We arrived at about 6:00, so I was a bit worried about the impending darkness spoiling our view, but this was not a problem. In fact, the sun was just setting as we came back down, and provided a spectacular sunset background to the decent.
For the "uninitiated", a tramway is a rectangular box with windows, holding about 30 people attached to a steal cable that is pulled up and down that cable by large steel wheels. The cable is supported by tall towers up the mountain. Because this tramway has to cross a large canyon, it has one extremely long unsupported cable run and this is why they call the tramway ride a "flight".
|Beautiful Views from the Top|
Unfortunately, due to extreme fire hazard, the mountain was completely closed, and we were warned to stay on the observation decks. The National Forest has many hiking trails that would have made for interesting adventures. One trail about two miles in length, would have taken us to a hiker's shelter with beautiful 360 degree views of the area. There was a restaurant at the top, where we could have eaten, but we just enjoyed the nice cool mountain temperatures for a while and then went back down.
|Tourists at the Top.|
We were told about about black bears, mountain goats, falcons, and even cougars, but even with everyone searching the rocks and trees passing below us, we saw nothing except a couple of scraggly squirrels stealing scraps from the garbage. I think this is just a corporate strategy to keep people occupied on the flight so they don't worry about the 1000 foot drop, and the tramway built in 1965.
|Sunset on Sandia Peak|