Albuquerque, Turquoise Trail and Route 66
Cycled a scenic byway known as the Turquoise Trail and finished with a small piece of Route 66.
First six miles were getting out of Santa Fe and then past a lot of strip mall development. This brought me to the I-25 intersection where I discovered the entire intersection was closed due to reconstruction. Recommended detour was to skip a few miles west to the next intersection. Probably not too bad, though I was concerned on finding NM 14 again. I asked the construction workers – who went into problem solving mode. They suggested I follow them as a pilot car. That was nice as they led me @ ~15mph through the main site and out the other end. Photo above was of the road closure on the other end just as I exited.
Shortly thereafter I passed the prison (no hitchhikers) and then was on the primary route for the day, NM-14 also known as the Turquoise Trail. This route went through several historic and artsy towns. However, I do think the dividing line between art and junk is sometimes subtle. I believe the above was art, though it might also be weather vanes in form of bicycles.
A short while later, I passed this origami place.
I think this is art, though it also looked a bit like someone left the christmas decorations up too long.
At 25 miles I came into little town of Madrid. This town catered to the upscale tourists with lots of little shops.
Parking was $5!
Here was an example of one of the shops.
I had descended from ~7000ft in Santa Fe to ~5700ft. By Madrid I was back up to ~6000ft but now some more serious climbing started as went back up to 7000ft again. This brought me over the summit and then back via Golden where I had a snack.
I think this is supposed to be art in Golden. Golden was somewhat below the summit and here had another 600ft of climb slowly up to San Antonito. The road became both wider and busier as went over might last summit for the day before descending back to I-40.
The last 7 miles were along historic Route 66. Several signs like this one as well as a shield painted in the road. It was mostly a descent until I reached the far eastern reaches of Albuquerque. There is a hot air balloon festival going on this weekend through next weekend. I had made a hotel reservation since it seemed like many of the hotels had already filled up. Also lets me find my way through this city early on a Sunday morning as I’ll follow the Rio Grande further south.