Concours du Soleil – Albuquerque’s Favorite Car Show

Concours du Soleil Car Show

Concours du Soleil 2017 Automobile Expo

Admittedly, I have never been what you would considered a “car guy”.  A love for automobiles is often passed down through family and close friends, a passion that was not passed down to me.  However, I have always had a great appreciation for artistic beauty, finely tuned design, and excellent craftsmanship.  The wonderful vehicles on display at the 2017 Concours du Soleil embodied all three of these characteristics and more.  If you have little interest in fine art for example, I would challenge you to visit the historic Georgia O’Keefe museum in downtown Santa Fe, and would expect that you would walk out with a great deal of respect for her work.  That is how I felt as I left the Concours du Soleil.  It is a wonderful car show for seasoned enthusiasts as well as fresh newbies like myself.  A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and friends.

1932 Buick Model 97 4-Door Sedan

Back in 1997, Concours du Soleil began as a small, informal get together of the New Mexico Viper Club.  Held at a local resident’s house, it was little more than a group of car lovers joining each other for an afternoon of engine revving and test drives.  Very quickly, this humble gathering grew in notoriety, attracting a larger audience every year.  In 2005, organized with the support of the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, the first official Concours du Soleil was held at a beautiful location in Los Ranchos.  It was a two day event with a Saturday evening Gala, followed by the public show the following afternoon.  All proceeds went towards various charities promoting growth in the local economy.  The event is still held at the same location to this day.

1953 Crestline Convertible

The 2017 show featured a plethora of exquisite vehicles; an American classic, the 1957 Ford Thunderbird, the exotic 2015 Ferrari 458 Spider, and an eye-catching one-of-a-kind 1965 Lotus Elan Convertible.  These are just of a few of the cars I had a tough time walking away from.  Classics like these are to be expected at a show such as this, but one thing particularly enticing at this years Concours du Soleil were the brand new hybrid and electric vehicles on display.  Once the butt of many jokes, notably the Toyota Prius, these eco-friendly vehicles prove that helping the environment does not mean sacrificing style.  One vehicle in particular seemed to attract the largest crowd of the show, a 2016 Tesla Model X, owned by show supporter Kevin Cooper.  Completely electric, the Model X somehow goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.  Without a doubt the greenest car of the show, and to my surprise also one of the fastest!

2016 Tesla Model X
2016 Tesla Model X

In what was perhaps the most talked about exhibit at the show, the City of Albuquerque Transit Department unveiled one of its brand new A.R.T. buses.  Short for Albuquerque Rapid Transit, the A.R.T. bus is completely electric, and one member of a fleet of 20 the city purchased for the hefty price of $22.9 million.  The A.R.T. project, a three year long construction endeavor along miles of Central Avenue, has been highly controversial here in Albuquerque.  Residents near the area have been greatly inconvenienced by an endlessly changing slew of construction cones and torn up roads.  Local businesses in the surrounding area, particularly the Nob Hill district, have seen serious declines in business during construction.  However, the city encourages those opposed to the project to have patience, as they assure them that upon completion the project will bring new life and increased business to Albuquerque’s famed Route 66.  No matter what side you’re on, seeing the bus first hand was informative.  Another excellent aspect of the Concours du Soleil.

     2017 A.R.T. Bus

Since its inception, Concours du Soleil has always been an event for the better of the local community.  Proceeds have gone to various local non-profit organizations throughout the years, with over $750K awarded in the last 10 years alone.  Visit their website at www.SEEHOTCARS.com for more details, as well as information on how to get involved in supporting the local economy.  To all the car enthusiasts, start polishing up your prized automobile now.  2018’s show is sure to be even better, and only the finest of vehicles will do.  I can’t wait to see what the show has in store for us next year.

Written by Byrd

Photos by The Girl

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Rio Grande Open Spaces

photo of a hand holding cottonwood fluff, bosque trail, open space, trees, pretty light

Rio Grande Open Spaces

M and I went out on a photo journey to one of Albuquerque’s many open spaces, not too long ago.  Cameras in hand, we set out for some inspiration and she led the way to the Pueblo Montano Sculpture Park where we meandered along the Rio Grande, photographing plants, animals, and beautiful sun rays. This park is part of the Open Space Alliance, which is a great project in Albuquerque that preserves natural landscape within the city limits, so that you don’t have to go far in order to feel more connected to the space around you.  One thing I love about just going out with the camera and a friend is that a) it’s cheap b) time to view the world and not through your cell c) you get to see how other people are viewing your surroundings.  (Which reminds me, M, I still need to see your photos!)

Inspiration from Open Spaces

As a native New Englander, I’ve often had a bit of a struggle to figure out what I want to photograph in Albuquerque. A lot of what you see initially is brown, the mountains, the homes, and the landscape.  Not to mention there is so much open space, what should I focus on?  However – I’m slowly finding my vision again. There is color to behold in Albuquerque, and lots of it! I just needed to open my eyes a bit more and get out on some adventures.  Going on adventures is one of the most fun things about living in a new city – and speaking of, Byrd and I ventured out yesterday, looking for the setting of a beautiful photograph I saw on Instagram.  With no help from Google Maps, I found it! I was super proud of myself, so stay tuned for an upcoming post about that excursion, we will surely be going back there! Anyways, back to the current photo-trip:  This adventure led me to some shots of something other than the Sandias, I know ya’ll were getting sick of those 😉 – I was able to take a closer look and focus in on the smaller things around me. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to look around every once in awhile!

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Another day, another adventure.

Written by The Girl

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Pat Hurley Park – A Discovery

About a month ago Byrd and I ventured to a suggested photo spot – Pat Hurley Park.  It was suggested to me via reddit user Elbiotcho on the subreddit r/Albuquerque (definitely check it out, lots of useful info there!).  Not growing up here has presented a few challenges for me as a photographer – where do I take pictures?  What places offer beautiful views of the mountains without the power lines and rooftops and cars.  And I welcome those challenges, more opportunity to explore the city and space around me.  I was thrilled to find out Byrd had never been there before – a place for both of us to discover together.

Pat Hurley Park

It’s absolutely beautiful.  It’s layered! The park is built into a hillside, at the top lush grass, benches, and a few trees, down the hillside are small gazebos and a pathway to another grassy field below, open to soccer games and frisbee.  The pathways meet up and make for a total distance of 1 mile and loop around the community center and playground – this area is super family friendly from what I saw.   Byrd and I took a few a photos of each other and of the surrounding landscape.  It was of course another stormy day. Take a look for yourself:

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So there you have it! Just another adventure in the life of Byrd Meets Girl.

Written by The Girl

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TBT – Camping at Lake Heron

Lake Heron

Last year Byrd and I went on an amazing camping adventure to Lake Heron.  It’s about 3 hours north-west of Albuquerque, and one of the most scenic drives I have ever been on. On the way you drive past Ghost Ranch, the place that inspired numerous paintings by Georgia O’Keefe.  Red rock is abundant.  Gorges and cliffs and all kinds of rock structures line the roadways.  We drove through some torrential downpours, since it was August which equals rainy season here, and we weathered some rain while we were camping as well.  We took the dogs swimming in Lake Heron, which was quite funny.  Kimbo would kick his legs even out of the water, and Lily was just bewildered.  These desert dogs don’t have much experience being submerged in water. We went on a few leisurely hikes and ate food cooked on a campfire.  It was so much fun – I think we’re going to try to get back there sometime this summer. Take a look at some of the shots we got while there – just seeing them again is making me nostalgic!

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Get Inspired – Go on an Adventure

photo of sandia mountains, storm clouds, new mexico photographer, photography, photograph, digital photography, adventures, get inspired

Our Adventures

We all have excuses to stay home and watch Netflix – with their library growing exponentially who doesn’t? But instead of watching 6 episodes of Frasier we’re only going to watch 1 or 2.  With our extra time, we’re going to head outside and we are going to have more adventures.  This means even more chances for you to be inspired to have an adventure of your own! It’s so exciting to see what New Mexico has to offer.  Last year we went camping at Lake Heron, look for a future TBT post of those beautiful photos, and keep your eyes peeled for more current adventures around our lovely state.

Algodones

We had this great “couples” photoshoot planned for Wednesday.  You know the kind, tons of PDA, super cute, out in the desert with the mountains way behind us.  Well, that didn’t quite turn out the way we thought it would.  We headed north on I-25 and into a huge storm.  It totally nixed my plans for the location we were going to use.  Wind was kicking up dirt and lightning was hitting the exact spot. Instead we turned around and pulled off at Algodones.  We drove around for a bit before Byrd remembered a location he had shot at for numerous films in the area.  Breaking Bad actually shot there at one point.   Here are the resulting photos from our little excursion – no couples shots (yet!).

Get Inspired

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No matter where we go, I know I’ll have a good time with Byrd.  He always makes me laugh, even when a storm gets in our way.  Since moving to New Mexico I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  #LandOfManana, ya’ll.

Written by The Girl

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Camping in the Jemez Springs

camping road wood fence trees

Prior to the 4th of July, Byrd, our 3 pups, and I went camping up in the Jemez Springs with a few of our close friends.  It was a short trip, but it was relaxing and good to get away from technology.  Taking three days off of TV, computers, cell phones, and tablets really does help to clear your head and let you focus on what is immediately in front of you.

The Jemez Springs

The Jemez Springs is snug right in the Santa Fe National Forest, one of our dwindling protected areas, almost untouched by modern development.  The vistas of trees, red rock, and small streams is quite unlike what you find in the city of Albuquerque.  The drive is not long, about an hour and half from the city.  The drive starts out on I-25 and continues through Bernalillo, up US-550, and onto NM-4.  Typically the beautiful scenic route would continue through the Gilman Tunnels, but unfortunately due to a recent wildfire, this rustic roadway was shut down.  Luckily for us, it’s not the only way in. Off of NM-4 we took a dirt road, forest service road 376, about 10 miles into the forest . There we found it – our undeveloped camp site.  Undeveloped means you are literally camping in the woods, on a small patch of dirt, and perhaps there is a fire pit.  There was no picnic table, no electricity, no running water, and no facilities to speak of.  We were truly one with nature.  No big campers, no air mattresses, no typical creature comforts.  We do not do “glamping”.  We had to truly use our resources upon discovering the fire restrictions – absolutely no fires, with wood or with charcoal.  Our resources were tiny table top stoves fueled by propane, thank goodness the nearest corner store (about a 30 minute drive away) had one left in stock, otherwise we might have ended up eating leaves and sticks. Instead, we got to have burgers, breakfast burritos, and a yummy shrimp & potato concoction. Delish. (So much for not glamping, eh?)

Camping with the Dogs

The first night we sat around the unlit campfire, with all 6 dogs (Our friends had 3 with them as well) talking about the cool evening weather, and the stillness of the night. Setting up camp earlier in the day had been quick and easy, a few tents thrown together and a little organization of food supplies was all it took.  While we sat and enjoyed nature, the dogs understandably started up barking and playing, so Byrd and I walked the dogs along the service road, hoping to get out some of their energy from being packed in a car for a good portion of the day. (After leaving home, we met up with our friends, had to make a few stops for supplies, and met up with another camping companion – leaving the dogs in the car for nearly 3 hours was not ideal, but I’m sure after their walk in the wild they were no longer thinking of the car ride.)  The dogs were absolutely thrilled – take a look at the three of them:

photo of dog, kimbo, cheweenie, chihuahua mix
Kimbo the Cheweenie
photo of dog, pitbull mix, lily, camping
Lily the Pitbull mix
photo of chihuahua, mowgli, camping, dog, cute
Mowgli the Chihuahua

Camping with the dogs really made it more fun, even if we constantly had to tell them to stop barking, stop whining, stop chewing strange things found on the ground. We were just as happy and probably just as dirty as the dogs – there were none of the usual day-to-day stressors, we had our friends, and we had clean fresh air.  Eventually the dogs chilled out and lazed about in the dirt, chewed on some rawhides, and tried to trick anyone and everyone out of the food they were eating.

The Art of Camping

Byrd and I brought our cameras to try and capture some of the beauty that surrounded us.  I’m not sure we did it justice!

photo of tent, camping, trees, nature

photo of stream, water, woods, camping, nature

photo of stream, log, water, camping, woods, nature

tree, burned, wildfire, jemez, woods

photo of campsite camping trees woods

camping road path trees

camping road path trees

camping road wood fence trees

camping road wood fence trees

photo of water, weeds, nature, camping

photo of trees and sunlight, nature, grass

Hiking and a photoshoot with Byrd

On our second day, Byrd and I hiked up a steep incline right next to our campsite, and made it to the top.  We left the pups behind for this one – Kimbo’s legs are much too short to endure such a steep hike, besides I think he was too busy napping. So we set off on our own for what was a relatively short and easy hike, although I’ll freely admit I was scared to go back down once I got to the top.  But boy, was it worth it! Byrd let me take a few shots of him up there, and I love the resulting photos, totally spur of the moment always makes for some of the best shots.

long shot portrait of dude in the woods, greg byrd, trees, sun

medium shot portrait of dude in the woods, greg byrd, trees, sun

close up shot portrait of dude in the woods, greg byrd, trees, sun

 

We spent the rest of our second day playing Cards Against Humanities – in fact, we made it through the entire deck, which I found to be pretty impressive.  We had some delicious food, cuddled the little dogs, and chatted about the upcoming 4th of July celebration.  That night we all slept really well, which is especially awesome because it had been a long time since I had slept on practically nothing but the ground. The dogs were actually begging to be let inside the tent at 9pm – it was pretty funny to watch them paw at the zippers, waiting for us to let them burrow into their beds.  Our third day we had breakfast burritos, courtesy of our lovely friends, packed up our supplies, and headed back to civilization. All in all, it was a success.

Written by the Girl

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