Friday, October 21, 2016

182: The turquoise trail

Reading my Adventure Cycling map notes this evening, I saw a note that said, "If you are short on time, you can take the train from Santa Fe to Albuquerque . . ."  Well, shoot! Now you tell me!
Very quiet at the plaza in Santa Fe this morning

It's not a problem at all. The day was beautiful, absolutely perfect for riding. In fact, the first 30 miles or so were just a gift: a gentle slope downhill, tailwind, good road and scenery. Temperature just fine - even coasting we were not cold. But it was a long day - 90 miles - and I wonder what the train would have been like!

Instead, we took State Road 14, the "Turquoise Trail."  It winds around through the canyon and eventually over a pass at about 7100 feet. There are not a lot of services in the canyon, and we'd been cautioned that some of the towns have to use bottled water, as their groundwater supplies have been contaminated from the coal mining that was once done in the area. You can see the slag piles here and there along the canyon and creek.
That desert art vibe is strong in Madrid

One of these small communities was Madrid (mah' drihd). It is now a chichi little artist colony and restaurant cluster. Lots of nicely dressed tourists wandering about - that sort of place.

The cottonwoods are spectacular right now. Here and there in the landscape, they provide the most marvelous pop of color. Their golden yellow against the deep blue sky is just gorgeous. Who says the desert southwest has no fall color?
Cottonwoods add color to the landscape

Nice roadside art in the canyon
We are staying tonight with a friend of a friend - Gaye and Ben's friend David - who usually rides his bike home from work, and therefore was out on the road to meet us on our way into town. We got a bit of a tour on the way to his place, having a chance to ride through Old Town and along the Rio Grande River trail. Spectacular cottonwoods here, as well.
David on the Rio Grande river trail
Along the market streets in Old Town ABQ

The day's report:  Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 90.4 miles/8611 to date

The Rio Grande, or is it "Not So Grande" right now?


  1. Kathy, when are you planning to roll back into Redlands? Andrew Leason.

    1. We are still hopeful of arriving on Saturday, November 5.


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