Saturday, June 11, 2011

And we left the smoke behind us...........

Sweet Man and I took the kids on an adventure to the Sandia (watermelon) Mountains to several little mining towns on the east side. As we drove thru Tijeras (scissor) Canyon the smoke from the AZ forest fire increased and visibility was decreased until we made the turn to Sandia Crest. On our way through Cedar Crest we realized the haze was gone. Yay for us.
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 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.


  1. This looked like fun!! Hey I am originality from Long Island NY but I don't have a surf board hmmm. I love old stuff. Oh and will you share the secret of your glitter dripping cursor?

  2. I love everything, but I'm a bottle lover, so I was staring to those babies for a while.

    Thank goodness the smoke has cleared up!

    And that last pic is a perfect conclusion. The poor baby looks exhausted!

  3. Great photo's and looks like fun for the kids.Enjoy.
    Hugs, Amy

  4. What a wonderful day spent in the company of love. You know so many fascinating things about your area. I think that is such a gift as it allows you to really "feel" your surroundings and share it in such a fun and interesting way. I love your adventures.

  5. Oh that looks like a place I would LOVE to visit with my camera and explore, maybe one day...

  6. Sounds like the whole bunch of you had yourselves a good old time today. I know I did and I merely read about it. Love the photos. It was good to hear you managed to get away from the smoke. May the rest of your weekend be as enjoyable.

  7. Great road trip! Hurray for hairy legged chickens! Looks like everyone explored their hearts out! Oh, and congrats to you, Linda for winning Mina's giveaway at Green Witch with are a lucky lady!!

  8. Linda, sounds like you all had a great day! I love turquoise! I was staring at that picture for a long time and I love the shop with all the old things, especially the bottles! Love the picture at the end ;o) How sweet! Congrats on your win at Mina's blog ;o) Have a wonderful day!

  9. Looks like you wore them out. Good when the grand parents outlast the kids.
    This area believes in shooting guns into the air also. How dumb is that?
    So glad you were smoke free and had a great trip.
    Arkansas Patti

  10. It's been years since I've seen a glass resistor from a telephone pole (we call them "insulators" up here). Once they were as common as dirt, of course. Blue glass ones were a dime a dozen, old brown porcelain ones were worth more and the rarest and most expensive of all were purple glass ones.

    Looks like a fun day!

  11. Some of my best childhood memories are those created by my grandparents. GK and Ry are going to have a boatload of them!

  12. I'm so glad you shared this adventure with us. What a fun day! The photos are great and you have a gift for telling us about the places you visit.
    GK and Ry are going to have the best memories ever!
    It must be frightening to see and smell the smoke from those terrible fires.
    ♥ audrey

  13. Just popping in to tell you I left an award for you on my blog if you would like to pick it up. Have a wonderful week.

  14. Drooling over those stones and all that amazing junk! That pic of Ry and Sweet Man is how all good days should end. Good stuff :-)


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