Both Kelly and my host in Santa Fe recommended taking highway 14 instead of the interstate and stopping in two small communities along the way. Advice from locals must be heeded! And the interstate isn’t much fun. 🙂
First stop was Madrid. Not pronounced Meh-drid, but Mah-drid, an old coal mining and then ghost town that is now a quirky little shopping district.
I drove to the far end of the town and parked at the antique shop there. I went in and poked around. Near the end, I found a pair of earrings I fell in love with and the owner gave me a bit of a deal, not charging tax on them, so a flat $20. I tried to photograph them, but I didn’t manage it. They are rather like two glass marbles, a smaller one on top of a bigger one, with découpaged flowers in them. The friendly owner said I was welcome to remain parked at his shop and gave me recommendations for restaurants. I wasn’t hungry, of course, but the words ‘ice cream’ and ‘coffee’ did catch my attention. 🙂
I stopped in a few shops on the way to the ice cream, seeing tons of jewellery, but nothing I liked nearly as much as my new earrings. It’s always risky buying the first thing you see, but I tend to know what I like and recognize things that are unique.
The ice cream place had Dreyer’s ice cream or locally made gelato. I went for the latter as they had chocolate with brownie pieces.
I walked as I ate my treat, making a note of shops I would want to stop in later. I stopped at the famous Madrid Mineshaft Bar, thinking to tour their museum, but I waited for ages to buy a ticket and no one showed, so I figured it wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t disappointed as it didn’t sound great and I would have just gone as a way to kill a little time.
Instead, I did a few more shops, then got a coffee and sat to watch both pedestrian and vehicular traffic for a bit.
Then, it was time to stroll back to my truck.
My last stop was a bit of a mistake, or so I thought when I walked in, as it was the Madrid grocery store, housed in, well, a house. Prettiest grocery store I’ve ever seen! Well, I found some handicrafts in the back, including Guatemalan purses that are the exact style of purse I was hoping to find in Maz this winter, basically a large wallet with a shoulder strap that can be tucked out of the way. I can throw it in my giant tote to go to Maz or use it as is around Isla. It was a little pricey ($25), but the colours were perfect and I knew I would regret not getting it.
So I definitely contributed to the Madrid economy!
I continued on through gorgeous scenery.
Next stop was Cerillos, as in little cerros (hills) not matches (fire sticks). This is turquoise mining country and Cerillos was once seriously considered to be the capital of New Mexico. Now, it is almost a ghost town. I followed the signs to the museum and petting zoo.
The entrance is a jewellery shop. The owner’s son, a guy about my age, was very friendly. He wouldn’t take my money for the museum entrance or a bag of feed for the animals, so I bought another pair of earrings. 🙂 These were turquoise, beautiful small rough mismatched pieces of it on surgical steel, for just $10. My first piece of turquoise jewellery and what a place to have gotten it!
The animals were a few chickens, three goats, and a llama. One goat was hungry, and the other two just wanted to be petted! I fed them a mixture of grain and corn. I had water and soap in the truck for washing my hands after nearly getting licked to death by the goat! 🙂
Cerillos was a fun little stop along the road and I’m glad I stopped in.
It was early when I drove into Santa Fe, but I had left ABQ earlier than expected. I called my host to see if it was okay to come in early, yup! I headed out there, but had to call for help near the end since my GPS was being useless. I eventually found it!
So that’s where I am now, just outside of Santa Fe. I am staying at reader John’s spread, but I won’t say which John just to give him a modicum of privacy. 🙂 Now, get this. John has me living in his Arctic Fox trailer! I’m in an RV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John made me feel very welcome and I will likely be here a week. I don’t plan to work as hard as I did in T or C because Santa Fe is the NM city I really wanted to explore, but I will work some (and have a project due Friday). The trailer is wonderful — comfy bed, full kitchen, dinette for working, and full bathroom. I have FHU. John showed me around a the ‘neighbourhood’ a bit and then left me to my own devices.
I went back to town and bought groceries for a week, dropping more than 50USD! But this should last me the week, in addition to a couple of meals out when I’m in town. There was also a two for one deal on some white wine, so I opted for that instead of beer. 🙂 I did Panda Express for dinner though, as I was famished and too tired to cook.
Thanks for the warm welcome and hospitality, John!