The Turquoise Trail – Albuquerque to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hi everyone,

Last week I left my readers in suspense at the end of my article on where my next post would be from. Well, I headed back to New Mexico in mid April for about a week to attend a photography workshop in Taos that was also a reunion with photographers from a class we were in together on Madeline Island in 2015. This article is the first in a series of posts and photographs from that week in North Central New Mexico.

I flew into Albuquerque, hopped into a rental car and immediately made my way over on I-40 to New Mexico Highway 14 that runs between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It’s better known as the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, so named for the turquoise deposits in the Cerrilos area. It’s a much more pleasant drive through the mountains, desert, and small towns than taking I-25 to Santa Fe. After driving through the village of Cedar Crest, I noticed a highway that takes travelers to Sandia Crest where visitors can overlook the city of Albuquerque from an elevation of over 10,000 feet! Since it was late afternoon, I decided to forego this drive and put it on my bucket list for sometime in the future. Keeping on the Trail I passed through little San Antonito until I reached the village of Golden. So far I hadn’t taken one photo so there was a lot of pent up demand for photographs!

As I was leaving the sparsely populated town of Golden, I noticed a church up on a little hill just off the road. I found San Francisco de Asis to be very fascinating and picturesque. If you google this church, you’ll find that a lot of photographers make this one of their stops when traveling on the Turquoise Trail. Here are a few photos from my stop.Santa Fe-7182IMG_3535Santa Fe-7170Santa Fe-7173Santa Fe-8087

Just down the road, I saw this church and drove around looking for a way to get closer, but this is the closest I could get without getting shot for trespassing! Don’t know the story on this church but for sure they don’t want anyone wandering around.Santa Fe-3179

Nearby were the ruins of an old mill likely having something to do with the mining that took place in this vicinity.Santa Fe-8084

Along the Turquoise Trail was a roadside stop that overlooked the privately owned Garden of the Gods. Here are a few shots of the scenery.Santa Fe-3762Santa Fe-3761Santa Fe-3764

In the small village of Cerrillos, I found another picturesque adobe church with St. Joseph carved into a tree trunk that had been cut down. Here’s a few photos from that stop.Santa Fe-7195Santa Fe-7190Santa Fe-7193Santa Fe-7186

As I was driving around the village, I spotted this sign along a dirt road near the downtown, thought you might enjoy the humor!IMG_3686

Close to Santa Fe, there’s a very neat roadside restaurant that’s located on a working farm. I stopped for some refreshments and took a few photos. Then headed on into Santa Fe.IMG_3679

Before leaving home, I booked a room online at the Silver Saddle Motel located on the old section of historic Route 66, also on my bucket list!Santa Fe-7255

This place had the highest rated reviews for Santa Fe lodging, I was a little skeptical but at $55 per night, I took a chance. I’m glad I did! What pleasant place to stay, the proprietor was very friendly and I think all the rooms were booked. I talked to a couple that told me they stay there a lot when passing through and have never been disappointed. Besides it’s half the price of some of the nearby national chains.Santa Fe-7200Santa Fe-7198Santa Fe-7197IMG_3536

After a great meal of southwestern cuisine at the restaurant across the street, a pleasant nights rest, and an ample free breakfast, I was ready to move on and explore Santa Fe.

Up next week, “A Day in Santa Fe.”

Til next week, travel safe,

Tom

 

 

 

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