A Travellerspoint blog

Hitting the Turquoise Trail

New Mexico

sunny 80 °F

Driving back to Albuquerque from Santa Fe, we decided to bypass I-25 and its 75 mph speed limit for a more relaxed pace on the Turquoise Trail instead. It's a 50 mile national scenic byway along Highway 14 that links the two cities. The maximum speed we saw was 55 mph and sometimes it was as low as 35 mph but we felt like we were seeing authentic New Mexican landscapes as we wound our way through hilly terrain and dusty little towns. We even saw a coyote run across the road and jump over a barbed wire fence.

There are several towns along the way that are interesting to poke around in but my main objective for taking this route was to stop in Madrid for a late lunch at the Mine Shaft Tavern.

Madrid was once a booming coal mining town that was eventually abandoned and became a ghost town. Years later, shopkeepers and artisans moved in to create the quirky, artsy little community that it is today.


Driving through, there aren't any large parking areas. We got lucky and found a spot on the side of the road, parked, and started our explorations. There are lots of little shops and houses on the main drag selling everything from touristy souvenirs to original artistic creations.









Eric and I are HUGE fans of the TV show "Longmire" and the interior of the Mine Shaft Tavern was used for Henry Standing Bear's fictitious Red Pony Saloon. On the show, he always answers the bar phone with one of my favorite lines, "It's another beautiful day at the Red Pony Saloon and continual soiree."

To say we were beyond excited to come inside and eat lunch is an understatement.




Continuing with my Margarita Trail, I had the Prickly Pear Margarita


and the Classic Shaft Burger complete with green chiles and aged cheddar.


Eric had the pepperoni and green chile pizza.


Service was a little slow because it was busy but the food was really good. I enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere and people-watching while sipping on my drink.

Afterward, we piled back into the car...our next stop was Albuquerque.


Posted by tammy_b 17:18 Archived in USA Tagged madrid mine_shaft_tavern red_pony_saloon turquoise_trail

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.