We went through Golden where more silver than gold was mined despite the name and on to Madrid, where the hillsides are roadmaps of dig-out from the mines as well. Most folks who visit here pronounce the name like the town in Spain but here it is pronounced like the cloth from India. Quite an eclectic little burg. Lots of artsy farsty shops, little coffee shops, folks who have been living in the mountains for generations, hippies who never moved on and spill over of the Santa Fe visitors looking for something unique. While colorful and inviting....not a place to take the grands and not expect them to touch all the pretties. I wanted a day for them to have fun not be fussed at so we enjoyed the site of the village as we drove on to my favorite mining town, Cerrillos.
Joe and I spent New Year's eve in Madrid in the bedroom over the Coffee Bar about 12 years ago. We enjoyed dinner at the Opera House cafe and then watched as the residence took to the streets with guns.....not fireworks at midnight. I don't guess they had heard about Newton and what goes up, must come down. And for a few moments I wanted to be under the bed just in case the bullets that went up didn't come down into my head. It was......an interesting New Year's needless to say.
Back to the drive. There are several places I would love to live away from the world and Cerrillos is one of those places. The town is like 4 streets one way by 5 streets the other way. There was a huge turquoise mine there for years and still produces lesser quality turquoise today. The Native Americans (Anazazi and others) used turquoise mined from this area,centuries ago as trade along the trade route from South America all the way through Mexico and up to Canada. Cerillos turquoise is lightly veined with silver and in some cases gold. The old stuff is to die for.
We stopped at a crazy mine museum/petting zoo/souvenir shop. The guy who runs it is originally from Long Island New York, has his surf board displayed saying so.
There were goats, fluffly legged chickens and young chicks, a llama named Cocoa, hundreds of white doves, a turkey and some guinea hens in the petting zoo. We fed the animals and enjoyed the goat spit....tee hee. The kids picked out a rock from the hundreds of stones for sale after we finished the tour of....................old stuff, that this guy and his friends have found and traded for with other "junkers". It was fascinating for all four of us. No real theme except if it was old, rusty and looked cool or weird then the Longuyland guy, that's how you pronounce it, has it displayed. Old wood stoves, pulleys, miners equipment, stuff found in the mines in the area, old relics from the settlers, Native Americans and a side order of skulls of all kinds of beasties. And more bottles from before there was hair than I have ever seen. The size of the pieces of turquoise ore he has is amazing. The whole enclave is topped with the glass resistors from telephone poles, all sparkling in the sunlight.
The town has a rail line just to the north side and as we were getting ready to leave the ground started shaking and the kids got an "uh-oh" look on there faces, which turned to laughter when the train whistled it's passing at the crossing.
Yep, another great adventure doing nothing but having fun.