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Hannett’s Joke.........................................................................5 Sailplanes.................................................................................8 Pinto Bean Fiesta.....................................................................9 Wildlife West Nature Park....................................................10 Single Action Shooting Society............................................12 Tijeras Pueblo .......................................................................14 Salt Missions Trails................................................................16 Manzano Mountains..............................................................18 Rodeo Roundup.....................................................................20 Salinas National Monument.................................................22 Sunflower Festival..................................................................23 Manzano Mountain Arts.......................................................26 Mountain Villages.................................................................27 Tinkertown............................................................................28 Paa-Ko Ridge Golf.................................................................29 Punkin Chunkin....................................................................30 Agriculture.............................................................................32 Estancia..................................................................................32 Sandia Mountains..................................................................34 Turquoise Trail Communities...............................................36 Turquoise Trail......................................................................37 Sandia Ski Area.....................................................................38 Snowshow Racing..................................................................39 Madrid....................................................................................40 Plenty to See, Plenty to Do...................................................42 On the Web...........................................................................44
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P.O. Box 2225, • Moriarty, NM 87035-2225 (505) 823-7100
David B. Puddu — Publisher Rory McClannahan — Editor 823-7102 Mike Bush— Reporter 823-7105 Harold Smith — Reporter 823-7104 JIM GOODMAN — Advertising 823-7108 Beverly trujillo — Advertising 823-7109 CONNIE SANCHEZ-WILSON – Classified Advertising 823-7100

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Mountain View Telegraph (USPS # 018-451, ISSN # 154-59543) is published weekly by Number Nine Media Inc.,P.O. Box 2225, Moriarty, NM 87035 . SINGLE COPY 50 cents MAIL RATES In State: $22 per year Out of State: $45 per year All mail subscriptions are payable in advance. Application to mail at Periodical Postage Rates paid at Albuquerque, NM 87103. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mountain View Telegraph, P.O. Box 2225, Moriarty, NM 87035. Letters to the editor and guest columns are welcome and must be signed by the writer and include a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters and columns are subject to editing. Correspondence should be directed to Mountain View Telegraph, P.O. Box 2225, Moriarty, NM 87035-2225. Phone: 823-7100. Fax: 823-7107.




East Mountains & Estancia


Hannett’s Joke Becomes Retribution Road
Route 66 alignment through the area came about through political maneuvers


hen Gov. A. T. Hannett lost his bid for re-election to the New Mexico Statehouse in November 1926, he was furious, so much so (or so the story goes), that he immediately set out to seek revenge. At the time, Route 66 had not been built in central New Mexico, but plans called for an alignment that followed the Old Pecos Trail north from Santa Rosa to Santa Fe, then looping south over La Bajada and down into Albuquerque. The governor, to get back at Santa Fe politicians who he felt had betrayed him, reportedly drew a straight line on the map from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque and decreed that that was where and how the road would be built. Not only would the new path cut 90 miles off the east-west drive, it would free motorists from the perils of the notoriously dangerous La Bajada. But perhaps more importantly, it would also deprive the Santa Fe business allies of those damnable state politicians of any and all money travelers might spend. That winter, in the two months between the election and the swearing-in of the new governor, Hannett managed to build an entire new stretch of road between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque, leaving Santa Fe and its politicians high and dry. Although the road was essentially a dirt trail, just as the recently designated Route 66 road that curled up to Santa Fe, people trying to save time getting to Albuquerque started using the new road. In 1937, when the federal government was looking to put down asphalt on the unpaved portions of Route 66 in New Mexico, Hannett’s hastily constructed road had the higher use, and thus the Mother Road was

A Route 66 curio shop now stands empty just east of Moriarty, bypassed by Interstate 40.

The Whiting Bros. gas station in Moriarty is the only one of its kind to still be operating in the country. Next to it is the Sunset Motel, an original Route 66 motor inn.

For more than 40 years, Route 66 winded realigned through the Estancia Valley and through the area and became a legend celEast Mountains. It took more than a decade, but Hannett ebrated in books, movies, songs and televifinally had the last laugh. Continued on page 6





Continued from page 5 The road bed for old Route 66 cuts through the side of Tijeras Canyon. The famous road was replaced by Interstate 40 in the 1970s.

sion shows The road lost its designation in the 1970s when Interstate 40 was built along much of the same path. Now, Old Route 66 serves as an alternative road into Albuquerque and as a freeway frontage road. A group of local business owners, government officials and individuals, though, are working at restoring the road. The first step was to brand the leg of Route 66 through the Estancia Valley and East Mountains as Retribution Road. “This leg of Route 66 is very well known and garners a lot of interest among the enthusiasts,” said Kaisa Barthuli of the National Park Service’s Route 66 Preservation Program. In the coming months, signs will start to appear to better identify attractions along the Mother Road, and the group RETRO — Revitalize the Road is working on other improvements to attractions along the route. If you are a visitor to our area we encourage you to stay awhile, wander a bit from Route 66 and see some of the many reasons why we call the Estancia Valley and East Mountains home.

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East Mountains & Estancia


Moriarty Home Gives a Lift to Sailplanes

The air currents in the Estancia Valley make Moriarty an ideal place for soaring. he Estancia Valley is known around as the base for glider enthusiasts from far New Mexico for its pinto beans, and wide. On nearly any day visitors can ride out to the airport and watch as the pumpkins and friendly folks. But the area has a much wider reputa- gliders line up for their turn to be towed aloft. tion for something else: soaring. With the construction of a new crossA convergence of factors has made the valley, and Moriarty in particular, an inter- winds runway, the airport is seeing more nationally known center for this pastime. activity. In 2013, the airport will host the All day long in the summer, and often Soaring Society of America Region 9 for much of the rest of the year, tow planes Super Regional Sailplane Race from June can be heard pulling the silent aircraft into 3 to June 8. Also, a Vintage Sailplane meet the sky. When local residents hear this, will be held Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Sundance Aviation at the Moriarty they often look skyward and wait for the quiet birds to be released on the long and Airport offers glider rides to the public. Folks who have been soaring over the winding trip back to Earth. The cool nights and warm days in the area in gliders for the past 30 years thought valley create a desert thermal that gives Moriarty would also be the perfect place for a museum celebrating free flight, and anything with wings a nice lift. The Moriarty Municipal Airport serves they set out to build it.


Getting Around moriarty
8 • 2013-14 visitors


The Southwest Soaring Museum opened its doors at the Moriarty Municipal Airport in 1996, only the second museum of its type in the country. The Moriarty museum collection includes several rare sailplanes such as a Hummingbird motorglider designed and built by noted aircraft designer Ted Nelson in 1954. The glider is a progenitor of modern gliders, is one of only about 20 Nelson built. One goal of the museum, Applebay said, is showing people — and especially children — the progression of glider technology over the last 100 years. For more information, contact the museum at 832-9222 or 832-0755, or visit the Web site at www.swsoaringmuseum. org.

stablished in 1887 and named for an original homesteader. Settlers were dryland farmers, but today you see pivot irrigation rigs and alfalfa, feed corn, wheat, pinto beans, pumpkins and other crops. The New Mexico Central depot was completed in 1903, and traces of the old railroad bed remain. Moriarty has a museum, 212 motel rooms, 10 restaurants and two truck stops. The Albuquerque Soaring Club is based at the Moriarty airport. The city is named after Michael Moriarty who stopped on his way to California and never left. Moriarty is known for housing stranded Interstate 40 motorists in winter.


Why Not Celebrate the Pinto Bean?

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New Mexicans know that when you want pinto beans, you come to the annual Pinto Bean Fiesta to stock up for the year. f you’ve never been to all to remind everyone of the Moriarty in October, you important role the pinto bean don’t know beans. has played in the valley. Residents of the Estancia A large grassy area at City Valley do. Pinto beans were Park is ringed with booths sella huge cash crop for the val- ing everything from arts and ley in the early 20th century, crafts to food as a day-long lineand Mountainair was known as up of bands entertains the tradithe Pinto Bean Capital of the tionally large crowds. Children World. can enjoy the new playground Bean crops in the Estancia area, and nearby ballfields are Valley aren’t as extensive today usually in use too. as they once were. Seventy years The Estancia Valley was the ago, beans were planted on doz- primary pinto bean source for ens of farms from Stanley to the rest of the country before Claunch. Now, according to drought and a falling market U.S. Department of Agriculture nearly destroyed bean farming figures, less than 1,000 acres in in the valley during the 1950s. New Mexico are dedicated to Local farmers say Estancia growing pinto beans ‑ most of Valley pinto beans are higher that in the Estancia Valley. Residents from throughout in quality that most other pinto the valley and beyond come beans because of New Mexico’s together in Moriarty each fall dry climate and the high altito celebrate the area’s relation- tude. Because of those qualities, ship with the local legume at the annual Moriarty Pinto Bean local farmers say they don’t have to go looking for a market Fiesta. The bean fiesta will take to sell their beans — the market comes to them, and usually durplace on Oct. 12 in 2013. Festivities start with a pan- ing the Pinto Bean Fiesta. For more information on cake breakfast at the City Park and generally include fun runs, the Pinto Bean Fiesta, cona pinto bean cookoff, music, tact the Moriarty Chamber of games, a rodeo and a parade — Commerce at 832-4087.


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East Mountains & Estancia


Getting In Tune With Nature at Wildlife West

ildlife West Nature Park is a high-desert animal preserve and music hot spot along Route 66 in Edgewood. It’s the central New Mexico home of rescued native wildlife, a venue for summer music festivals and 122 acres of accessible nature trails that lead visitors on a fun and educational adventure. Twenty-four species of wildlife and raptors call Wildlife West Nature Park their home ­ — cougars, wolves, a black bear, fox, pronghorn, javelina, hawks and more.


Wildlife West Nature Park
WHEN: Daily hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during daylight-saving season; noon to 4 p.m. during winter. WHERE: Edgewood, I-40 Exit 187. On the north side of the interstate, take the frontage road about a mile west to the park entrance. HOW MUCH: Self-guided tours are $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students and seniors, free to children under 5. INFORMATION: or call 281-7655.

Lions, tigers and bears; oh my! OK, so Wildlife West Nature Park doesn’t have any tigers, but there is still plenty to see and do without making Dorothy surrender.

They all have names and they all have stories. Hobo, an American kestrel, was found living with a homeless man; Forrest, a grey fox, lost his parents and was found in a boxcar along railroad tracks in southern New Mexico. Other animals that have joined the Wildlife West family include a grey fox, two crested caracaras (Mexico’s national bird seen occasionally in New Mexico), a bear and a coati, which is a relative of the raccoon and is sometimes known as a snookum bear. One of the biggest draws for the park is it’s Mexican gray wolves, said Roger Alink, who
Continued on page 11





Continued from page 10 founded the park. “We’re dedicated to helping the wolves,” Alink said. If you are more into the feline than the canine, the park also has couple of big cougars. Animals are the main attraction at the park, but it also plays host to many other activities. In addition to the sometimes regal, mostly furry and often entertaining creatures at Wildlife West, the park hosts a regular calendar of events including sunset barbecue chuckwagon dinners, western music concerts, bluegrass festivals, melodrama and play performances, junior zookeeper day camps, hayrides, disk golf course and more. All events take place at the park’s large all-weather amphitheater or in the restored western barn. Winter, summer, spring or fall, Wildlife West Nature Park changes with the seasons, but remains beautiful year ‘round with picnic areas, free dry camping and the covered amphitheater available for family events and company parties. For more information go to www.

Taste the Old West When the Sun Goes Down
Chuckwagon dinners are a western tradition, according to Roger Alink, founder of Wildlife West Nature Park. He said the tradition goes back to the final meal of the day for cattle drivers. “Chuckwagon is typically a barbecue mean feast kind of thing,” Alink said. “Out on the prairie, they had wagons with a chuckbox where Cookie kept flour and stuff to prepare the meal.” The wagons would circle, a fire was built, a cow butchered and cowboy songs were sung before dinner was served. Wildlife West is keeping a version of that tradition alive with its chuckwagon dinners, where barbecue beef, chicken, baked potatoes, beans, apple sauce, dinner roll, coffee, lemonade, water, and cookies are all part of the menu. Vegetarian options are also available. There is also usually a falcon flight or wildlife presentation before dinner and the teenagers who work at the park through a Youth Conservation Corps grant put on a puppet show with animal puppets. The show during the chuckwagon dinners is live western or bluegrass music and will feature Holy Water & Whiskey as well as the Buckarettes. “If you come at 5:30 it’s nonstop entertainment until 9 p.m.,” Alink said. For 2013, the chuckwagon dinner runs 7-9 p.m. every Saturday night from June 15 through Aug. 31 and includes a foot-stomping slate of live western music performances. Ticket prices for adults are $25 each; seniors, $23; children ages 5-11, $12; and kids under 5 are free. The park can serve 500 people and the dinners are catered, so reservations are required by 2 p.m. the day of the dinner. Prices include admission to the wildlife park and hayrides. Contact the park at 281-7655 or e-mail for more information.



2083 Old Hwy 66


Monday - Saturday 8-5 • Closed Sundays 1-1/2 mile E. of Edgewood


East Mountains & Estancia


The Old West Comes Alive During End of Trail
ingle Action Shooting Society members are living in a fantasy world. It’s a world that will open to the public for the final days of SASS’s End of Trail, the society’s largest shooting competition. End of Trail will be held in 2013 from June 22 through June 30, with the public invited to come out starting on June 28. Modeled after a cowboy party, what could have been the celebration at the end of a cattle drive in the late 1800s, End of Trail also is a big celebration of the Old West that is going on outside of Edgewood. This year will mark the 32nd anniversary of End of Trail. It marks a chance to see live gun twirling, knife throwing, Western shootout re-enactments and some live buffalo that wander Founders Ranch. The ranch is a sprawling 480-acre property whose most prominent features are its clapboard storefronts and the gun-toting cowboys committed to the fantasy. Getting there takes a short drive down a hilly, rural road outside of Edgewood, a few turns and a descent into a bowl that shuts out the modern world for more than 1,000 participants, most of them in authentic Western gear from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Stepping into another world is certainly part of the draw for Travis Boggus of Moriarty. Every week or two, Boggus slings guns and knocks down targets, pitting his fast draw against the abilities of others in timed shooting matches. Boggus said he also steps into the character of “Boggus Deal,” a man from the Wild West who likes to dress in fine clothes and has been known to play cards on occasion. Continued on page 13


The fun for competitors at End of Trail is the shooting contests. The event will feature several new events in 2013, including a quick draw competition.

Getting Around Edgewood


he 1937 rerouting of Route 66 (to east-west here) caused the growth of areas like Edgewood, which became New Mexico’s newest incorporated town in 1999. Business along 66, a quarter-mile south of I-40, and N.M. 344 include a supermarket, drug store, restaurants, a 100-unit RV park, local

crafts and a car dealership. North of the freeway, a Walmart Superstore was built several years ago. This community 20 miles east of Albuquerque was known as Barton and Venus. It is located at the edge of wooded hills, where the grassy plains to the east meet the forested Sandia Mountains to the west.





Continued from page 12

Boggus has been a cowboy shooter for 7½ years, he said, and is still building up his alter-ego. “I get all dressed up,” he said. “It’s a fantasy game that we play. It’s a great way to get out of the daily grind.” He also has a working cowboy costume — something simple for most of the shooting matches or a buffalo chip toss, one of the shooting society’s more colorful side events — but he seems to favor his fancy, Victorian gambler duds and top hat. His costuming is mild compared with some, though. “I’m more about the shooting,” he said. Visitors also can get a taste of the sport that Boggus is so fond of at the event. There will be a few cowboy action guns, the kind where you have to thumb back the hammer, on display for visitors to crack off a shot or two. They can also try their hand at another attraction — an old-fashioned shooting gallery from the 1950s, complete with .22 rifle and moving lead ducks and other targets. One of the attractions for local people, even those who don’t shoot, is sure to be the Wild West shows, put on Professor

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Margaritas, and fantastic raffles and giveaways to benefit the SASS Scholarship founInfo Box dation. This evening’s program also stages the END of TRAIL Saloon Girl and Parlor The Single Action Shooting Society House Madam Costume Contests, where the will hold its annual End of Trail event ladies compete for top honors and awards in from June 28 through June 30 at a flurry of feathery boas and fine flattery. Founders Ranch. Through the day, visitors can also ride a The event will feature competitors stagecoach drawn by four horses; they can from all over the world. pet the ranch’s two black-and-white baby The public is invited to attend. longhorns named Skunky and Bandit; or the Cost is $8 with children under age 12 kids can ride a full-grown longhorn. There free. also will also be trick rope work, gun twirlFor directions to Founders Ranch ers, country and western singers, and Dutch or more information, call 877-411oven cooking demonstrations. SASS or go online to It’s one of the largest events of its kind, according to Tom Hewitt, a vendor in past years. EDGEWOOD PROFESSIONAL CENTER Farquar’s Great American Medicine office Showpark located “There’s lots of entertainment. This is Edgewood’s newest professional at 1851 Old Highway 66 in Edgewood. Now open at this new location... and Derringers and Daggers. But that’s not the granddaddy cowboy shoot,” Hewitt said. We Offer On Site X-rays all that’s available Family for entertainment. The • Edgewood Dentistry - Providing state of the art dentistry to the East The event will be held at Founder’s Family Practice Mountain community 1988. Belle Union Saloon at the since ranch proudly Ranch, which is southwest of Edgewood. & Urgent Care • McLeod Medical - evenings With offices To also located Moriarty and Cedar presents a brandMoriarty new and Center exciting get there, in take Old Route 66 to Crest N.M. 217 Office the Eastcostumes Mountain community full of serving entertainment, and prizes since and1988. go south. Turn east on Juan Tomas Road M-F 7:30am-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm galore. Join the World Famous Handlebar and go to Barton Road, then follow the signs. Bob on Friday evening as he emcees an For more information about events, fees and evening’s activities, which include great more, go to or call Misty Edgewood Family Family Practice Moonshine” Miller at 843-1320. entertainment, a variety show, free frozen “Misty Dentistry
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East Mountains & Estancia


Ancient Pueblo Thrived in Tijeras

The Tijeras Pueblo was inhabited from about 1300 to 1425. Although the pueblo was excavated and reburied, there is a model at the site as to what the pueblo would have looked like.

ecause of its location between two mountain ranges, Tijeras has long been at a crossroads. Tijeras Pueblo was one of a handful of destinations for thousands of pueblo dwellers when they mysteriously deserted the sophisticated pueblo cities of the Four Corners region, such as Mesa Verde. Tijeras Pueblo was inhabited from about 1300 to about 1425 A.D., and probably had hundreds of residents at its peak. There is evidence of a block of 300 rooms, a great kiva and a


smaller one with a mosaic floor, both for ceremonial purposes. Tijeras Pueblo is considered a rare example of a Classic Period settlement. The architecture and layout of the village are considered pure, uncompromised by development from periods after it was abandoned, including the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Because of its largely undisturbed state, Tijeras Pueblo is considered by the National Park Service to be of the highest level of national significance to understanding prehistory

in the United States. Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. These days, the site is tended by the park service and a group of dedicated volunteers, the Friends of the Tijeras Pueblo. An interpretive center was recently completed and the organization sponsors many lectures on site. In addition, the pueblo brags a garden that was planted using the techniques employed by ancient settlers. Now, the Friends use the garden and the

center as part of their education program, which includes guided site tours, classroom outreach, lectures, field trips, summer workshops and demonstrations and participation in community events. Archaeological evidence indicates that Tijeras Pueblo was partially abandoned after A.D. 1368. Many families left the community, and for about 20 years the pueblo remained relatively empty. A second phase of construction began in
Continued on page 15





Continued from page 14

1390. By A.D. 1425, the people of Tijeras had moved on. Some pieces of the Tijeras Pueblo puzzle were solved during excavations conducted over the years by the state of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Archaeological Society. The University of New Mexico Archaeological Field School returned to Tijeras Pueblo to conduct extensive excavations from 1971 to 1976. Today a large grass-covered mound is the only visible evidence of the 200-plus-room pueblo. After excavation, the ruins were reburied to protect the site from destruction by wind, rain and other forces. Tijeras Pueblo is located behind the Sandia Ranger District office on N.M. 337, a half-mile south of Interstate 40 in Tijeras. The self-guided trail is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The trail begins at the ranger station and is approximately one-third of a mile long. It is an easy trail and is mostly accessible to wheelchairs. The Friends of Tijeras Pueblo also has a Web site at

Getting Around TIJERAS
The Tijeras passage, between the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, was the Anasazi gateway to the Rio Grande Valley. In 1819, Albuquerque families settled in the area, and by the mid 1930s, Tijeras was one of the primary population centers on the east side of the Sandia Mountains. The village of Tijeras was incorporated in 1973. The village is the southern terminus for the Turquoise Trail. The village is home to the Tijeras Historic Church and a veterans’ memorial.

The New Mexico Territorial Band plays a couple of songs at the Fourth of July celebration at Tijeras’ park and veteran’s memorial.

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East Mountains & Estancia


Salt Missions Trails History and Beauty at Your Doorstep
the 1970s, production of salt had moved elsewhere. What we have left is the Salt Missions Trails, a series of roads used throughout history to move the salt. From the lakes north and south is now N.M. 41. On the north, the road meets with Old Route 66 and took salt both east and west, but mostly toward Albuquerque in the west. To the south, N.M. 41 meets with U.S. 60, a route to Mountainair, Abo and Belen. At Mountainair, N.M. 337 goes north to Tijeras, where traders took salt to the mountain communities and missions. The Salt Missions Trails were named a New Mexico Scenic and Historic Byway in 1994 and today, visitors can travel the 140 mile loop to visit pueblo missions, old farming towns and the “Mother of all roads.” And while salt doesn’t have the importance it once did, the Salt Missions Trails still offer an unequaled beauty to residents and visitors alike. It offers sweeping plains and forested mountains as well as brilliant sunsets and joyous sunrises. And it offers a look at what we used to be and what we are now.

lthough you can’t see the dry salt lakes from N.M. 41, you can almost sense that they lie to the east. On an especially windy day, the salt dust kicks up and you can taste it in the air. The salt lakes were important from the time that humans first made New Mexico home. The Indians of the early pueblos used to make long pilgrimages to the lakes on foot as a religious ceremony. The Tigua Indians did not consider the salt as property of any one tribe but the divine gift of Salt Old Woman (the salt mother) who gave herself freely to the Indians who came to seek salt. When the Spanish arrived, the lakes continued to give its bounty freely. Salt was important to these early people, especially as a preservative, but also for uses in mining. Eventually, though, claims were made to the salt lakes and mining of the mineral went into production, Several companies made good money in the lakes, but by






Church Directory
New Beginnings Community Church Sunday Morning - 10:00am Everyone could use an opportunity for a “New Beginning.” Pastor: John Moffitt 200 Eunice, Moriarty, New Mexico

Old RailROad depOt
House of prayer/Casa de Oracioñ

SERVICES Sun. 11am • Every other Sunday potluck Lunch (following service)

Mon. 5-5:30pm Fellowship and refreshments Followed by Bible Study 5:30-6:30 pm Pastor Charlene Thomas 505-702-6304 Pastor Martinez 505-236-8824

405 Center Ave. (next to Bethel Storehouse) Moriarty, New Mexico

10:00 am & 6:00 pm
2½ miles west of Moriarty on Old 66


Church of the HOLY CROSS
There IS an Episcopal Church in Edgewood

We Welcome Everyone • God’s Table is Open to All
Sunday Services 367 State Hwy 344 at Ranch Road 8 a.m. & 10 a.m. 505-281-7722 Sunday School 10 a.m.

The Edge
Contemporary Community of Faith
Meet at Napa Store 1 Eunice Ct. Edgewood, NM Saturday 6:30 pm

Stanley Union Church Non-Denominational
A Bible Believing Church
Pastor John Nash & Ginger Nash
505-832-2517 505-832-4325

301-4100 BETHEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH “Large enough to service, small enough to accommodate”
Sunday School 9:30am Worship 10:30am Nursery Provided (Children’s Worship) 2700 Old Hwy. 66 (1 ½ miles west of Moriarty)

14 Kinsell Avenue West Stanley, New Mexico 87056


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East Mountains & Estancia


Manzano Mountains: Full of Possibilities


he leaves tell the story: Either the Great Bear has been killed, or nighttime temperatures have approached freezing in the Manzano and Sandia mountain ranges, painting their trees for fall. American Indian lore says some leaves turn red when celestial hunters kill the Great Bear and its blood drips from the sky. The bear’s fat, splattering from the kettle cooking the meat, turns other leaves yellow. Scientists say chemical processes in the trees, combined with just the right weather conditions, bring on the transformation. Whichever you believe, both cause and effect are miraculous and well worth a day of hiking, whether it’s fall or not. Forest rangers and longtime residents say the best places to see fall foliage in the East Mountains are on trails near the Fourth of July Canyon campground in the Manzano Mountains. (Specifically, the Fourth of July Canyon Trail, Albuquerque Trail, Spring Loop and Crimson Maple Trail are recommended.) North of the Manzano Mountains, the Sandia Mountains offer plenty of nature to experience. Trailheads are marked with signs along N.M. 536, the road to the crest. Each mountain range is its own box of crayons. The Manzanos are famous for the fiery orange and crimson canopies of the bigtooth maples, not found in the Sandias. The Manzanos officially start west of Chilili and stretch 20 miles south to Mountainair. Lower, rounded peaks called the Manzanitas, just south of Tijeras Canyon, are mostly within the boundaries of Kirtland Air Force Base and Isleta Pueblo. Camping is allowed in the Manzanos at Fourth of July, Bosque Trail Head, along FR 55 south of Fourth of July and Red Canyon. Dispersed camping is also permitted in areas not closed for emergency fire rehabilitation. Manzano State Park is also

The Manzano Mountains offer lots of opportunities to watch and photograph birds.

Info Box
• For information about open trails contact the Mountainair Ranger District located in Mountainair. Call 847-2990 for details or go online to

open for camping. Three major fires raged through the Manzanos in 2008, burning 25,000 acres of forest. As a result, many trails and campgrounds were under full or partial closings. The Ranger District is working hard to re-open as many trails as possible so it’s best to contact the Mountainair Manzano hikes Ranger District before setting out. More than a dozen excellent trails climb Although there are plenty of similarities from both sides of the Manzano Mountain between the Sandias and Manzanos, the Continued on page 19

Manzanos’ flora is more varied and exotic than that of the Sandias; the trails leading up to the long, flat Manzano ridgeline tend to be shorter and gentler than comparable routes in the Sandias; and once you’re on a Manzano trail, more often than not you will find you have the whole mountain to yourself. You’re unlikely to find any wild apple trees growing along the trails in the Manzanos, but the name manzano comes from the Spanish word for apple. At their peak, the colors are so vivid that a hiker could almost hear the pop and sizzle of a fireworks display, for which Fourth of July is surely named.





Continued from page 18

range and connect with the Crest Trail. Three good ones to try are Fourth of July Canyon, Albuqerque Trail in the Northern Manzanos, which ties into 4th of July Trail, and the Comanche Trail on the west side. Most people associate 4th of July Canyon with Forest Road 55, the popular fall-color driving loop. But three excellent short trails start on the road and end at the Crest Trail. The middle trail is Bosque Trail 174. This 2.2-mile route climbs to verdant meadows near 9,549-foot North Bosque Peak via a series of gentle switchbacks. In the spring Fourth of July Canyon is awash in new foliage, making it a great place to seek out wildflowers. You might even spot a patch of snow still lingering in the shadows. The Maple Trees were not burned in the fires, so the vibrant colors will return in full force. If you’re looking for a challenging workout and stunning views, the 5.5-mile trip up Pine Shadow Trail to Manzano Peak the highest in the range is the way to go. The trail was closed due to fire, but trail crews worked every week to re-open it. You start in cholla- and pinon-covered flats below the range’s southern tip, then ascend a rocky, bone-dry ridge all the way to the peak. Hardy desert flora reaches far up the mountainside, and if you hike in the late spring you’ll see numerous cactus and agave blooms. But on top is the true reward: one of the best 360-degree panoramic views in the state. Fall in the Manzano Mountains offer vast canopies of multi-colored flora.

101 S. Ninth,11:30 Estancia Mass Sunday am Mass Sunday 11:30 am bilingual bilingual

Saints Peter Saints Peter and Paul Paul 101and S. Ninth, Estancia

Estancia Estancia Valley Valley Catholic Catholic Parish Parish
Serving Edgewood, Estancia, Moriarty & Tajique Serving Edgewood, Estancia, Moriarty & Tajique

8566 Hwy. 55, Tajique 8566 Hwy. 55,9:30 Tajique Mass Sunday am Mass Sunday 9:30 am

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Our Lady of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mount Carmel 215 Girard, Moriarty
215 Girard, Moriarty Mass Saturday 5:30 pm Mass Saturday 5:30 & Sunday 10 am pm & Sunday 10 am

Please call the Parish Office at 832-6655 for more information Please call the Parish Office at 832-6655 for more information and the Times of Reconciliation. and the Times of Reconciliation. The Parish Office is located at 1400 Third Street South, Moriarty The Parish Officeof isThird located at 1400 Third South, (Corner Street South andStreet Linden Ave.) Moriarty


East Mountains & Estancia


Cowboy Up With A Day At The Rodeo


olks who live in New Mexico’s Estancia Valley and East Mountains — a good number of them, anyway — like to rodeo, and they are pretty dad blame good at it. Local cowpokes like Professional Bull Rider Travis Briscoe, former College National Finals bull-riding champion Tate Stratton, and LeighAnn Scribner, who won the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association all-around cowgirl title in 2011 and 2012 and who is gunning for a third straight state crown this summer, attest to the area’s proficiency in the sport of rodeoin’. “We had a lot of interest in all things Western when I was growing up,” said Red Kingston, the president of the Mountainair Rodeo Committee, with his trademark friendly drawl. “My interests were about ranchin’ and farmin’, all things country. And it’s fun, too, although it can cost a lot of money.” Kingston’s committee oversees the upkeep of and the pursuit of improvements for the J.P. Helms Rodeo Grounds. “The main thing nowadays is to keep the Western heritage alive,” Kingston said. “It’s about who we were. I don’t want to see it go away.” There’s something for everyone hereabouts, whether you just want to take a gander from the grandstand or you or your family want to participate. A few of the area’s rodeos or other related activities include: n Mountainair Gymkhana

Rodeo in the Estancia Valley and East Mountains is a way of life for many families and a favorite summer activity.

Rodeo’s last four of its sixrodeo series will be held on June 9 and 23, and July 14 and 28. For info on these youth, family-oriented rodeos, email Tana Bailey, the MGR secretary, at tanalee24@hotmail. com. n The Northwest District 4-H Horse Show at the indoor Rockin’ Horse Ranch Arena

north of Moriarty is June 15. For info, call Corina Neish at 246-4744. Also go to www. for info on other events. n Rowdy J’s Buck Off Rough Stock Rodeo, with open bulls, junior bulls, mini-bulls, calves and mutton bustin’, is on June 21 and 22 at the Torrance County Fairgrounds in Estancia. For

info, call Alysha Lenderman at 974-7920. n The Chilili Bull-A-Rama is on July 28. The Chilili Rodeo Club will also hold two ranchstyle rodeos on June 23 and Aug. 18. Call Santos Garcia at 269-4442. n The Bar-Diamond-S
Continued on page 21





Continued from page 20

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Boys and girls and men and women all can find an event at most rodeos.

Rodeo is scheduled for June 23 in Yrisarri. The rodeo will include jackpot bull riding, mini-bulls and calf riding. Call 281-8860. n The DJM Bull Riding Camp, a Christian-based event run by Don Martinez, is tentatively set for July 3, 4 and 5 at Moriarty’s Heritage Arena. It’s for campers 7 years and older, up to and including adults. For info, call Lisa Carroll at 505-290-1311. n The Moriarty Fourth of July Rodeo, with a full gamut of roughstock and speed competitions, will be conducted by the Wiseman Rodeo Company at Heritage Arena on July 6 and 7. Call 575-374-9833. n The dates for the 2013 Torrance County Fair Junior Rodeo, in August, and the Old Timer’s Day Rodeo, usually in late July, weren’t available prior to deadline. They’re normally conducted at the fairgrounds.

Always Accepting New Consignments
12147 North Hwy. 14, Cedar Crest 281-8283 • Tuesday thru Saturday 11-5

Torrance County Project Office
205 9th Street P.O. Box 48 Estancia, NM 87016 Phone: 505-246-4780 Fax: 505-384-3110 Hours: M-Thurs 7:30am-5:30pm
NMPCA Family Services Program • Medicaid enrollment/application assistance NMPCA Family Services Program • SCI application enrollments • SSI/SSDI applications assistance/enrollments Medicaid enrollment/application assistance • Social Security/Medicare application assistance/information • Resource and Referral to outside community agencies SCI application enrollments • Community Outreach

PROGRAMS Torrance County Domestic Violence Program (505-246-4781)

• Domestic Violence Prevention Education • Advocacy • Assessments Torrance County Domestic Violence • Order of Protections (505-246-4781) • Offender Programs • Court Ordered Offender Tracking


Domestic Violence Prevention Education Home Visiting Program  • Advocacy Provide Parent Education • Parenting skills from Pregnancy to 3 years old • Assessments Birth to 3 yrs Developmental milestones  • Help families provide safe and nurturing environment for your newest family member. Order of Protections Offender Programs Court Ordered Offender Tracking

tance/information If you need ANYTHING feel free to call us we can help. 505-246-4780 Resource and Referral to outside community agencies

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East Mountains & Estancia


Ancient Ruins Tell Haunting Stories of the Past


xploring the magnificent pueblo ruins and impressive stone mission churches of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a highlight of any tour of the Estancia Valley. The ruins at Quarai, Abo and Gran Quivira have stood abandoned for more than three centuries. Each site is administered by the National Park Service as a separate unit of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, which was declared a national monument in 1909.

monuments, Quarai dates back to about 1300. Its early Indian dwellers were farmers and traders. The village consisted of compact apartment complexes built around kivas. Abo Located on a pass opening into the Rio Grande Valley, Abo was a major trading center. Mogollon pit-house builders congregated in Abo around 1159; their gray paste pottery dominated until it was replaced, around 1350, by the glazed painted pottery of the Anasazi. Gran Quivira Gran Quivira, the Pueblo de las Humanas, was an important trade center for many years. It is the most extensive pueblo and mission ruins in the monument. The early pueblos (12001400) were concentric circles with excellent masonry and mortar work. The later pueblo (1550-1670) was built on top of the earlier rooms; its rock work and masonry are decidedly inferior. Monument headquarters, on U.S. 60 in Mountainair, serves as the information center, museum and bookstore. Staffed visitor centers at all three ruins sites have trail maps, books, displays, restrooms (with some handicapped facilities) and picnic areas. The headquarters and ruins are open daily except Christmas and New Year’s Day.

History The roots of the Salinas Pueblos trace back centuries to two ancient Southwestern cultures that overlapped in the Salinas Valley. Until the 10th century, the Mogollon culture was dominant. Inhabitants lived in pit houses and later in adobeplastered pole dwellings. By the late 1100s, Anasazi cultural influence was apparent in the contiguous stone and adobe homes. An estimated 10,000 people inhabited the area by the 1600s. They traded valuable salt from the Las Salinas Valley, and maize, pinon nuts, beans, squash and cotton goods from the Rio Grande Villages, for buffalo meat, hides, flints and shells from the Plains Indians to the East. In 1598, Juan de Oñate accepted formal submission to

The National Park Service hosted an eclipse viewing at Gran Quivera in 2012.

the Spanish king from the area’s Indians. Relations with the Indians soured when soldiers attempted to collect tribute to the crown; Philip II, charged by the pope with Christianizing the natives, maintained the colony. By the late 1670s, the

Salinas villages were deserted. The pueblos and their missions seem to have been abandoned very suddenly, causing them to be known as the “cities that died of fear.” Quarai The smallest of the three





Flower Gets Its Day In The Sun
he Mountainair area is bright with sunflowers at the end of August, rains willing. To celebrate the annual appearance of the sunflowers, the Manzano Mountain Art Council will hold the 15th Annual Mountainair Sunflower Festival on Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Festival is based at the Dr. Saul Community Center, but spills out into the streets of the town. Over past years, over a thousand people have attended. The festival includes arts and crafts by local and regional artists, featuring for the fourth year, artists from the Santa Fe Spanish Market. One of these artists each year creates a sunflower retablo that serves as the logo for the day. Other events include a sunflower hat contest, street vendors, a silent auction and a raffle. In past years a sunflower quilt was raffled off. The town is also alive with music including contemporary as well as tradi- The Sunflower Festival in Mountainair features many events, but the most fun might be the hat contest. tional folk music and dance. Local churches and civic groups along For more information email call 505-384-9767 or go online to with local merchants join in the fun. m c c @ m o u n t a i n a i r c h a m b e r. c o m ,


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Gran Quivera

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East Mountains & Estancia


From Ag to Arts, Mountainair has it all
ore than three centuries ago, soon after the Spanish began settling in New Mexico, a beautiful Spanish nun who dressed in blue appeared again and again in visions to the Jumano Indians who lived at the three missions and ruin sites near Mountainair, according to legend. Today, the location is known as the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument Region around Mountainair. The nun, who in actuality had never left Spain, is said to have exhorted the Indians to convert to Christianity. Versions of the same story would crop up in several historical accounts, helping keep the legend alive. She was Sister Maria de Jesus de Agreda, a woman who lived her entire life in Spain, from 1602 to 1665. Today, the “Lady in Blue” or “Blue Nun” or “Blue Lady of the Plains” is on a path to canonization, a slow process that began shortly after her death and may not end with Sister Maria de Agreda becoming Saint Maria de Agreda. Only time will tell. Nonetheless, because she is said to have appeared to Native Americans in New Mexico while she lived in a convent in northern Spain — a phenomenon called “bilocation” — Maria de Agreda today remains a celebrity of sorts in and around Mountainair. Besides being seen as an historical figure and a holy woman, she is considered a potential economic boon for the town of Mountainair. Anne Ravenstone, president of the Manzano Mountain Arts Council, is but one of many who subscribe to that view. She is also one of many who is pushing and planning for a new mural in Mountainair, a town already known for its murals. “For years, many people have been wondering how we can get the town to prosper,” she said. Mountainair has long been known as a town where it hasn’t always been easy to make a go of things. Although the area has


Stone cutter Frank Maurer takes advantage of the warm sun outside the Cibola Arts Gallery in Mountainair to get a little work done. The gallery and the artists of the Manzano Mountain Art Council are at the center of efforts to make Mountainair an arts destination.

long had indigious settlements, it was the coming of the railroad in the late 1800s that set the community on its agricultural path. Any farmer can tell you there are good years and bad years, and Mountainair has had both. In the 1990s, the town start to see artists moving and work at revitalizing the area. Mountainair still celebrates its agricultural roots, and had been accepting of its burgeoning role as an arts destination. The Manzano Mountain Art Council, along with the Cibola Arts Gallery, has been the engine driving the renaissance. The council sponsors the town’s annual Sunflower Festival and its artists have spent the last decade or so sprucing up local buildings with murals and tile mosiacs. The group’s latest project is a mural featuring the Blue Nun.

Plans call for the mural to grace the west wall of the Abo Trading Co., at the intersection of state Highways 55 and 60. Ravenstone described it as “a huge wall.” The central figure, of course, will be Sister Maria de Agreda, but will include much more, especially a respectful picture of Native Americans “whose role in all this is obviously huge,” Ravenstone said. Even before the first brush stroke or ceramic tile hits the wall, the mural is seen as a work of art that will attract tourists to the town and help create a strong, economic base. Sor Maria de Agreda, as she is sometimes called, came out of a Franciscan background and philosophy, Tomas Wolff said, one that believes in helping the community. “So in some ways, what we’re doing exemplifies her life,” he said. As a producer, facilitator and organizer of the project, Wolff’s job is to get various artists to collaborate on the mural. And that, he jokes, “is not always an easy job.” Even before moving to Mountainair six or seven years ago and working on the town’s murals, Wolff said, he helped organize at least 20 murals in eastern Pennsylvania. He is also an artist himself, specializing in clay and mosaics. Wolff is hoping work can get started on the mural within a month or so after the February meeting. It will consist of paint and mosaics and be completed on panels of Hardibacker, a commercial brand of cement board, allowing much of the work to be done indoors. Once they are finished, the panels will be attached to the outside wall, which at this point is “adobe falling off of brick,” he said. The work should be completed by the end of 2013. For more information on the Manzano Mountain Art Council go online to www. or the Cibola Arts Gallery at www.cibolaarts. com.





Mountain Villages Keep Tradition Alive
Spanish Land Grants The old Spanish land grant villages of Chilili, Tajique, Torreon and Manzano live on, but 17th-century Indian Pueblos and mission churches at Chilili and Tajique have vanished. • Chilili: A settlement 20 miles south of Tijeras in the east Manzano Mountain foothills is one of the oldest place names in New Mexico. This Hispanic settlement was established in 1841 as a land grant. • Escobosa: A settlement 16 miles south of Tijeras in the Manzano Mountain foothills. The name refers to grass residents used to make brooms. • Manzano: This small Hispanic village takes its name from apples, (Spanish, manzanas). The settlement became a Spanish land grant in 1829. • Punta de Agua: The community near Mountainair took its name from “point of water” from a spring when it was settled after 1850. Las Matachines lead parishioners down the hill leading from the Santo Niño mission • Tajique: This was the first of sev- church in Carnuel at the Fiesta St. Michael last fall. eral Spanish settlements in the Manzano the site of an Indian pueblo. The village Mountain foothills. It was abandoned due in 1834. • Torreon: Settlement established on received a land grant in 1841. to Indian raids but resettled as a land grant

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East Mountains & Estancia


Tinkertown’s Mission: Eclectic Fun
f you have lived in, or visited, the East Mountains for very long, you have probably been to Tinkertown.  If you haven’t, then what have you been waiting for? Carla Ward has been running the museum since 1983. She sees 20,000 visitors a season — from April to the end of October — and they come from all around the world. Ward says the best part is the customers. She says one of her favorite things about Tinkertown is when customers come in and say that their parents brought them there when they were kids, and now they are bringing their kids. Seeing Tinkertown through your children’s eyes can be a whole new experience. You can start by pointing out to the kids some of the walls around the museum, made of 55,000 glass bottles collected from the roadside over the years, and an unintentional monument to recycling. Make sure to point their little faces down for a look at the horseshoes embedded in concrete that adorn the entrance of the museum. Lead them in to see the actual 35-foot antique wooden sailboat, which has sailed around the world and is quite large compared to the other Lilliputian exhibits. You can spend a couple of hours pointing out the intricate detail in the miniature carved exhibits — God and the Devil fighting over some poor man, the tiny vendor forever handing a child a fluffy pink min-


Tinkertown was created 30 years ago by sign artist Ross Ward. It opened as an attraction on the Crest Highway in 1983.

A scene from an Old West town carved by Ross Ward while the rest of us watched television.

iature cotton candy that looks good enough to eat, the cute little bunny that Vanteen the magician is pulling out of his hat. It’s a sure bet that the kids will point out a few things to you, too, that you might have missed. Don’t forget to look up and down and all around — you never know what you might find in the nooks and crannies of the twisting and turning 22-room museum. Be prepared to answer some typical kid questions: Why are these floors made of wood? Why are there wooden vultures all over and why are they looking at me? You might come up with a few questions yourself, such as: Who dusts all of this? You can point out the many coin-operated attractions — Otto the one-man band, the fortune telling gypsy, the tiny chef chasing the even tinier chicken around and around. And don’t forget to tell the younguns’ that stuff like this was the closest thing people used to have to video games. Be sure to tell the kids that this is what happens when you have a passion for something, and decide to share that passion with the world. With so much detail in every exhibit, and with little eyes to see through, Tinkertown could be a whole new experience, no matter how many times you’ve been there before.





estled on the eastern slope of the Sandia Mountains, Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club seems remote for national — even worldwide — exposure. But the course has captured the imagination of golf publications such as Golf Digest magazine, and has consistently found itself ranked highly on most lists of the best public golf courses in the United States. Soon after the course opened, Golf Digest awarded Paa-Ko Ridge a lofty ranking of 27th-best in the country among Best Affordable Public Courses in its annual report on America’s best and most affordable courses. In the 2007 Zagat Survey, Paa-Ko Ridge was the only course in the Southwest to be “top rated.” “Links Magazine” recently named PaaKo one of the top 10 Best Course for the Money. “Having Links Magazine recognize Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course for the incredible value we provide in addition to all the other great accolades we have received, for example we were ranked 29 on the Best Courses You Can Play list in 2011 by Golf


Paa-Ko Ridge Offers world class links
the eyes and on the wallet,” according to Golf Digest writer Ron Whitten. The length of the season at Paa-Ko Ridge depends on the weather but can extend as late as Dec. 1. The course remained open until at least mid- to late November during its first five seasons. It usually reopens around March 1. The course offers a resort feel, with computerized Global Positioning Satellite golf carts that tell you how far you are from pins. There’s also bottled water in the carts, free balls on the driving range, a slick pro shop with a good selection and longer periods between tee times. With greens fees ranging from $59 to $114 including a cart, Paa-Ko is more expensive than some public courses but less than joining a country club. Paa-Ko Ridge also offers a “multi-play pass,” where players can purchase three, five or 10 rounds in advance at a reduced rate, as well as a punch-card program and other promotions. For more information, call locally at 281-6000 or toll free at (866)898-5987; or go online to

Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course consists of 27 holes of resort-style championship golf in a breathtakingly beautiful setting in the East Mountains.

Magazine, gives validation to our belief that we not only provide a fantastic venue, but an incredible value for the dollar as well,” said Rob Murray, Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course general manager. Designed by renowned course architect Ken Dye, known for creating Pinon Hills in Farmington, Paa-Ko Ridge is “easy on

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East Mountains & Estancia


Pumpkins to the Left,Pumpkins to the Right, Fun Everywhere


he Estancia Valley is where Punkin Chunkin dreams are made, and it is home to a field where the annual gourd launch brings glory or shame to an elite group of cannon builders. The great, yearly pumpkin launch has been going on for so long, it seems only natural that there would be a line of giant air cannons lined up at the field outside Estancia each year. Apparently, it takes a lot of time, ingenuity, money and work to make it happen though. “It’s an expensive hobby,” said Raymond Dennis, who helped to spark local interest in the big, gourd-hurling guns about a decade ago. The 2013 Pumpkinfest, sponsored by the Estancia Rotary Club and includes the annual Punkin Chunkin event, will be held Oct. 19 off N.M. 55 just east of Estancia. Dennis designed and help build “El Launcho Grande,” the first big — really, really big — pumpkin gun in the valley. Prior to the arrival of his compressed air cannon, there were slings, a trebuchet or two and other types of pumpkin-launchers that Dennis figured he could beat. To work up the design for the valley’s first big gun, Dennis actually made a trip to Delaware, where the national competition is held each year. When Dennis came back into town, he met with some of his employees and a few co-conspirators of his own in a restaurant in Moriarty. He drew up some sketches and they went to work, trying to keep the idea under wraps. In October of 1999, the newly made El Launcho Grande made its debut. And the cannon blew the competition away, winning with a recorded distance of 2,912 feet. That was before they extended the barrel to 65 feet. Now retired, Dennis no longer takes part in the competition, but he gets credit

Punkin chunkin is about the fun, but some people take it serious. Several folks from the Estancia Valley have made air cannons designed for only one thing — hurling a pumpkin.

for getting the ball rolling. “It’s that Dennis that got us started,” said Mack. Refining the cannon design is also a process that Mack and his sons, Todd and Terry Mack, enjoy.

“I like thinking something up or taking someone’s idea and making it a reality,” he said. “To procure metal, winches, cable and put it together and make it do something. That’s where our enthusiasm comes from.”





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East Mountains & Estancia


Estancia — Preparing for the Future
t seems somewhat appropriate that as the Torrance County Commission in October 1909 was making the decision as to whether the citizens of Estancia should incorporate their settlement into a town that Halley’s Comet was in the western sky. When a vote was taken on Feb. 23, 1910 to elect a mayor and board of trustees, the comet was making its preparation to return to the outer reaches of the solar system. The incorporation was, of course, big news in the local newspaper the Estancia News, but its editor, P.A. Speckman also left a little space in the pages to quell concerns about the comet’s approach to Earth. In the Jan. 28, 1910 issue of the News, Speckman wrote:
Continued from page 33


Estancia Valley Relies on Farming and Ranching


ince the first settlers arrived in the Estancia Valley, agriculture has been a major part of life. This is no different in 2012 as it was in 1912, the only difference being the diversity of agriculture which now part of the valley. A century ago, farming was king. New immigrants arrived finding the valley fertile and rain abundant. Dry land farming was a good way to make a living and crops ranged from the might pinto bean to wheat and other grains. But in a valley that has no rivers and a few springs, droughts hit hard. By the 1950s, true agricultural diversity

became imperative. With that diversity came more livestock, which changed the character of the valley, but kept its agricultural roots alive. Today, agriculture pays a huge role in the economy of the valley. According to the USDA, the market value of Torrance County products sold was more than $40 million in 2007, which was an 11 percent increase in value from 2002. Of that, about 58 percent of those sales came from livestock. For Santa Fe County, of which the northern third of the valley lies within, the market value of agricultural products was more than $12 million in 2007, with 68 percent

of that coming from crop sales. The top crops in each county? Corn silage and hay. And although it counts for only a fraction of the local crops, Torrance County is the top producer of sod in New Mexico. Nearly 1.8 million acres of land within Torrance County is used for agriculture and the number of farms increased from 461 in 2002 to 561 in 2007. Agriculture education is a way of life in our communities as well, with strong FFA clubs and hundreds of kids involved with 4-H. For more information on

Agriculture plays an important part in the Estancia Valley’s economy. According to the USDA, the market value of Torrance County products exceeded $40 million in 2007.

agriculture in the Estancia Valley, contact the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service office in Estancia at 505-246-4745 or go online to torranceextension.





Continued from page 32

“The rumor that it will or may come in contact with the Earth to the destruction of the latter has been disproven by scientists. “The nearest distance it approaches the Earth being given as about forty million miles. If this be true, and we have no reason to doubt it, there is no need to fear the celestial visitor.” What Speckman didn’t point out was that the comet’s tail did indeed pass over the Earth in May 1910, providing what must have been an amazing sight. Incorporation of the town was a forgone conclusion by the time the citizens of Estancia decided to do it. The town had already been serving as county seat of the newly formed Torrance County since 1905. And according to the reports of people who lived there at the time, the town was in the midst of a boom. The population of Torrance County in 1910 was estimated at around 10,000 people, with more and more immigrants moving in daily. In 2009 the town celebrated its 100th birthday in the only way a small town in New Mexico can, it threw a party.

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East Mountains & Estancia


Escape the city to the Sandia Mountains
undreds of miles of hiking trails criss-cross the Cibola National Forest, which includes both the Sandia and Manzano mountains. Two U.S. Forest Service ranger districts manage this portion of the Cibola. The Mountainair Ranger District covers the southern portion that encompasses the Manzano Mountains, and the Sandia Ranger District in the northern part covers the Sandia Mountains. Both ranges are part of the continuous fault-block system that forms the east side of the Rio Grande rift valley from Placitas to Socorro. The Sandias and Manzanos were created when monolithic blocks of the Earth’s crust thrust upward about 20 million years ago. Ancient granite exposed along the steep west faces of the ranges forms the sides of the fault-blocks. The gradually sloping, heavily forested east faces — actually the tops of the blocks — are capped with much younger sedimentary layers. The most prominent feature of the Sandia Mountains is probably Sandia Crest, which tops out at the 10,658 feet. From the visitors area at the Crest you can get a full view of much of central New Mexico, including a startling look at the city of Albuquerque to the west and the expansive Estancia Valley to the southwest. There is a gift shop at the Crest and plenty of trails for hiking. The Sandia Mountain Wilderness, when it was established through the Endangered American Wilderness Act of 1978, was made up of 30,981 acres of the Sandia Ranger District’s total 100,555 acres. Acquisition of the Elena Gallegos Grant in 1981 increased it to 37,232 acres of wilderness. More than 2 million people journey to the Sandias each year to hike the roughly 117 miles of the district’s trails, according the Sandia Ranger District.


Visitors can see much of central New Mexico from Sandia Crest. After checking out the views, visitors can browse through the gift shop..

Info Box
• For maps of all the trails in the Sandia Mountains, stop by the Sandia Ranger Station at 11776 N.M. 337 South, just south of the traffic light in Tijeras, or call 281-3304 or go online to

More than a dozen trails are available to choose from, with one scenic favorite being the Crest Trail — the longest trail in the Sandia Mountains with a total length of 28.2 miles. This trail is often thought of as two trails; the South Crest Trail, 16 miles

long from the south trailhead at Canyon Estates in Tijeras Canyon to Sandia Crest; and the North Crest Trail, 12.2 miles long from the north trailhead at Tunnel Springs near Placitas to Sandia Crest. One interesting side trip within the Sandia Mountains is to the Sandia Man Cave. The cave, discovered by an anthropology graduate student in 1936, was excavated by University of New Mexico archaeological teams between 1937 and 1941. It contained skeletal remains of such Ice Age beasts as the woolly mammoth and mastodon and giant sloth, as well as stone lance and arrow points, basket scraps and remnants of woven yucca moccasins.
Continued on page 35





Continued from page 34

The diggers found no human bones in the cave debris. To get to Sandia Man Cave, take the Crest Highway to N.M. 165 and drive on a bumpy dirt road for about five miles. There is a short hike up the side of the mountain to get to the cave. Make sure to bring a flashlight and wear old clothes if you want to explore the cave. A host of hiking trails ranging from easy walks to more strenuous uphill jaunts are accessible from the numerous trailheads and picnic grounds along the Sandia Crest Highway (N.M. 536). Hikers can also park at the top of the Crest Highway and follow a portion of the Crest Trail to the upper terminal of the Sandia Peak Tramway, about 1.5 gentle miles away. To get to the Sandia trails, take I-40 to the Tijeras exit. Head north on N.M. 14 until you come to a large intersection (no stop light) with N.M. 536, where a blue sign points to the ski basin. The crest is about 15 miles up, but trailheads are marked along the way.

The Sandia Man Cave is another popular side trip in the Sandia Mountains. Make sure to bring a flashlight, though.

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East Mountains & Estancia


Getting Around Turquoise Trail Communities

The mission church in Golden was recently renovated

inding along the east side of the Sandias, the Turquoise Trail follows N.M. 14 through Cedar Crest and three revived ghost towns. • Cedar Crest: A settlement in the eastern foothills of the Sandia Mountains was founded in 1922 by Carl Webb, who moved to the mountains for health reasons. He built rental cabins, opened a trading post and operated the Cedar Crest Post Office. • San Antonio: This small community one mile north of Tijeras was named for its patron saint. It was a trading place when ox


Christmas holds a special place in the village of Madrid.

The Old Coal Town Museum in Madrid.

carts made their way from Santa Fe. • San Antonito: This community is probably named for its association with the older community, San Antonio, five miles south of it. • Sandia Park: Residential community named for its location in the east foothills of the Sandia Mountains. • Golden: Gold was discovered in the Ortiz Mountains in 1839, and soon two small mining camps developed. Large mining companies moved in but hopes for mineral wealth quickly dwindled. Mining

is gone, but the town still survives. • Madrid: Coal mining began here in 1835 and peaked in 1920. When demand for coal dwindled after World War II, the entire town was offered for $250,000, but there were no takers. Art galleries and restaurants have replaced anthracite as a resource. • Cerrillos: The settlement was a mining town of turquoise, silver, gold and then coal. The lovely town in the now-dormant mining hills has art galleries and eateries.






Turquoise Trail
the trail takes a detour up the Crest Highway up to the 10,687 foot Sandia Peak. After your visit to Sandia Peak, continue up N.M. 14 where you will shortly come upon the mining communities of Golden, Madrid and Cerillos. Golden was so named for the gold found nearby. It’s a quiet little village, but if your timing is right, you can stop by the general store for a soda pop. Madrid was founded as a coal mining community, but is now probably one of the most eclectic little towns in New Mexico. There’s entertainment and plenty of shops lining the street selling the wares of the artist residents of the town. Next on to Cerillos, where the best turquoise in the southwest was once found. As you travel up N.M. 14, you will eventually come to Santa Fe, the northern terminus for the trail. After your day in Santa Fe, you could take Interstate 25 back to Albuquerque, but the better thing to do would be to take the Turquoise Trail back and see all the things you missed the first time.

he Turquoise Trail is one of New Mexico’s treasures. The Turquoise Trail was designated as a National Scenic Byway in 2000, the result of the work of a dedicated group of residents in the Turquoise Trail Association. But its history stretches back to the first settlers in the area. The turquoise and other precious minerals found in the Sandia and Ortiz Mountains were valued by nomadic and pueblo Indians who made New Mexico home. The minerals in the hills attracted the Spanish and American settlers. The 62-mile trail begins in Tijeras, which has long been a stopping point in the pass between the Manzano and Sandia Mountains. Driving up N.M. 14 from Tijeras you will pass through the unincorporated communities of San Antonito, Cedar Crest, San Antonio and Sandia Park. The area is a mixture of old and new, with historic churches sitting next to modern grocery stores. Before leaving the Sandia Mountains,

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East Mountains & Estancia


Sandia Peak Ski Area: All Downhill From Here


ast Mountains residents with an affinity for winter sports relish the fact that the Sandia Mountains right in their backyard offer a wealth of recreation. One of the highlights is the Sandia Peak Ski Area, and the world’s longest aerial tramway that reaches the top of the ski area from Albuquerque. Sandia Peak Tramway’s story is about a group of Albuquerque ski enthusiasts who had to drive to the green side of the mountain in the winter to ski. They would hike as far as possible uphill and ski down. After the U.S. Forest Service cleared a hill in 1936, the adventurers organized the Albuquerque Ski Club and in 1937 built a 1,500-foot ski tow. In 1938, the Civilian Conservation Corps cleared the slope that leads to the present-day ski lodge. The ribbon cutting for the tram was May 7, 1966. The horizontal length of the longest tramway in the world is 14,657 feet or 2.7 miles with a vertical rise of 3,819 feet. But the tram is only one passage to the top of the Sandia Mountain. Another is the drive to the top on the east side of the mountain. And a third is the chairlift from the base of the Sandia Peak Ski Area, beginning at 8,650 feet rising to the peak at 10,378 feet. At the top, the view of 11,000 square miles of the Land of Enchantment boggles the mind. The ski area’s winter season runs midDecember through mid-March, although the 2009-2010 season was extended into April. The vertical rise from base to the peak is 1,700 feet. The ski area offers 30 trails serviced by four chairlifts, a surface lift and a children’s mighty mite. Ski patrol volunteers are on duty daily. A cafeteria in the day lodge serves breakfast, lunch and snacks. The lodge is a large facility offering panoramic views of the ski area and

Sandia Peak Ski Area is accessible for the east and west sides of the mountain.

the Estancia Valley to the east. A large network of cross-country ski trails is also available. The average snowfall in the ski area is 125 inches. The summer season from Memorial Day through the second Sunday of October is open Thursdays through Sundays and holidays, and daily during Balloon Fiesta in October. Chairlift riders enjoying the fresh air and breath-taking view also see mountain bike riders challenging the spectacular mountain bike trails. Rental equipment for both seasons is available on site. For more information call the ski area at 242-9052. The entrance to the Sandia Peak Tramway is on Tramway Loop off Sandia Peak Ski Area offers runs for Tramway Boulevard in Albuquerque. For just about every level of skier and snowboarder. information call 856-6419.





Ready, Set, Snowshoe!
nce a year, every year, bunches of people drive up to the top of Sandia Mountain, strap big, funky shoes made of metal, plastic and leather, and run through the snow as fast as they can. The 11th annual Sandia Mountain Snowshoe Race will be held in January 2014. And it won’t just be a bunch of experts. In fact, some participants may not have ever put on snowshoes before, according to Joy Bosquez, who is organizes the event with her husband, Matt. “It’s just a beautiful, snow covered, national forest,” Matt said. The course runs from the Crest House at the top of the mountain along the ridge line to the south and back again and it really doesn’t gain or lose much altitude, Matt said. “It’s really a family-oriented activity,” Joy added. The entire 3.2 mile course will be marked with flags and there will be marshals along the way ensure people’s safety, Joy and Matt said. “We do have some pretty serious racers,” Matt said. “It’s open to all skill


The annual Sandia Mountain Snowshoe Race attracts racers of all skill levels for a day of family fun each January.

levels.” Adding to the family atmosphere, sponsors have provided hot beverages and snacks for before and after the race, and there will be prizes for the winners in dif-

ferent age groups and other categories and a few door prizes. For more information, go to, e-mail ganelo@earthlink. com.


IT o f


East Mountains & Estancia


Madrid Has Something For All Seasons


adrid  has packed an awful lot into its relatively brief existence. In the early 1900s it was a company-owned coal mining town, with a dentist and medical office and even a car dealership — with cars that could only be purchased with “scrip,” company money. It was also home to the first baseball field west of the Mississippi to have electric lights and an annual Christmas display rumored to have inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. When the demand for coal decreased in the 1950s and the company went under, Madrid gained overnight ghost town status. Miners and their families had to leave whatever possessions they couldn’t fit into their cars when they went in search of new lives, leaving abandoned houses that, eerily, looked inhabited but weren’t. Years later, the town was reborn, and Madrid has since evolved into a mecca for national and international tourists, New Mexicans in search of a good day trip, art lovers and even movie makers. It has been an interesting journey, which you can learn more about at the Old Coal Town Museum. The museum is not new, but the exhibits have been consolidated, organized, and added to, and it reopened earlier this year in its new format. Lynn McLane is a resident of Madrid  and one of the tour guides at the updated museum. As she walks you through the exhibits, her enthusiasm for the town and its history is evident. “It’s got so much ... It’s always had everything you would want in the world, and it really still does. We have an example of every kind of person that you would have in a big city ... it really is a microcosm of the world, and always has been. I like it because it’s steeped in so much history,” McLane said.

There is plenty to see and do during a visit to Madrid, whether you are looking for spiritual healing or a cold beer.

The tour starts in the Engine House Theatre, with the impressive sight of a giant opening to the elements in the back wall of the stage, with a real train coming through — convenient for any play that requires a heroine to be tied to railroad tracks by a villain. From there, the exhibits include electrical and mechanical devices used in the town and in the mines, a display with a history of movies that have been made in the town, pictures of grand Christmas lights and the old baseball field, and a few notes about some Madrid ghost

hunts. The museum is located right next to the Mine Shaft Tavern. Call 438-3780 for hours. More than history The funky, biker, hippie town of Madrid truly does seem like it’s always been there, and always been part of New Mexico. For those who came in when it was a ghost town — before the tour buses and biker rallies, and before the streets were
Continued on page 41





Continued from page 40

lined with cars each weekend — it’s important to give a little credit to the people who came there first. Diana Johnson and her husband, Mel, came from Chicago to open Johnsons of Madrid in 1973, renting it from a coal company for the first two years of its existence, she said. Back then, there was a tavern, a museum, a caretaker and a handful of other renters in town. Both Johnson and her husband are graduates of the Art Institute of Chicago, both were teachers and had summers off, and they came to New Mexico for the weather, she said. “It was the summer of the end of the Vietnam War (1975),” said Johnson, who turned 76 in February. “… Half my life has been in this gallery … we don’t intend to close out.” She added that the gallery collection is often eclectic because there is not a set theme. “It’s a gallery of artists who do the best work,” she said. “People walk through the gallery and can’t believe the quality of the work,” she said. Johnsons of Madrid Galleries of Fine & Fiber Art is closed on Tuesdays, except by appointment, and is open on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The rest of the week the hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s at 2843 N.M. 14 in Madrid. Call 471-1054, e-mail or go to or www.VisitMadridNM. com for more information.

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East Mountains & Estancia


Plenty to See, Plenty to Do


here is plenty to explore in the East Mountains and Estancia Valley, here are some things that shouldn’t be forgotten: Wildlife West Nature Park In addition to the zoo, the park hosts many events throughout the year. For 2013 events include: • Wildlife Festival, Saturday, June 15, 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Join the celebration of wildlife in New Mexico. Wildlife West is one of the few places where people can be close to and observe Mexican Wolves in their natural habitat and get behind the scenes tours of Koshari, a 500 pound black bear. Representatives from wildlife and environmental organizations will present information about New Mexico’s wildlife and wilderness areas. Other presenters include Elke Duerr, Albuquerque filmmaker and conservationist; Doug Scott, author of Waterfalls in New Mexico; and Christian Meuli, permaculturalist. Visitors will also see a monarch butterfly demonstration. • 11th Annual Wildlife Music Festival, Friday Sunday, July 19 - 21. Friday Barn Dance, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. This year’s headliners include Lisa Haley & the Zydekats, Blue Canyon Boys, Chuck Pyle and Joe West. • Harvest Festival, Saturday
Continued on page 44





Making The World A Better Place
WildliFe WeSt NAture PArk
EdgEwood, NM Phone: 505-281-7655 Toll-Free: 877-981-9453

Bargain Hunting at Bethel

Is Fun!

Wildlife Festival Saturday, June 15, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free Flight Falcons Saturdays June 15 - August 31, 6:00 p.m. Falcon Shows

11th Annual Wildlife Music Festival

Friday - Sunday, July 19 - 21, 2013

World Blacksmith Championship Friday - Sunday, October 25 - 27 Chuckwagon Suppers & Shows Saturdays, June 15 - August 31, 6:00 p.m. Harvest Festival Sat. & Sun., August 24 - 25, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

8000sq. ft. of surprises New & used merchandise at discount prices

Proceeds benefitting our neighbors in need for 25 years

Wednesday is senior discount day
Located on Hwy 41, 1 mile south of Rt 66 in Moriarty Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5pm
Tax receipts are available • Donations


Moriarty Lions Club
Bingo every Tuesday - 7pm 4th of July Pancake Breakfast /Bingo 2pm Pinto Bean & Pancake Breakfast - Oct. 12 Toy Run/Bike Rally - TBA Santa/Toys for Kids - Dec. 15 Eye Screening during school year (local schools)

Read “Write” Adult Literacy Program
Improving literacy one person at a time
Interested in tutoring those who want to learn to read and write?

Building Rental Available •

Call: 832-9469 WE NEED YOU!

Hug a Horse Thrift Shop

100’S OF ITEMS!!
Help Stop the Violence 505-384-0381

Furniture, Clothes, Housewares, Toys, Jewelry & Much More.
Supporting New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch

In Edgewood on Old Rt 66 (east of Smiths) Thurs. - Mon. 10-4 • Sunday 12-3 Tues.-Sat. 10-4 286-0779 • 281-6292


KXNM Radio The Voice of Central New Mexico
Volunteering your time or money is always appreciated.

Program Director Blake Williams

Phone: 886-0605 • Fax: 886-0610 • Website:


East Mountains & Estancia


Continued from page 42

and Sunday, August 24 - 25, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. • World Blacksmith Championship, Friday - Sunday, October 25 - 27. • Dirty Dash August 31-September 1 Mud, Fun run Contact Wildlife West at 505-2817655 or online at MAGS INDOOR SHOOTING Slated for opening in June. If you are in the mood to shoot a couple of rounds or get your rifle sighted for hunting season, this indoor range in the Moriarty Industrial park can help you out. Call 338-2222. OLD TIMERS DAY Estancia celebrates its old timers — and young ones, too — on the last Saturday in July. The event includes a parade, dances, a rodeo and class reunions. TORRANCE COUNTY FAIR Held each August at the Torrance
Continued on page 45

Find Us On The Web
Get more information about the East Mountains and Estancia Valley online at these sites: GOVERNMENT City of Moriarty — Town of Estancia — Torrance County — Town of Edgewood — CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE Mountainair Chamber of Commerce — East Mountain Chamber of Commerce — Edgewood Chamber of Commerce — Moriarty Chamber of Commerce — Estancia Valley Economic Development Association — SOMETHING TO DO New Mexico Route 66 Association — Rockin’ Horse Ranch — Wildlife West Nature Park — Tinkertown — Single Action Shooting Society New Mexico Mountain Climbing — Salinas Mission National Monument — Cibola National Forest — Southwest Soaring Museum — McCalls Pumpkin Patch — Sandia Peak Ski Area — Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway — Albuquerque Experimental Aircraft Association — Land of Enchantment Fly In — And keep up with all the news in the Estancia Valley and East Mountains at





Continued from page 44

County Fair Grounds in Estancia. FIBER FARM TOUR Come get an up-close look at some operating farms specializing in fiber-producing animals. The annual tour is a great event for families. This year’s tour will take place June 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For info, go online to MADRID Take a drive up the Turquoise Trail to Madrid and explore this electic little town. Once a coal town, the village now boasts art galleries and entertainment. Annual events include the Crawdaddy Festival in May and be sure to visit during the month of December with the whole town is decorated for the holidays. For info, go to www.visitmadridnm. com. MANZANO MOUNTAIN RETREAT AND APPLE FARM Each fall, the retreat’s apple store opens for a couple of weeks to sell the best apples in the state of New Mexico. The retreat also is ideal for corporate get-aways and conferences. For info, go to www.manzaContinued on page 46

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Continued from page 45 MCCALL’S PUMPKIN PATCH Boasting a corn maze acres in size, two hauted houses and a giant pumpkin patch, McCall’s offers something for everyone each fall in Moriarty. Go to for more information. MEMORIAL OF PERPETUAL TEARS Located on the north freeway frontage road in Moriarty, the field of headstones was conceived as memorial for victims of DWI. For info, go to www. BICYCLING Whether it’s thrashing on the trails of Cibola National Forest or time trials in the Estancia Valley, bicyclists can find just about any terrain to enjoy. Several competitions are held throughout the year. The Paula Higgins Memorial Time Trials are held each Labor Day weekend south of Moriarty pitting riders against the clock. Several world records have been broken during the event. Go to for more info. FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS Fourth of July is always a special time in the mountains and valley. Moriarty has its parade and rodeo, Estancia puts on a full-day of events including a fishing derby and usually a horseshoe competition, and Tijeras usually holds a ceremony at its Veteran’s Memorial. RUN, RALLY AND ROCK Edgewood’s annual birthday party will be held in August in 2013. Go to for more info. MORIARTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. within the Moriarty Civic Center at 202 Broadway. Go to for more info. JUST IMAGINE GALLERY A neat little art gallery located in Tijeras across from the East Mountain Library. Drop by for a cup of coffee and to see work from local artists. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to www. for more info. SANDIA NATURAL HISTORY CENTER The Sandia Mountain Natural

History Center is a joint project between the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and Albuquerque Public Schools that offers educational tours and lectures. The center, located in Cedar Crest, is not open to the public except for special scheduled events. Go to for more information. WATERMELON GALLERY Located at 12220 N.M. 14 in Cedar Crest, the gallery always has a show and a fine stable of local artists. Gallery hours are Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Satarday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Go to for more info. OLD SCHOOLHOUSE GALLERY The gallery opened several years ago in a

refurbished school house in San Antonito. New shows are on display every month. Located at 12504 N.M. 14, go to www. for more information. VETERANS MEMORIAL IN TIJERAS Dedicated in 2010, the Tijeras Veterans Memorial pays homage to local men and women who served in the military. The memorial is located just west of the East Mountain Library. SHAFFER HOTEL Built in 1923, the hotel and dining room boasts a Pueblo-Deco facade, a delicious menu and some say a ghost or two. Located in Mountainair, go to for more information.





Shaffer Hotel
The historical Sha Shaffer Hotel is one of the few Pueblo-Deco buildings still in existence, built in 1923 by "Pop" Shaffer. Local landmark & visitor attraction, the hotel is a Mountainiair icon.

Featuring Ghost Riders Saloon & Cattleman’s Club private dining

103 W. Main, Mountainair 505-847-2888 Hotel accomodations with room rates starting at 39.00
The historic dining room seats 60 to 100 and is available for banquets, weddings, reunions and retreats

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