Sandias Crack the Top 100
[and other alternate realities]
by Stephen Ausherman
Duke City Fix 11/28/06
I always thought that the Sandias peaked at 10,678 feet.
But in the December 2006 issue of Smithsonian Magazine,
mystery legend Tony Hillerman announced:
"Sandia Mountain... rises to more than 11,000 feet."
Nobody can dispute claims from such venerable entities. Besides, the
sudden growth spurt is just enough to boost our little rockpile onto the
list of New Mexico's 100 highest summits.
For millions of years Sandia Crest sat patiently at the lowly ranking of
102. Then suddenly it showed up as "Sandia Mountain" and blazed
past Santa Fe's Penasco Mountain to secure a solid and respectable
82 on the top 100 countdown.
I can accept that.
I'm also willing to embrace these virtual versions of the Sandias:
"The perfect awe-inspiring overview of Albuquerque can be had from
nearly one mile above the city on top of Sandia Crest, the windy
mountaintop where the view is said to extend for over 1,000 miles."
(At last, I can see Canada!)
"I've never seen anything larger than a bird from the Tram, but... if you
have a sharp eye, you may spot wreckage from a plane that crashed
into the mountain in the late 80s."
(Amazingly, it was identical to the TWA flight that crashed there in
"The term 'sandia,' ... refers to the colour of the gorgeous sunsets
viewed from above Albuquerque and the New Mexico countryside."
(The mountains, however, turn the colour of scones with apricot jam.)
"Snow often blankets many areas of the Sandias year round."
(And Albuquerque's native penguins often feast upon the frozen
carcasses of Texan hikers found on nearby Manzano Glacier.)
. . .