Year 3: Florida to New Mexico
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Weather in New Mexico: Warm Days, Cool Nights
Location: Los Cerrillos, New Mexico

Yesterday we flew from Fort Myers, Florida, to Charlotte, North Carolina, to Denver, Colorado, and finally to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This convoluted route and late evening arrival was the result of a search for cheap airline tickets. Well, I guess you get what you pay for, but despite the long ride, we, and all of our baggage, arrived in Albuquerque around 9:30 PM. Our son Justin was at the airport to meet us and after totally filling his car with five huge bags plus the four carry-on bags we
are traveling with, we drove an hour north to his home in Los Cerrillos. Our daughter-in-law, Jo, couldn’t come to the airport to greet us as we feared there would not be enough room for all of us and our luggage, but she was waiting up for us and we all chatted until well after midnight learning all about their new life in Los Cerrillos.

Justin and Jo just recently moved from Albuquerque to Los Cerrillos. This quaint little town, and I do mean little, is in the Cerrillos Hills and sits beside the railroad tracks leading from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. It was once a center of turquoise mining but today is labeled as a “Traditional Village” by the tourist sign on the highway. It still looks just like it did in the 1800’s, so I guess that is what is meant by “traditional.”. Its main street so much hasn’t changed in a 125 years that
the film “Young Guns” about Billy the Kid was shot here and they didn’t have to change a thing. The main street, and basically the only street, has a little adobe church and few old wooden buildings. Justin and Jo’s house is across the tracks from town. The town was first built around 1880, and by 1898 their house was two different buildings-the print shop and the photo shop. By 1902 it was refashioned to be the beer depot and then sometime later was converted into a home with seven rooms and
two bathrooms. Cerrilllos is located in the high desert country about a twenty minute ride south of Santa Fe. There is a town named Madrid (pronounced Mad-rid, not Ma-drid as in Spain) three miles south of Cerrillos and then just desert all the way to Albuquerque. Madrid was a coal mining town in its heyday, but by the mid-1900’s it was a ghost town. In the 1970’s the whole town was put up for sale and it became a magnet for 1970’s hippies. They stayed around and today Madrid is a lively little
artist colony that draws a lot of tourists traveling between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It has a general store, but basically you have to travel to Santa Fe or Albuquerque to buy necessities.

So here we are in the desert, surrounded by the Cerrillos Hills and lots of tumbleweed. Justin and Jo love it here and want to show us around as much of northern New Mexico in the next few days as we can pack in. Unfortunately Mark and I both have really bad colds that we just can’t seem to shake. I sure hope we are going to be up to traveling to see the different sights. We have never spent any time in a desert before, so we are anxious to explore. Modern day Cerrillos actually has a little
health clinic on the edge of town, so Mark is headed there tomorrow and then we are off to Santa Fe. We will do some shopping in the stores on the outskirts of town, visit “old town” in the heart of the city, and then travel just north of town to have dinner with friends that have moved here from Concord, New Hampshire.

080424 New Mexico–Life in Los Cerrillos