October 11, 2009

New Mexico Feeding the Artist's Soul Tour '09

Sandia Peak Tram | Higher and Higher | Epic Day of Adventure

Still abuzz from the epic balloon ride we newly anointed aeronauts float to the car and meandered to the base of the Sandia Mountains over which we had watched the sun rise earlier in the day. After having soared in a gentle hot air balloon up to 400ft above Albuquerque amidst the distant surrounding Sandia mountain range...we now boarded the Sandia Peaks Tramway for an intimate bird's eye view of the mountain landscape.

The world’s longest aerial tramway transported us above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles. The vantage point from the observation deck atop 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest afforded an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.

at the base of the Sandia mountain range

the tram ascends, looking up at the halfway tower

three quarters of the way to the top.....

All the Views That's Fit To Print...

from inside the tram......

...and from the eagles wingtip

reaching the peak

from the peak (10,378ft)

At the peak the landscape unfolds as far as the eye can see...breathtaking fall color and panoramas to feed the artist's soul. It's at this height that I realize that this epic adventure journey is less about sketching per se and much more about nurturing an immersive artistic connection with the colors, landscape, and creative spirit pulsing around me that will feed future creative expressions in line, color and paint. I will seek opportunities to sketch as they arise,...all the while absorbing like a thirsty sponge the experiences and influences of the landscape, artist community, and creative spirit of NM.

the return ride

back at the foot of the Sandia mountains
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Back on the ground....the adventure doesn't get any higher than this. The combination of the balloon and tram rides is thoroughly intoxicating, beyond words and pictures, complete with a big wide perma grin. We round out the epic day with a homeward journey to Santa Fe via the Turquoise Trail, this time with the intent to spend a little time in one of the "ghost town" artist colonies, Madrid, along the way....

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