Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

TWILIGHT's last gleaming.(Final)

Byline: Story and photographs by Michael Richie For the Journal

From South Sandia Peak, the city puts on a colorful sunset display

Sunset from 9,782-foot-high South Sandia Peak is unbelievable. The view stretches west down Menaul, over sparkling lights in the city's heart, all the way to the West Mesa, where Mount Taylor hovers above the skyline. The city's light show doesn't clash with nature's, but complements it. You might even say the two types of beauty are intensified by the comparison.

The physical effort required to haul overnight camping gear up South Peak makes the rewards all the sweeter. On top, responsibilities are minimal: Make camp, eat, maybe check out some wildflower displays, then wait for the show.

As daylight fades, saffron and tangerine cloud streamers coalesce into vermilion vapor. A filmy magenta haze seeps into the foothills and West Mesa, coloring them deep purple. The sky, at first a washed-out pastel backdrop, begins glowing a brilliant royal blue. Then city lights start twinkling on in earnest.

Albuquerque is a cache of multihued jewels. …

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