Louise Speaks: Like with Winslow, we have been through Albuquerque many times before as it is the main artery in going East. But today instead of seeing the main attractions of Albuquerque and following things from Patricia’s book “1000 Places to See Before You Die”, we decided to follow Roadside America and see what Quirky things we could find in Albuquerque.
Our first stop was the Library Bar and Grill. This is a local downtown bar, but on the roof as part of it’s facade are the spines of “six giant books”. The bar is located next door to the Kimo Theater. Now keep in mind this is right in downtown Albuquerque, at 5:00 in the afternoon, and we are driving down the narrow streets just to get a picture. Maybe now you understand why all of our journey’s are an adventure.
Continuing downtown we were headed to the Cottonwood Madonna–or the Virgin in the Tree. In 1970 a parishioner of the 300 year old San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque’s oldest Catholic parish, carved the image of the Virgin de Guadalupe into a cottonwood tree behind the church. Some call it the Virgin of the Tree. It is one of the hidden treasures of Old Town. Because the carving sometimes appears to change, people wondered if it was haunted. But the change in appearance simply reflects the condition of the tree.
On the outskirts of town is a very unique neighborhood. One house in particular, is known as the “Bug House” and was designed by Bart Prince, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is in wonderful shape and when you see it you can see the teachings of Frank Lloyd Wright. Mr. Prince has placed huge dinosaurs out front to guard his home. Similar to the Japanese who place lion statues in the front of their homes, Mr. Prince thought dinosaurs were more fitting. As if the front of the house isn’t unique enough, the side of the house has even more unique features. There are stairways that lead to the chimney. The stairway rails are actually vertical shafts. Mr. Prince still lives in this home.
As if the Bug House wasn’t enough, a new house was built next door. I’m not sure if this was planned, but the new house is referred to as the Spaceship House. It is built with all different angles instead of curves. It represents a very cantilevered style of architecture. I don’t know anything else about this house, but these two houses sitting side by side definitely draw attention to the neighborhood. And if you think that Thelma and I are the only two nut cases chasing around to find these quirky sights, you’re wrong. While we were outside taking pictures, a car pulled up out front and with camera in hand began taking pictures.
The most unusual site seen today is the “400 ft. Rattlesnake”. The snake is very artistic, but very creepy. It sits in the medium on University Blvd. The huge rock sculpture of a diamondback rattlesnake is 400 feet from it’s head to it’s rattle. This is definitely worth going out of your way to see and is right off the I-25. We drove along side the entire 400 ft and then turned around to see it from the opposite direction. Although crafted very well, the snake must be seen from the front. So the next time you’re in Albuquerque, make sure you stop by.
Our final stop of the night was at the Isotopes Baseball Field. The Isotopes are a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This was a very nice baseball field for a minor league team, but our purpose for stopping was the group of “large baseball bats and a giant baseball” that sits on the corner in front of the park entrance.
We did have a few more things on the list but we had to check into the Enchanted Trails campground by 7:00 p.m. and it was already 6:30. What a cute campground. It is on Route 66 and they have vintage trailers that can be rented out. The trailers are furnished with all the comforts of home…back in the 1950’s including black and white TV’s and peculators instead of coffee pots. But they guarantee a clean trailer and clean sheets for every stay. The campground is very nice, but the wifi is not blogging friendly. Although I am blogging today, I am unable to upload pictures so I’m saving the blog and will post hopefully tomorrow if we have faster internet.
What a fun day two. Long day though and with the time change even longer. We drove 358 miles today for a total trip so far of 618 miles.