Spent almost the entire day on Turquoise Trail … Scenic Rt 14 Byway that took us through several off the beaten roads into some pretty small towns. Very interesting day .. alot of history .. and alot of quirky things to see and do. Brilliant idea to have the trail .. leads tourists to places they may not have noticed .. good for townsfolk .. bring tourist $$ into town. A few of towns we visited mentioned below ….. Entire trail is approx 60 miles .. we covered most of it.
Cerrillos.. gold, silver, lead, zinc and most of all turquoise was mined heavily in the 1880’s.. At it’s peak ,, town supported 21 saloons and 4 hotels (note .. Cerrillos is a very small town). At one point it was being considered for capital of New Mexico. Main street recently got paved .. side streets are still dirt roads .. Movie ‘Young Guns’ (Keifer Sutherland) was filmed in Cerrillos..
Madrid .. Woodstock on steroids … rich history of coal mining.. today it is a distinctive artists’s community. Because of the unique geology in the area .. hard and soft coal were mined with shafts going as deep as 2500 ft. Company town became famous for it’s 4th of July parades .. lighted Christmas displays (Walt Disney paid them a visit to check out Xmas decorations) .. had first lighted baseball stadium (minor league) in the West. In early 70’s artists and craftspeople converted old company stores and houses to shops and galleries. Movie ‘Wild Hogs (John Travalta) used ‘Diner’ in town as a backdrop.
Sandia Crest .. high point on the trail .. 10,678 ft. ski and nature area. Also home to Tinkertown Museum .. voted in top 10 of small museums.. A little backround info… Museum has a definite circus vibe …
‘It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within.’
While there we met Oma and Esmarelda .. A self proclaimed Swami and his partner .. a goose .. They read our Tarrot Cards .. fortunately our ‘fortunes’ were good ! Oma is quite the character !