The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Joshua Madalena

Joshua Madalena

County line—See Sandoval


Hot off the presses is the latest See Sandoval, the County’s free 2008 visitor’s guide that offers opportunities to see parts of Sandoval County and New Mexico that some long-timers may have overlooked.

The expanded, forty-six-page full-color guide is packed with information on County attractions, cultural events, historic sites, and more. Photos display many of the County’s scenic and cultural wonders and a two-page map showcases many of our County’s offerings.

Included in the guide are summaries of our area’s outdoor recreational spots for activities ranging from camping and fishing to soccer, golf, and mountain biking. The guide offers suggested day trips along the five scenic byways crossing Sandoval County, as well as information on our local monuments and parks. Thumbnail sketches are included of the culturally-rich and historic pueblos that play prominent roles in Sandoval County’s past and future.

Copies of the guide are available for free at local businesses, information centers, and chambers of commerce throughout our region. Better yet, stop by the El Zócalo complex in Bernalillo that houses the County’s Visitor’s Center. There, you can meet the knowledgeable staff who can provide in-depth personalized travel information and even give a quick tour of the recently restored historic El Zócalo convent building.

Copies of the guide also are available by calling the Visitor’s Center, 867-TOUR, or (800) 252-0191, or by visiting the Sandoval County website,, where you also will find travel information and updated sightseeing suggestions. You can even download a copy of the highly popular and very scenic screen saver featuring photos of many County attractions.

Spring is always a special time in Sandoval County. It also marks the beginning of our prime tourist season when visitors spend needed tourism dollars that, in turn, vitalize the financial well-being of County residents.

The tourism industry is the State’s largest private sector employer, providing jobs for more than one hundred thousand workers statewide, including thousands of our friends and neighbors who depend on tourism for jobs in Sandoval County. Statewide, those jobs provide more than $10 billion in salaries each year that roll through all aspects of our State’s economy.

The County’s Tourism and Economic Development staff has data showing that the average tourist spends $130 a day visiting Sandoval County, with an average length of stay of four days. Each year, lodger taxes imposed on motel rooms and commercial accommodations in Sandoval County generate more than $350,000 to help fund and promote recreational opportunities throughout our area.

The Sandoval Easy Express (SEE) is a new travel option for visitors this year, as well as a year-round transportation alternative for County residents commuting to jobs, school, or medical appointments. The SEE is the County’s first rural public transit system, and it is a project that I am very proud to have helped implement, especially as service was extended to the Cuba area just last month.

In addition to the Cuba route, the Easy Express last April began service along the Jemez corridor from Bernalillo to Jemez Springs and along the I-25 corridor from Bernalillo to Cochiti Lake, with stops provided at communities along both routes. All SEE routes provide service to the Rail Runner commuter train system at the Sandoval County / US 550 Station in Bernalillo and links with City of Albuquerque bus lines that provide travel throughout the metropolitan region.

For more information on SEE schedules or fares, call 1-877-660-1110.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Madalena can be mailed to him at Sandoval County Administrative Offices, PO Box 40, Bernalillo, NM 87004.

El Rinconcito español

• Ve despacio y no llegarás cansado.
Go slowly and you won’t arrive tired.

• No es amistad la que siempre pide y nunca da.
It isn’t friendship, that which always asks and never gives.

• De casi no se muere nadie.
Nobody dies of “almost.”

Submitted by, Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication skills.

Friend o foal

Photograph, “Friend or Foal Exhibit,” by Dry Heat Photography

Art gallery show benefits New Mexican Horse Project, wolves

Stay tuned in April as Art Gallery 66 continues to distinguish itself as both a center for community enrichment and as a home for exceptional fine art and photography.

On April 5, Art Gallery 66 hosts “Friend or Foal,” a large-scale benefit show sponsored by Dry Heat Photography and featuring special guest photographers David Cramer and Julie Rybachek. “Friend or Foal” will feature photographs from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah, New Mexico, and the New Mexican Horse Project in Escondida, New Mexico.

The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary provides a safe, secure, and permanent home for wolves and wolf dogs that have been rescued from abusive domestic situations. Their mission is to educate the public that wolves should never be kept as pets and deserve to remain protected, wild, and free. The New Mexican Horse Project is the largest wild horse sanctuary in North America and provides a safe home for a select herd of wild mustangs, all of whom have been proven, via DNA testing, to be descended from the original horses brought to the Americas by the Spaniards in the late fourteen-hundreds. Their mission is to protect and preserve this breed of wild horse known as the New Mexican and to establish preserves where those horses that are proven to be New Mexicans may live and prosper as free animals without interference from human intervention.

To further enhance the show experience, Leyon Cougar, executive director of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, will be on hand with an ambassador timber wolf to talk with the public and field questions regarding wolf conservation. In addition, Carlos LoPopolo, director of the New Mexican Horse Project will be in attendance and will be accompanied by a New Mexican horse. This is a rare opportunity to meet both of these passionate activists at the same event.

The show will open on Saturday, April 5 from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. Art Gallery 66 is donating twenty percent of the proceeds back to the sanctuaries. Gallery co-owner Darryl Willison says, “This is a unique and educational event to enjoy with the whole family, so be sure to join us for an afternoon of stunning photography and beautiful animals.”

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Corrales presentation explores U.S. Highway 60

On March 9 at 3:00 p.m., the Corrales Historical Society and Historical Society of New Mexico will present “Ocean to Ocean, an Exploration of U.S. Highway 60.” The event takes place at the Old San Ysidro Church on Old Church Road across from Casa San Ysidro in Corrales.

The present U.S. Highway 60 was originally known as “the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway,” running from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Santa Monica, California. It was the first true transcontinental road. The history of this “super” highway will be explored by Dr. Spencer Wilson, Professor Emeritus of History at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. Fascinating facts and romantic recollections will be revealed in his speech, bringing to life this legendary highway that hosted “ocean-to-ocean member garages” and many wonderful road-trip stories.

In New Mexico, the road ran from Clovis, through towns west to a junction east of Belen, south to Socorro, and west to Magdalena, Datil, Quemado, and on to Springerville, Arizona. U.S. Highway 60 dates from 1926 when federal roads were first given numbers. The New Mexico legislature has designated it as an historical road, with several towns passing resolutions in support of this designation.

Dr. Spencer was born in Evanston, Illinois, to a family with deep roots in New Mexico and the West. He grew up in Albuquerque, where he attended public school. He graduated from Colorado Springs High School. Returning to New Mexico, he attended UNM, where he received his BA in History. He was commissioned Ensign in the Navy Reserve and served two years in the Pacific during the Korean War. After his military duty, he returned to UNM to earn his MA in History with a specialty in the Civil War

The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.







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