Won’t You Weep for Me?

Eye of the Sandias
Eye of the Sandias

We can check off another classic Albuquerque landmark. I read that this one has been around at least 50 years. No one knows for sure who first painted the eye on a rock formation in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, overlooking Albuquerque. The legend is that the tears coming from the eye symbolize the Sandias weeping over the encroachment of new development, as the city continues to expand. This may have been more of an issue 50 years ago, but from what I’ve seen since we’ve lived here, there is now a genuine effort on the part of the citizenry to preserve Open Space and wilderness areas and prevent more development in the Sandias.

Whether its symbolism is still relevant or not, I’m thankful to whomever it is that takes the time to repaint the rock. Hiking up to see it requires a steep 2-mile climb through the foothills on an unofficial trail. But the trail is heavily used and with Albuquerque always in sight below, you wouldn’t get lost, even if you weren’t able to find the rock. I’m not sure I could have found it without the help of Sue and her GPS track that we followed.

It was a perfect day to be out hiking and a lot of the spring wildflowers thought it was perfect, too. Many interesting rock formations and huge piles of boulders added to the fun of being out. And, best of all, there is so much to see for miles around as you continue to climb higher and then as you get to the very top and can sit and enjoy the view and sense of accomplishment for having climbed so high. No weeping for me today.

Contrast of delicate wildflower with prickly cactus.
Contrast of delicate wildflower with prickly cactus.
Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose
Perky Sue
Perky Sue
Interesting cactus
Interesting cactus
Trail ahead
Trail ahead
Evening primrose scattered white like discarded tissues.
Evening primrose scattered white like discarded tissues.
Not so perky Sue
Not so perky Sue
Is there a face shape in that rock.
Is there a face shape in that rock.
View to the south that the “eye” sees. Interstate 40 is the highway below. Manzano Mountains in the distance.
View looking down at Albuquerque from where we hiked up.
View looking down at Albuquerque from where we hiked up.
Verbena, also called Dakota Vervain.
Verbena, also called Dakota Vervain.