Turquoise Trail

Trip Start May 06, 2010
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Trip End Oct 14, 2010


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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My family and I decided to follow the Turquoise Trail today.  The Turquoise Trail is a National Scenic Byway through an area that used to have a number of turquoise mines.  We drove to Tijeras and followed the Turquoise Trail north from there.  

The first place we spent any time was Golden, which was the site of the first gold rush west of the Mississippi.  We stopped to take pictures of an old, abandoned school and then headed up the driveway across the street to the St. Francis of Assisi Church.  We met up with one of the ten residents of Golden who was doing some masonry work around the church.  He offered to give us a tour.  We took him up on his offer and were entertained by his stories about the town and his life there.

The next stop was Madrid, another old mining town but in this case they mined coal.  It is now an interesting little town with a lot of art galleries and gift shops.  We tried to go to the Mining Museum but, as far as we could tell, they weren't open.

We then headed to Cerrillos, which has a history of mining gold, silver, lead, zinc and turquoise.  There is still an active turquoise mine in the area.  The town is a little off of Rt. 14, the main road in the area, and has no paved streets.  It has an Old West feel to it and, as a result, several movies have been filmed here.

Our next stop was Galisteo.  One of the more interesting sites in Galisteo is the old Catholic Cemetery.  Unfortunately, it is now closed so we couldn't wander through.  We left Galisteo and headed for Santa Fe.

There were no major attractions on the Turquoise Trail but the interesting scenery, historic buildings and Old West feel made for a pleasant day.

We went to the Plaza in Santa Fe and visited the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as the Saint Francis Cathedral.  It was built in Romanesque Revival style in 1869,  The building has been recently restored and looks quite good both inside and out.

We stopped at a restaurant in Santa Fe and had a rather disappointing meal and then headed back to Albuquerque.
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