The Turquoise Trail is more than a scenic drive between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Here, a sampling of the Turquoise Trail’s treasures. Cerrillos. The Casa Grande Trading Post, Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum & Petting Zoo opened in 1979. As the name suggests, Casa Grande has several personas. The five-room trading post and museum attach to a 23-room home, built with 65,000 adobe bricks that owners Todd and Patricia Brown made themselves. The trading post fireplace is built with rock bearing veins of Cerrillos turquoise. Remnants of the miner’s lives are on display at The Old Coal Mine Museum and The Mine Shaft Tavern, which occupy the coal company’s headquarters. Visitors can climb into a 1900 Richmond Steam Engine for a close up view of the boiler. Artifacts include antique trucks and fire equipment. A dentist
chair and one of the earliest x-ray machines suggest the modernity of the company hospital and heavy pickaxes attest to the strength of the miners. The museum and tavern served as sets for Beer for My Horses and Paul. Set pieces from the Wild Hogs chile festival scene are a recent addition to the museum. Outdoor activities at the south end of the trail include 30 miles of trails on Sandia Peak and golf at Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club. Tinkertown Museum one of the 10 Wackiest Places in the United States and Fox News listed it among America’s Best Little-Known Museums.
Clyde Mueller/The New Mexican