Paseo de Bosque: Alameda to Montaño

This was another after-work bike ride along the Paseo de Bosque, a paved multi-use trail along the east bank of the Rio Grande.  I took the opportunity to explore some side paths at the northern end of the trail.

One can cross under Alameda Boulevard from the parking area on the south to the north of the road. Note the pedestrian bridge across the drainage ditch that can be seen under the Alameda motor bridge.

I started at the Alameda Open Space parking area off Alameda Boulevard.  This is the northern terminus of the Paseo de Bosque.  However, the trail does continue under Alameda Boulevard.  On the north side of Alameda, one can continue north along the levee road, or cross the Rio Grande on the pedestrian bridge and continue north on the Corrales Bosque Trail.

This picnic area, north of Alameda, between the drainage ditch and the river, is often used for family outings.

From the parking area a spur leads past a constructed wetlands to Rio Grande Boulevard, where Bruce Papitto’s sculpture “The Bell Keepers” is located.  Also, the parking area connects to Alameda Boulevard, which has a wide bike path along the shoulder.

Normally, the wetlands is off limits (except to wildlife), but today the gate on the backside was open, so I was able to explore within the wetlands area.

At the intersection of Alameda and Rio Grande Boulevard, is a sculpture by Bruce Popitto representing the rescue of a bell from a flooded church in Spanish colonial Alameda.

Paseo de Bosque itself goes south from the parking area.  Today I passed under Paseo del Norte and continued on to Montaño Boulevard.  Both of these major roads have underpasses so foot/bike/skate traffic on Paseo de Bosque will not be endangered by motor traffic on Paseo del Norte or Montaño.

Many un-maintained trails branch off the paved trail.  I took one of these, a 2-track that went to and followed an older levee.  This older levee may have been constructed by debris and silt captured by fields of jetty jacks.

A fine evening adventure was brought to an end by fading light.

Whether by design or negligence, the gate to the wetlands was open. I was able to explore the service road and photograph these mallards through a break in the surrounding vegetation.

Paseo de Bosque crosses the drainage ditch and ascends the levee. Most of the length of the trail is along the top of the levee. Drainage ditches were built on both sides of the river so the wetlands (aka "swamp") could be put to productive agricultural use.

"Jetty jacks" were used for flood control before the dams upstream of Albuquerque were built. These metal structures, seen to the right in the photograph, were anchored by steel cables, and would trap debris and silt when the river flooded. Fairly quickly a levee would form , serving to constrain the river to its channel. Today dams regulate water flow in the Rio Grande, and the jetty jacks are no longer needed.

An underpass provides safe passage for crossing Paseo del Norte.

Another underpass provides safe passage across Montano.

At intervals along the trail, benches are provided for weary travelers.

Adventure Maps

Paseo de Bosque: Alameda to Montaño at EveryTrail
EveryTrail – Find the best Hiking near Albuquerque, New Mexico

Not much elevation change when biking along the river.

Paseo de Bosque

I’ve never been on the Paseo de Bosque trail from one end to the other, so this Saturday afternoon seemed like a good time to try it. Together with Marvin and Jerry, we started out in mid afternoon from the Alameda Open Space parking lot.

Alameda Open Space signs

We started our ride at the northern terminus of Paseo de Bosque, in the Alameda Open Space parking area. From here one can go north, under Alameda Boulevard, and cross the Rio Grande on the pedestrian bridge. This provides access to the Corrales Bosque Trail, an unpaved hiking and biking trail along the Rio Grande. We traveled south along the paved Paseo de Bosque trail.

Paseo de Bosque is a paved multi-use trail along the east bank of the Rio Grande.  It gets a lot of use from hikers, bikers, and roller-bladers.  It’s not unusual to see mothers on roller-blades pushing their kids in baby carriages.  There’s even a yellow center line painted on the trail to help with traffic.  Paseo de Bosque is located within the Rio Grande Valley State Park and is regularly patrolled by police on mountain bikes.

Montano Bridge Underpass

Paseo de Bosque crosses several busy roads, including Montano Boulevard shown above. The trail goes under these roads, providing a safe way to get to the other side. Alameda Boulevard, Paseo del Norte, and Montano Boulevard all have underpasses used by Paseo de Bosque crossings.

iPhone Camera Roll Limitation

Because I was with others, I did not take my Pentax camera that requires a backpack and extra time to take pictures.  My intention was to take photos with my iPhone, which takes OK pictures and is a lot easier to carry.  In the process I found a limitation of the iPhone.  I have the 8Gb 3G model, which is a couple years old by now.  It seems there is a limit to the number of photos that can be stored on the Camera Roll.  I had taken several pictures earlier and had not downloaded them to the computer.  Part way into this ride the iPhone refused to take any more pictures.  I had a second camera app installed, so I tried it, with no better results.  So I did not get as many pictures as I wanted.

Trail beside Montano Boulevard

On the south side of Montano Boulevard, this inviting trail beckoned us to the east along an irrigation canal. Our mission was to find the southern terminus of Paseo de Bosque, so this trail was put off for another day.

In analyzing the situation, I believe I know what happened.  The iPhone simply ran out of memory to store more photos.  At first thought this seems strange, as even the 8Gb model can show hundreds of pictures in the Photos app.  But on reflection the reasons become clear.

Aldo Leopold Trail sign

The Aldo Leopold Trail is on the grounds of the Rio Grande Nature Center. It's a nice loop through the forest parallel to the river, across the irrigation ditch from the visitor center. I left my companions on the paved trail to explore this trail.

Photos taken by the iPhone are stored in the Camera Roll at their full resolution (2.0 mega-pixels for my 3G).  I have my iPhone crammed full of apps, audio, and photos, so new photos use up the free space fairly quickly.  Once available space is used up, no more photos can be taken.  I do wish there was a message like “Out of Memory” that displayed, rather than just not working.  I was afraid the iPhone had broken in some way.

Trail west of Nature Center

A beautiful forested trail in the bosque, part of the Rio Grande Nature Center. Here's where my iPhone ran out of memory, so no more pictures.

Once the photos are downloaded to my computer and deleted from the Camera Roll, they can be uploaded to the iPhone for viewing.  I’m not sure how this works under Windows, but on my iMac the iTunes program fetches the photos from iPhoto, compresses them, and does the upload when I sync the iPhone.  Most of the time the compression is invisible but when the set of photos to be uploaded is large, I can see a progress bar as compression is proceeding.

Camera+ App Doesn’t Geotag Photos

Another surprise I found when I downloaded the photos from the iPhone was that they were not geotagged with the location of where the photo was taken. I know the iPhone (Camera app) geotags photos, from earlier experiments I had done. This time I was using Camera+, because it has some pretty snazzy editing features. Geotags were not included in the photo files created by Camera+.

Photos taken by Camera+ first go into a temporary holding area called the Lightbox. Here is where the editing effects can be applied. After any edits are applied, the photo is saved to the Camera Roll. From there it is handled like any other photo by iOS. Somewhere in this process the geotags are deleted, or were never applied in the first place. For my adventures, I want to know where the photo was taken. If I’m using the iPhone, I usually don’t have a GPS track running, so it’s important to me for the photo to be geotagged by the iPhone. I won’t be using Camera+ any more, at least until this issue gets fixed.

Adventure Map

The three of us spent a lot of time solving the world’s problems, and consequently ran out of daylight.  The trip to the south terminus of Paseo de Bosque will have to wait for another day.

Paseo de Bosque at EveryTrail
EveryTrail – Find the best Hiking near Albuquerque, New Mexico