Richard had a driving lesson this Sunday morning. I spent the couple hours in a pleasant bike ride along the Rio Grande. I had heard of the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center and decided to try to locate it on this trip.
Richard’s driving lesson was at a storefront in a shopping center on Coors Boulevard, near Paseo del Norte. So it was not a far drive to park next to a wildlife preserve off of Paseo that connected to the Paseo bike path. The parking area was nearly full, as many people were enjoying the outdoors.
This day I elected to take the levee road on the west side of the Rio Grande River. The levee road is popular with bikers, hikers, dog walkers, and joggers, all of whom were out in force. Nice views of the bosque on my left, and horse farms on my right made for a pleasant ride. I followed the levee road nearly to Montaño Boulevard, where I met two gentlemen walking a dog. They had brochures describing the sculptures at Pueblo Montaño. They pointed me toward the Open Space Visitor Center.
To get to the Visitor Center from the levee road, one must first cross a drainage ditch and then backtrack north to the Center. The path is not clearly marked and I took the wrong turn at first. When I eventually I did find the Center, I was pleasantly surprised. The Open Space Visitor Center has a beautiful courtyard that was in use for a yoga class. Indoors is room for an art gallery that displays work of local artists, and a lecture hall. Outdoors is a large field that will attract Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes in the winter. An observation deck extends out over the field. I saw an observation platform rising from the top of the Center building, but did not have a chance to use it. A Spanish colonial garden completes the outdoor area.
There are a couple “chainsaw sculptures” on the grounds. With the level of detail in these sculptures, I’m sure a chainsaw was not the only tool used. These sculptures are carved from dead trees, probably Cottonwoods, that are left in place in the ground. Very impressive.
Too soon it was time to leave in order to pick up Richard from his driving class. The return trip followed the same path as outbound, just at a faster clip.
Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center at EveryTrail
EveryTrail – Find the best Hiking near Albuquerque, New Mexico