the wandering chick
here and there
The Old Town and Plaza may be the highlight of Santa Fe to some, but there's so much more, from the opera house north of town to the Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway to the south. Here are a few highlights of the rest of Santa Fe and its outstanding surroundings.
Santa Fe's Farmers' Market was so much fun, my travel partner and I went through it twice. I'll not forget the aromas that wafted around our heads and all the colors that reminded us that autumn had arrived.
These are fragrance sachets made of sage.
Ah! So THIS is how they roast the peppers! And doesn't this guy look like he's enjoying his job?!
South of Santa Fe, leaving Albuquerque, is the Highway 14 which travels through a few interesting towns including Madrid and Cerrillos.
The route is called The Turquoise Trail. At one time, even before white man showed up, the area was rich in turquoise.Today, Cerrillos is all but a ghost town, save a museum, a post office, a church and a couple other businesses.
Madrid, on the other hand, is a mecca for artists, which is evident as one travels the main street of town.
The next several shots were taken along the Turquoise Trail.
Here sits an establishment of yesteryear in Cerrillos. At one time, New Mexico was considering making Cerrillos its capital. In its heydays of the 1880s and 1890s, when the area was so rich in minerals such as zinc, silver, gold and lead, the town hosted 21 saloons, 4 hotels and two churches. But when the mining died, so went the town.
There is a museum in town...with lots of bottles and old mining equipment. Oh, and it has a petting zoo.
The Cerrillos Hills make a nice backdrop along the Turquoise Trail.
Like a mini-Garden of the Gods, rock formations on either side of Highway 14 near Cerrillos cause passers-by to take a second look. It's not a very large section, but impressive just the same.
Cerrillos Hills State Park is for day-use only, but a number of hiking trails offers views of all the surrounding mountain ranges.
The Cerrillos Cemetery sits on a lonely hillside near the state park.
Madrid has the hustle and bustle that Cerrillos lacks. There may be only one main street in town, but it's lined on both sides with boutiques, jewelry stores, restaurants, art galleries - both exquisite and funky - and a museum.
Never learned the reason for these shoes hanging across the street. But if they're just for laughs, then they have served their purpose many times over.
Anyone who saw the 2007 John Travolta movie "Wild Hogs" might recognize this building as Maggie's Diner. Previously an empty lot, the building was constructed for the movie. When the filming was complete, the building was given to the lot owner. Today, it's a T-shirt shop in Madrid, with a few Wild Hogs souvenirs. No other parts of the movie were filmed in Madrid.
A short detour off the Turquoise Trail is the Sandia Crest Ski Resort. Panoramic views are to be had from there, and a short hiking trail offers additional views.
Ross Ward was in junior high school in 1962 when he constructed his first hand-made carving. What started out as a hobby of a Midwest country boy who liked the circus figures carved by others grew into what today is Tinkertown Museum. The 22-room museum, covered on the outside with glass bottles and mortar, is filled with whimsical memorabilia, dioramas, antique toys, circus and Old West collections and miniature animated towns. Outside, one can roam around and find an array of western gear and paraphernalia from cast-iron skillets to wagon wheels.
In 1998, at the age of 57, Ward was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. He passed away in the fall of 2002. In his memory, his family has maintaned the museum, witnessing more than 20,000 visitors a year.
The Santa Fe National Cemetery
From what I could see, the Santa Fe Opera House looks like a really cool building. Wish I could have seen more of it!
The Fort Marcy Park just outside of Old Town has some interesting history around it. I went up for the view, but what is seen is mostly rooftops of Old Town...with vents and air conditioners, and not much else. The view of the distant Jemez Mountains, however, is impressive.
The Trail ends here! On Museum Hill in Santa Fe is this memorial to the well-known Santa Fe Trail. From 1820 until the introduction of the railroad in the 1880s, the Santa Fe Trail was a trade route between Missouri and Santa Fe. The El Camino Real, another route that has history in Santa Fe, continued the trade into Mexico City. Museum Hill is situated on a crest in Santa Fe that overlooks the surrounding areas and holds three or four Santa Fe museums.
The Dorothy Stewart Trail is a loop hike within the Dale Ball system of trails on a hill above Santa Fe. It offers such wonderful views as this, looking south to the Sandia Mountains. It's a wonderully easy hike, about three miles long, with a couple of 'medidation benches' along the route.
The mostly shady trail is dotted with prickly pear cactus, cholla, sage and pine trees, among others. Dorothy Stewart was a painter and print maker whose contribution to the New Mexico arts earned her recognition throughout the state. Born in Philadelphia in 1891, she settled in Santa Fe in the mid-1920s and died in 1955.
Looking west toward the Jemez Mountains
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