Not that I was, uh, mad-rid to begin with. I had a belly full of waffles, it was a gorgeous day, and I was on the road from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Sure, I could have taken the highway and gotten there faster, but I was keen on taking the Turquoise Trail and getting a peek at Madrid. Formerly a bustling mining town named Coal Gulch, it was left mostly abandoned in the 1950s when demand for coal died in favor of natural gas. And then in the 70s, the hippies came. These artists and craftspeople revived the town, setting up shops, galleries, and services for locals and passersby, and thus the town of 300 or so people has a funky, arts-y, welcoming vibe. Their shops showcase local turquoise jewelry and pottery, they have their own artist quarterly, and they host events like mailbox painting contests to bring their community together.
I had a grand time in Madrid, shopping around (I bought an ammolite ammonite at a really reasonable price, the ammolite I saw when I last wandered into the Gastown museum in Vancouver cost the Earth), taking silly photos in Connie’s Photo Park, and soaking in that much-needed sunshine. I also was able to grab a few photos from the road of the Turquoise Trail Sculpture Garden & Studio, which was unfortunately closed–but fortunately, it gives me a reason to go back. Aren’t those origami sculptures cool?!?