From the top of the Sandia Mountains, looking west, you see Mount Taylor, New Mexico’s highest peak, seventy five miles away.
Looking north, you see Placitas and the Ortiz Mountains, near Madrid, that used to be an 1800’s gold, silver and turquoise mining boom town but now is a sieve catching spiritualists, New Agers, Veterans with missing parts, hippies from the 60’s, fugitives in Uncle Sam’s witness protection program.
Looking south you can see Manzano mountains that are repositories for nuclear warheads on Kirtland Air Force base, next to Sandia Labs, a research facility full of geeks where lunchtime conversation is physics, the light spectrum, nuclear energy, and how to take out foreign enemies without firing a shot.
In not so ancient days, this vista was natural with arroyos taking runoff towards the Rio Grande River.The mesas were filled with rabbits and deer to hunt, one uninterrupted sight with no telephone poles, no freeways, no civilized noise. Even into the 1940’s, most of the Albuquerque basin had nothing but tumbleweeds.
From the top of the Sandia’s, Albuquerque spreads like a huge Monopoly board.
From Sandia Crest, this panorama would be spectacular, even if the city was erased.