Tuesday, February 4, 2014

TRINIDAD, COLORADO on "TRAVEL TUESDAY"

Sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled, and somehow convince the driver on your road trip that it would be a worthwhile venture to check out something you've driven past since childhood, but never bothered to stop.  It also helps if it's less than 60 miles off the highway, which usually seems to be the case.
Nestled just "this side" of the Raton Pass (leading from southern Colorado, into New Mexico), and along the Mountain Branch of the old Santa Fe Trail, sits Trinidad, Colorado (population 8,771 in 2012).  A little town nestled in some remarkable scenery (the Spanish Peaks are there, leading into high desert country), that we had passed by many times but never bothered to stop.  This time we did just that...quite a few times on a cold, windy January day (photos that needed just a tiny bit of "oomph" in the enhancing department, since everyone is tired of drab right about now.  The colors of these buildings are all just as beautiful as they show here, on their own...it all just needed a little winter-time "brightening").
Trinidad was founded in 1842 as a trading center on the Santa Fe Trail, later continuing growth as a hub for large cattle operations, coal mining (1862), and the expansion of the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1878 (over the Raton Pass and into Santa Fe, NM in 1880, rendering the old Santa Fe Trail obsolete).  The town is chock full of the charm of late 1800's architecture, still.  In the 1960's, the town itself gained worldwide renown as "The Sex Change Capital of the World", thanks to a pioneering surgeon ...this beautiful little town is so much more than that, as we found out.
Smack dab in the middle of the main street sits the Southern Colorado Coal Miners Memorial and The Coal Miner's Canary, side by side.
Life-sized bronze figures (obviously the canary is LARGER than life) stand in recognition of hundreds of miners (active, past, retired and deceased), representing 18 states.
Drive through the quaint old cobblestone lined streets (and sidewalks) - each and every one stamped "Trinidad"...Temple Aaron, built in 1889, at the top of the hill; Trinidad Waterworks Building (1879) at the other end of town.
The charming Rino's Restaurant and Lounge - built in 1887 and originally a church!
The residential area, up the hill from the main street, is JUST as inviting - upper right actually a Bed and Breakfast.
Cattle baron, banker, and merchant Frank C. Bloom, built this beauty (also on Main Street) in 1882.
The Bloom Mansion is in the throws of restoration as part of the Trinidad History Museum - it is open, and tours are available.  Lower left pictures the expansive gardens of Bloom's wife, Sarah.
Street views, in and above the town.
Ten miles south of Trinidad (off the side of the highway, nestled on the hillside - these were telephoto shots in 60 mph winds, across the highway) sits what is left of a former mining camp (1907-1956), and the remains of the adobe facade of the old mission style St. Aloysius Church, built in 1917.  The scenery is beautiful as the architecture of the town is captivating - certainly worth pulling off for a quick "look-see".  For more information on the town and surrounding sites, please visit SITES OF TRINIDAD (just click on the BOLD words...it's a link, you know).
Then, cheerfully pass the beautiful big barn, on the left hand side of the road, on your way back to Denver...and apologize to your driver for him having to cave in to your whims and photo opportunity cravings, putting your road trip behind schedule just enough to be engulfed by a massive DUST storm somewhere between Pueblo and Colorado Springs.  It was like driving into super scary BROWN fog...white-out conditions, only a BROWN-out.  Thanks for getting us safely through - thanks for stopping...photos from a stand-still position are always better than through the car windshield (though you do what you have to do to get the shot), and if it's 60 miles away, it might best be saved for another trip.

20 comments:

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

Thanks for sharing your road trip…enjoyed all the pics…will have to put it on our 'to see' list for a future Roadtrek adventure!

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Wonderful photos! What a beautiful place!

Mary Ann Potter said...

What an enchanting place! The buildings are indeed beautiful, as is your photo processing - something I do ALL the time! You live in a lovely part of the country.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

This is a fab post, chock full of great pics and info. For someone that will probably never see that part of the country, it was really interesting. The colors and architecture of the buildings are amazing. What a wonderful road trip.

Createology said...

I always so enjoy your road trips. I wouldn't care for 60 mph winds and I definitely wouldn't care for the "brown out". Lovely old buildings and thankfully being restored. We need to preserve our heritage spaces. Happy Trails Dear...

Bluefinch said...

What a cool town! Enjoyed traveling with you!
XO
Rachel

Sea Witch said...

Wow, I will have to visit Trinidad the next time I visit my son in Aurora. Such a nifty place.

My Garden Diaries said...

Wow! What a fascinating town! Every single building has the most amazing colors and details! I so love towns that tell a story from the past and this one has such an amazing one! What is the current population of Trinidad? And that dust storm looks intense!!! I have never been in one and boy do I hope I never am!!! Hope you are good pal!!!! Happy week to you!!! Nicole xoxo

Maywyn Studio said...

Great pictures
Love those old houses

Cheryl said...

Great pictures, such an awesome looking house!

111 LaLa Lane said...

Such a beautiful place. Looks like a step into the past, but so well cared for. Thanks for sharing.

Silke said...

Ooooo, that brings back memories! We lived in Albuquerque for 10 years and with family in Denver, we made that drive over the Raton Pass and through Trinidad and past that gorgeous barn many times. It is still one of my very favorite drives. Thanks for the beautiful photos!! xoxo Silke

Cheryl @ TFD said...

First of all thanks for your visit to my blog and for following. I'm happy to follow back and look forward to seeing more of your beautiful blog and photos!

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

Trinidad is a town I would love to visit! You have captured the most vibrant photos.

Jackie said...

Oh I love travel tuesday!! So much to learn! I have heard of this town before, I think our friends go fishing in Trinity every year for salmon?? Anyway, it is beautiful!

Bev said...

Beautiful photos! Beautiful blog! I'm so happy to find you and I'm a new follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog too! Cheery wave from Bev

Farm Gate Creations said...

Wow! That certainly was worth the detour, amazing photos and stunning architecture.

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

What a treasure... that Bloom Mansion is unbelievably beautiful!

Marit Johanne said...

Thank you for a wonderful trip! What a charming town! The Bloom Mansion is great, it reminds me of a colorful house build by Lego-bricks :)

hula-la said...

Nice to take this litle journey with you! Love the cobblestone/brick streets! Have a fabulous day! Aloha