21 July 2009

The Turquoise Trail

In case you missed it Friday, CNN did a travel piece on NM 14 aka The Turquoise Trail.

NM 14 is a scenic by-way that runs from Santa Fe to just north of Albuquerque. You can start at either end really.

I REALLY like this drive. If starting out from the south [Albuquerque] make sure you start with a stop a Tinkertown, a folk art museum that has been around 40 years. I have a link at right to Tinkertown's website or check out my blog post here:


After Tinkertown, continue your drive up the back way to Sandia Peak. What a view! Don't forget to have a green chili cheeseburger on the patio at the snack bar 10,678 feet above sea level -- what a view!

On your way back down, take the turn off to Placitas and visit the Sandia Man Cave, evidence of which proved Sandia Man to be older then Folsom Man by 5,000 years:


..or was it.

Archeologists would later come to the conclusion Sandia Man was faked by archeologist Frank C Hibben. He proclaimed his innocence until 2002 when he passed away:


Continue north to MADdrid, NM, a town featured in the film WILD HOGS.

MADrid, NM was originally a railroad and gold mining town that eventually fell into ruin and became a ghost town until artists moved in, in the 1970s. Since then they have turned the town around and created a cool and funky artsy place with shops and galleries, not at all as pretentious as Santa Fe.


Make sure you stop at the Mine Shaft Tavern for some blue corn green chili chicken enchildas....mmmmm!!!


As you continue north to Santa Fe there is a place I have yet to find [except on GOOGLE EARTH] called the Eaves Movie Ranch.


The ranch is bascially a western town created for movie and tv production back in the 1970s. I have not been there yet as the road to the ranch is not well marked. I'm not sure if that is intentional or not. Their website does not mention if the western town is open to the public or not.

I do know that the Thirsty Ear Music Festival, a folk festival is held there every summer but I have not yet been to it.

As you continue to Santa Fe you will pass the NM State Pen, site of one of the grisliest and most violent prison riots in US history:


The prison is now abandoned and used as a movie set [The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler] and a new maximum prison built near by.

At the end of the Turquoise Trail lies the Santa Fe Brewing Company, my favorite place to see a live band. You can have a meal and even try a micro brew. I like the pale ale.


All in all a cool day trip.

I'm out.

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