Not Really Here Or There
An easily overlooked stop on the Turquoise Trail road trip, Cerrillos is literally a living ghost town. At least six or seven people still live here and they even put up historical markers providing interesting information on the town's ancient buildings.
Most tourists will want to visit Madrid, which is just a few miles to the south. Madrid has fun things like restaurants, art galleries, and coffee shops and is welcoming to visitors so long as they spend money don't stray off the main road. Should one decide to venture off the road with pavement, the hills suddenly have eyes and you could easily be cursed by a stray dog, disappearing through a portal to the nether world, never to be seen or heard from again.
And then there's Cerrillos.
There's nothing for tourists to do here so the whole town has eyes. Everywhere you go, someone is watching, possibly living and possibly not, but they'll let you know if step out of line.
The ghosts of Cerrillos are surely unimpressed by flashy jewelry and pretentious enlightenment so, if that's your bag, just drive on to Santa Fe.
All images shot with a Motorola MotoX4 and edited with Snapseed.
The historic marker was on around on the back end of this house but I didn't go back there due to the extremely shady looking fellow who was crawling around on the train tracks. I wanted to know, but I didn't want to know that bad.
The last time I photographed this abandoned house in Golden, NM was about ten years ago. In fact, my profile picture for this blog (the one with the guitar) is from that trip and was shot right there on the front porch.
The house was abandoned then too but didn't look nearly as dangerous as it does now. As you can see, there are cinder blocks piled up on the bottom step and the entrance to the porch is blocked to deter looky-loos like myself from getting too close. The house looks like it could fall down at any moment.
Anyway, while photographing the house the first time, a man named Leroy suddenly materialized. I don't remember if he said that he owned the house but he did say that he was the (likely self proclaimed) Mayor of Golden. He bent my ear for a long time, going on about all kinds of wacky shit - but he never said "You're trespassing" or "get off my porch" so I waited him out and he did eventually leave so I could get my photos.
It didn't occur to me at the time but I guess it's possible that Leroy may have been an apparition and, of course, my apologies if I've offended anyone who knows Leroy, (now the former?) Mayor of Golden. He sure is chatty though, isn't he?
St. Francis de Assisi Church and Cemetery
This church was built in 1839 and has been through a few renovations. I have found photos on the internet showing the church in all white and with slightly different exterior styling. That being said, it is once again in dire need of some maintenance. I didn't photograph it, but there is a sizable hole opening up in the exterior adobe wall on the west side of the building.
Unfortunately for me, I arrived about 20 minutes before mass was to begin. So, while I'm trying to go exploring, the parking lot is filling with cars and a steady stream of people are walking through the yard to enter the church. It probably would've been better to show up on a weekday.
All images shot with a Motorola MotoX4 and edited with Snapseed.
The Diner That Never Was
Last weekend, Johnpaul and I went on a little photo-adventure to the Rio Puerco Bridge on-the-mother-road-to-rio-puerco-bridge.html which is out on Historic Route 66 west of Albuquerque. From there, we decided to take Hwy 6 back to Los Lunas and, on the way, came across Maybelle's Diner.
After posting a few photos on Twitter, one of my followers shared some interesting information about this location, namely that there never was any such place as Maybelle's Diner.
Turns out the original name of this place was Wild Horse Mesa Bar. After it closed, Hollywood came in and used it for an on-location set in the 2016 movie Katie Says Goodbye. It was renamed Maybelle's Diner for the movie.
A Steel Guardian Of The Mother Road
Originally constructed in 1933, the Rio Puerco Bridge stands guard over this section of Historic Route 66 in New Mexico. It is no longer accessible by automobile but I-40 is a mere stone's throw away and certainly a safer method of crossing the river.
The Rio Puerco Bridge is a Parker Through Truss style bridge and was fabricated by the Kansas City Structural Steel Company. The bridge is 250 feet in length, making it one of the longest bridges of it's type in New Mexico.
These photos were shot on January 12, 2019.
Rt. 5 Box 326
My family moved to Los Lunas in 1982 and we rented this house for a few years upon arrival. It was spacious with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, separate living room and den, 2 car garage on five acres of land with a horse barn. We lived here until 1985 when the owners decided they wanted to move back in, at which time we bought some land up the hill near Meadow Lake.
While my family had many good times here, I did not have the best relationship with this house. I was six years old when we moved there and don't recall ever being afraid of ghosts or anything unseen that may go bump in the night prior to living here.
The main things that stick in my memory are being afraid in my room at night and being afraid to go into my parents room alone, ever, at any time of the day or night. In my room at night, I felt that I was safe on the bed but would be absolutely terrified to get off the bed for any reason. If I had to pee, that was gonna have to wait until morning. One night, I was very sure that I saw a man's face in my bedroom window. In the photo above, my bedroom was the last window on the right. Those windows are pretty high up. Maybe it was all in my head but, to this day, I can still see his face.
My parent's bedroom was even worse though. Anytime I might go in there by myself, regardless of the time of day, I felt a wall of energy pushing me out. Like a hand on my back shoving me towards the door and I could never get out of there fast enough.
It would be easy enough to chalk all this up to a little kid's overactive imagination, and maybe it was, but I never felt that way before we moved to this house and it stopped when we moved away.
After we left the house, the owners fixed it up and did a little remodeling and I guess they lived there for awhile but no one lives there now and I have no idea why. When I stopped by to be nosey and look around, there were "No Trespassing" and "Condemned Building" signs on the front windows but no signs in the yard or any indication that the property was for sale. Obviously, I couldn't get inside - and would've been too afraid to go in by myself anyway - but I shot a few photos through the windows that weren't boarded up.
I don't know why the house sits abandoned and decaying now except that maybe something in there doesn't want company.
Looking through the window of the master bathroom. Occasionally, I would shower in here instead of in the hall bathroom. This shower was barely larger than a phone booth and there was a broken piece of tile sticking out near the bottom that (to me) resembled a severed snake body. Anytime I showered in here, I was always afraid that if I closed my eyes snakes would crawl up out of the drain and bite my feet.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.