Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sandia Man Cave

This past Saturday my wife and my in laws decided to take a short trek up to the Sandia Man Cave. It's quite a coincidence as I recently asked my friends for some free or inexpensive things to do in the Albuquerque area and my good friend recommended I check out the Sandia Man Cave.
Inside the cave, looking out

I should warn those looking to make the trip that the caves are off NM-165 which is not a paved road. It's a dirt road which is pretty smooth in most areas, but there are some definite areas where I had to slow down to a crawl. We were driving my Ford Five Hundred and I didn't want to bottom out. So, heed with caution if you're in a low car or it's been raining.

Some websites say it's a .47 mile hike but it felt a little longer than a half mile. It's a gentle climb up to the cave and will give you some breath taking views of the surrounding area.

One thing my dear friend failed to mention is that upon arrival to the cave, you must go up a spiral staircase that actually hangs out over the ledge. There is nothing underneath you as you climb up the stairs except air. That being said, the staircase felt very sturdy and I just didn't look down as I went up the stairs.

Hopefully you enjoy my photos I snapped during my hike and if you're in the area, it's worth checking out. You will give some incredible vistas of the Sandia Mountains and Las Huertas Canyon. You can view more photo hosted on my other blog at!

Monday, October 13, 2014

7 days to boot camp

7 days until I ship out to Navy RTC in Great Lakes, IL. The reality is definitely starting to sink in. This morning I could feel some emotions welling up and my throat started to tighten up. This coming week I'm definitely going to be spending as much quality time with my wife and my daughter as possible!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pueblo Home - Coronado Historic Site

This is a reconstruction of a traditional pueblo style home. This is part of an exhibit at the Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo, NM.

You can see more photos of the Kuaua Ruins in my photo album on Google+, or view this photo full size on Flickr.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day Trip Pt 1: Gilman Tunnels, Jemez Springs

Earlier in May my mother came to visit us here in New Mexico for the first time. We wanted to pack in as much fun and adventure as we could on a limited budget so we made good use of New Mexico's natural beauties.

We managed to make an entire day trip out of visiting the greater Jemez Springs area. The drive from the Rio Rancho area to Jemez Springs can be mundane in a few spots, but once you get close to Jemez, you enter the Santa Fe National Forest and the surroundings become saturated with beauty. As you travel through this area you can't help but feel as though you're on the set of a classic American western movie. It doesn't get any more authentic than this. Also, as you're driving through the Jemez Pueblo you can get a small glimpse into the Native American lifestyle which is interesting to see.

While in Jemez Springs we stopped by the Jemez Historic Monument which only takes about 30 - 45 minutes to walk through. I can't say there is anything too highly entertaining about this monument but it is always interesting to see historic ruins. For more information on the monument check out this website which gives a detailed history.

The last stop on this day trip was to Gilman Tunnels which were worth the drive just by themselves. While you're driving to the tunnels, which were blasted in the 1920s, you get a great view of the Jemez Mountains which you can see in my photos below. Once you actually reach the tunnels, you'll get a incredible view of the Guadelupe River which may induce vertigo if you're not comfortable with heights (the road is narrow and in some areas is a sheer drop off). You can learn more about the Gilman Tunnels here.

The following day brought us to Petroglyphs National Monument - or, specifically the inactive volcanoes that are responsible for the lava rock found in the surrounding areas. This portion will be coming up in part two of this post, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Corrections is a thankless job

I was a corrections officer for almost two years and was never thanked for what I did. After enlisting in the Navy, several people have already thanked me for my service even though I haven't even left for boot camp yet. I wish COs would get the same recognition and respect that military members receive.

By the way - I'm not saying we as corrections officers *need* to be thanked or recognized for what we do... But it would be nice once in a while.