Before I share about the trail ride I took with my friend, I really am excited to share how my 3 kids and I celebrated the Annular “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse on Sunday evening!!
We decided to go with some of our friends from my twin sons’ Boy Scout Troop, to watch the Solar Eclipse from the top of the Sandia Mountains, just above and east of Albuquerque.
Since we live on the east side (or what we locals call “the green side”) of the Sandia Mountains, this beautiful and wild natural resource is basically in our backyard. And because our house is already above 7,000 ft, getting to the top of the Sandias only requires a 20-30 minute drive to reach Sandia Crest at 10, 678 ft elevation.
This is a photo I took on Sunday, of the Sandia Crest House, the tallest point of the Sandia Mountains.
We were expecting there to be a ton of traffic, but were pleasantly surprised not to find the hordes of people that we had been warned about by the news and some of our friends. My guess is that there was probably only several hundred people up there to view the Solar Eclipse on Sunday evening. Yes, the small main parking area beside the Sandia Crest House was full, but we were able to park on the side of the road, just a short distance down from the Sandia Crest House, and just walk up to the top in less than 15 minutes.
At the very top are also, the Radio Towers, which can be seen from Albuquerque, and are planted like tall metallic trees.
The Viewing Platform on Sandia Crest was pretty crowded, but me, my kids, and the friends we drove with up to the top, decided to just hike a bit of a ways south on the Crest Trail until the people thinned out and we had a lot of space and quiet to ourselves.
There was plenty of room on top to spread out and have some personal space.
The views up there are incredible, even despite the smoke and haze from the fires burning in Arizona.
And we had front row seats!
We could also see the Sandia Crest House north of us, near the Radio Towers, as we sat along the top of the Sandia Mountains.
Our dogs, Mustang Sally the Chihuahua, and Dobbie Girl, the Chiweenie, came along, too. They love going everywhere we go, especially on a beautiful hike on the top of a mountain. I think I was a little surprised, but definitely pleasantly surprised, at how many other people brought along their dogs to watch the Annular Solar Eclipse, too.
Me and my dogs, Sally and Dobbie preparing to watch the Annular Solar Eclipse!
Of course, once we pulled out our Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses, I had to take lots of silly photos to have as special keepsakes from such a special and auspicious occasion!
My son, Jackson.
My son, Jeremiah.
And my daughter, Jenna.
And our friend Tom and his son D.
While we watched the beginning of the Solar Eclipse, basically the partial eclipse with the moon taking a chunk out of the sun little by little…which was just as amazing, we were entertained by several Hang Gliders who were also there to watch the Solar Eclipse, but from a very unique vantage point!
In this photo, if you look closely, you can see the Rio Grande River, which flows straight from Colorado, through Albuquerque on it’s way to Mexico and Texas.
This guy was soaring right above us…probably about 10,700 ft high!
My Dobbie girl enjoyed watching the Hang Gliders, too.
It seemed to take such a long time for the moon to make it’s way across the sun, but when it finally reached the center, a huge cheer went up all along the top of the Sandia Mountains.
The excitement was contagious, knowing we were all there together, wearing our silly-looking, specially-treated Solar Eclipse Safety Glasses as we all viewed such an auspicious and unique phenomenon from such a beautiful location!
(Our friend Tom, my son Jackson, and Tom’s son D)
And I was even able to capture it on film with my Canon PowerShot SX110 IS. Zoomed without a filter:
And with a filter (I just used my own $1.50 Solar Eclipse Glasses, nothing fancy at all.):
And I even had some fun playing with the Solar Eclipse and tried sweeping my camera back and forth. And this is what my little point and shoot camera captured:
Pretty cool, huh?
My daughter Jenna was pretty amazed at the sight of the Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse. She was so quiet and focused…which is very unlike her as she loves to talk.
Jeremiah became philosophical and had some very deep thoughts and astute observations to make about the wonders of it all.
As we sat and watched the moon sliding ever so slowly up and over the sun, our friend Tom, the leader of my twin sons’ Boy Scout Troop, and the friend we rode with to the Sandia Crest, took a photo of me, taking a photo of him. Pretty funny!
And my son Jeremiah picked up my camera as the sun was setting, and I was mesmerized still watching the Solar Eclipse, as the moon slipped over the top left corner of the sun, and he snapped this photo of me. I just love it, don’t you?
I hope my kids remember this amazing day for their entire lives, because I know that I will. It is absolutely in my Top Ten List of My Most Favorite and Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences!!