We’re staying this week at Leisure Mountain RV Park in Tijeras, New Mexico, just east of Albuquerque and at the starting point of the “Turquoise Trail”.
We spent our first couple of days getting some laundry done, and grocery shopping, and Tom found somebody to put new brakes on the car (that turned into an all-day job!) . . .
so by the time Wednesday rolled around, we were ready to do some exploring. It was fairly early in the afternoon when the boys finished school and I was done with work, so we decided to take a drive on the Turquoise Trail. It was a nice clear afternoon, so a good day to drive to Sandia Crest, in the Cibola National Forest.
About a mile into the drive, we came across the Tinkertown Museum.
He spent 40 years creating all of the miniature exhibits, and used to travel to county fairs to display them. Eventually, a 22-room museum was built on his property to house all of his creations, as well as various collections.
We bought our tickets and received a quarter to start the music box.
The first corridor we walked down contained many of Ross Ward’s miniature carvings, which are all really detailed.
Each display had a portion of it that was animated by pushing a button at the front of the display. We could definitely see how these would have taken 40 years to complete – we were amazed by the detail included in each!
There were some life-size carvings, as well, and I thought these clown were incredibly realistic-looking!
The museum also includes several 25 cent machines to analyze your personality, predict your career, and tell your fortune.
Nicolas and Bryce enjoyed trying those out, and used up the rest of my laundry quarters!
Many of the walls of the museum are constructed from old bottles, and it’s really amazing to see.
They really look cool with the sun shining through them!
Everywhere we looked was a collection of something – toys, knives, tools, dishes, license plates . . .
On our way out, we stopped in the Fortune Telling Parlor,
to have our fortunes told by Grandma Esmerelda.
Nicolas was skeptical, but the fortunes we each received (circa 1944) were actually kindof accurate . . . and funny!
From Nicolas’ fortune: “ . . . You have fine taste in clothes, and this has caused many people to envy you.”
From Bryce’s fortune: “ . . . Your charm and your sense of humor is always a source of joy to those who surround you.”
and from my fortune: “ . . . You love a beautiful home and one of these days you will be in possession of one.” LOL!
We exited through the Gift Shop (just like Disney!), where they have lots of fun Route 66 merchandise and silly gifts, but didn’t see anything we needed to buy.
This was a really fun little museum, and definitely worth stopping at if you are in the area!
From Tinkertown, we continued on up the Sandia Crest Road, admiring the views along the way.
We passed by the Sandia Ski Resort,
and continued to climb until we reached the crest at 10,678 feet. As we got closer to the top, we even started to see patches of snow in the woods!
From the surrounding area, the crest is easy to identify by the collection of radio towers located there.
We walked up the short path to the overlook . . . and discovered that it was really windy and cold up there!
To the west, we could see all of Albuquerque,
and to the east, the Sandia Mountains.
According to the sign at the crest, the Native Americans named the mountains Sandia, which means watermelon, because the setting sun makes the mountains appear the color of watermelon.
There was a short trail along the ridgeline, but we decided that it was just too cold for a hike! Back in the car, we started down the mountain . . . Tom was taking it easy on the new brakes, but they definitely got a workout!
There were lots of these trees along the road – they looked to me like birch trees, but the bark had a bit of a greenish tinge to it. They were really pretty!
We almost got surprised by these guys as we came around a corner!
We reached the bottom without any detrimental affect on the brakes, and went back to the RV park to make dinner. It was a nice little afternoon drive!