People, animals use ice to cool down in heat wave

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque topped out at 101 degrees Tuesday, but those scorching temperatures didn’t stop people from going outside, and also had some zoo animals begging for some cool treats.

Every Tuesday, it’s Tasty Tuesday at Hyder Park.

“It’s usually really busy. I don’t know if anyone will come out tonight,” Jenn Van Osdel said.

Van Osdel may have underestimated how much people love food trucks in Albuquerque. Particularly, JP’s Custard Cart.

“We will sell about 12 gallons of frozen custard and three gallons of lemon Italian ice tonight,” John Pitchford said.

John and his wife Pam own JP’s Custard Cart. They’ve been serving up delicious treats for the last 11 years.

“When I visited my daughter on the East Coast, that’s all I ate,” John said. “I walked in one night and said to Pam, ‘How about we do it in a food truck?’ I mean there’s no employees and no rent to pay and here we are 11 years later.”

On a day where the temps stayed near 100 degrees, the Pitchford’s food truck was exactly what everyone was looking for.

But they weren’t the only two serving up cool treats. A group of middle school students made fish popsicles for the polar bears at the zoo.

“We filled a one-gallon jug up with water with a scoop of Gatorade in it. We mixed that together and put fish in it,” Julieta Juri-Delgado said.

Those popsicles had everything from Herring to Trout, Capelin, and even Mackerel inside.

Zoo keepers said on days like Tuesday, they like to make sure animals like Kiska and Kaluk stay cool. And when they ran out of the fish popsicles, Kiska and Kaluk wanted more.

“They were staring at us like, ‘We know you have it,'” Samantha Bigger said.

But like John always says on a hot day…

“Most people come up here happy, but everybody leaves here happy,” he said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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