April 29, 2021
by David Ryan
3 Comments

2021 Albuquerque Jane’s Walks

Jane’s Walks are volunteer-led urban walks held in over 200 cities worldwide. They are named after Jane Jacobs who was a pioneer in protecting urban neighborhoods. Her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, is a classic and a wakeup call for many to protect and save their neighborhood. The Walks are held in early May to celebrate her birthday and urban neighborhoods.

Several of us had hoped to conduct Albuquerque’s first Jane’s Walks event in May 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented that from happening.

This year’s Jane’s Walks (2021) are slated for the weekend of May 8 and 9. With the pandemic situation still uncertain, we are offering five self-guided walks as an alternative to volunteer-led walks. You can take any of this year’s self-guided walks whenever it is convenient for you.

Next year (2022) we hope to involve more neighborhoods and to have a larger selection of volunteer-led walks. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the five self-guided ones available right now.

With most of Albuquerque developed after World War II and built for driving, our walks are a refreshing alternative as they go through neighborhoods meant to be walked. Before cars became predominant, houses were built closer to each other, the streets were narrower and less circuitous, the blocks shorter, and retail and commercial establishments were oftentimes intermixed with houses. All this made and still makes it easier to get around on foot. It also makes for very interesting casual walks that keep your attention from beginning to end.

Walk # 1 – Mountain Road Arts Corridor walk (2.7 miles long) features the art and architecture along or near Mountain Road. The walk begins and ends near the intersection of 12th Street and Mountain Road and heads east. It will take you through some of Albuquerque’s oldest and nicest neighborhoods near Downtown. Along the way you’ll see wonderful artwork, interesting streets, and the best of neighborhood living. Please click HERE for a Map and Narrative of the walk.

Walk # 2 – Downtown Core and Barelas walk has been provided to us by Peter Rice of the Downtown Albuquerque News. As the name of the walk states, it features Albuquerque’s Downtown Core and the Barelas neighborhood south of Downtown. Please click HERE to access a Map and Narrative of the walk.

Walk # 3 Old Town and the Sawmill District walk (2.3 miles long) picks up from where Walk # 1 ends. Rather than heading east, this walk heads west from the 12th and Mountain area to include Old Town and the Sawmill District. Like the other walks there will be plenty of artworks and other items to catch your attention. Please click HERE to access a Map and Narrative of the walk.

Walk # 4 Troche Moche Walk Around Wells Park walk (2.3 miles long) has been provided to us by Martha Heard, the driving force behind the Wells Park Neighborhood Oral History project. This walk like Walks # 1 and # 3 begins and ends near the intersection of 12th and Mountain. Rather than going east or west, this walk heads north to explore the Wells Park neighborhood to the north and east of 12th and Mountain. Please click HERE to access a Map and Narrative of the walk.

Walk # 5 Nob Hill Architectural Tour walk (2.6 miles long) has been provided to us by Steven Justrich, an interior designer and one of the Albuquerque Jane’s Walks organizers. This walk explores the fascinating architecture of Nob Hill and includes the “world famous” Bart Prince spaceship home and studio. Please click HERE to access a Map and Narrative of the walk.

Hope you enjoy the Walks.

April 5, 2021
by David Ryan
4 Comments

Making Amazing Discoveries While Looking for an Old Stagecoach Road

Wandering, as has been described many times on this website and in the book The Gentle Art of Wandering, is about adopting a mindset that allows you to see and then letting what you see guide you on where you go. It’s about setting yourself up for having an adventure and making amazing discoveries every time you step out the door.

But as the Wandering book points out, it’s also good to have some ideas for places to check out as that can provide the necessary context that you might need to get out the door. An idea could be as simple as a hiking trail to check out, following up on a hunch, or something else. But it is only when you act upon your idea that your wandering adventure can begin.

To get some new ideas during the pandemic, I pulled out a few of my Land Status maps to look for some new places to explore and noticed a dashed line on the Albuquerque Land Status map labeled Old Stagecoach Road.

This portion of map is west of Stanley, NM.

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March 3, 2021
by David Ryan
1 Comment

Hiking and Exploring in the Quebradas Backcountry

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Quebradas Back Country Byway is a 24-mile long dirt road that runs on the east side of the Rio Grande through the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert from a few miles north of Socorro, New Mexico to a few miles east of San Antonio, New Mexico. With Quebradas meaning “breaks” in Spanish, the back country byway doesn’t disappoint. The road makes many twists and turns as it works its way through a broken landscape of cliffs, arroyo canyons, and the brilliant colors of the slanted land formations.

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