eastern side we hit a very strong rain storm. So strong that I felt uncomfortable and decided to turn back.
The same happened today. The western side was beautiful, high clouds and mild. The eastern slope started out that way but again, around the 7000 feet mark the roads iced over and snow and slush were everywhere....
Needless to say I was getting nervous. I noticed a car that had slid off the road into a snow bank...gulp... and as I got further up I saw this van in the middle of the road and some other cars pulled off to the side. This made me rethink my plans and as soon as I could I turned around...started to spin out but took it slowly and soon was on my way back down.... I'll take the tram.... yikes. The last thing I want is to spin out and over some cliff and then have FOX make a bad tv movie about me with some bad unknown actor playing me.
Yo Dale...how on earth do you live with these kind of conditions eight months out of the year...I'd go CRAZY!!.
Anyhoo -- next up I take the tram [again] up the western slope. Here's a peak [pun intended]: