Saturday, June 22, 2013

Road Trippin and the Tinkertown Museum

Last year was a VERY busy year for us so you'll, I hope, forgive that I am just getting around to posting some 2012 tidbits.  Some things I'm sure I'll never get around to but there's at least one thing that I have to spread the word about or I won't be able to live with myself.  See, last May, husbear and I rented an RV (we'll call her "Bessie") and drove a sorta upside down horseshoe through Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico then through Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee to get back to Northern Virginia.  It was a fantastic trip and I'm so so glad we did it.  I hope to share more of our adventures in the NO SHIT wild wild west but first and foremost, I need to let you in on a little secret.

Should you ever be in the neighborhood (and trust me, you won't ever just drive there on purpose ok?), you should stop by this little museum/curio/roadside attraction/junkyard/all around awesome venue: THE TINKERTOWN MUSEUM.  It was the ONE damn thing I really wanted to do on this roadtrip that didn't involve majestic scenery, hiking until we were purple in the face, or eating BBQ (we did all that too and was equally awesome).  Er...maybe not equally.  Because if you're me, the Tinkertown Museum pretty much epitomizes everything that is right and good in the world of road trips.
A sign found in Tinkertown that puts into words why RVing is still so popular and why we did this instead of a European vacation.

My husband had a moment's hesitation where he almost insisted we keep driving because we we needed to "start covering some ground" but a quick look at my face and I think he knew it was a fight he ever had a chance of winning.  In any case, he did right by me and indulged my inner child (thank you dear) by stopping at this relic.

There have been many articles written and interviews given about this place so I won't bore you with the history.  If you want to know more, you can do so by clicking here, here, or here

And here's a video of Tinkertown with possibly the worst flute music I've ever heard:

What I will say is that almost everything in Tinkertown was MADE BY HAND over a 40 year period by one guy, Ross Ward (the dearly departed).

I think, in my case, I'll just let the pictures tell the story.  Here are just a few snapshots from the museum that was made "while you were watching TV"....

I can't remember how much we paid to get into the museum but it was worth every damn penny so cough that shit up if you find yourself in Sandia, NM.

Wish this picture did justice to the scale of the place and the work that went in.  I mean, one guy carved ALL that stuff!  Sorry, I know it's a crap picture - I was TOO excited!
Even Mary Poppins makes a visit.  How very superkalifragilisticexpialidocious!
This was one of my favorites though I can't say I understand it.  The Rusty Wyer Band is jamming out (you can see the whole band here) but what's that scary little ol' lady doin?  I don't know but it makes a great photo op.
Seriously?  How freakin' cool is that?? Who needs to drive all the way to Tombstone when you can have THIS experience at Tinkertown? one.

This is one of the many "automated" displays.  There's a little switch you can turn that makes the chicken run away from the chef.  If you look close, you can see the chicken there....and the chef running after him with a meat cleaver.  Can you imagine?  The chicken alone must have taken him a full day to carve.  Crazy when you think about it!

This one makes me think he may have had a wee carving....problem/addiction.
Forgive the poor picture quality but this was pretty neat too.  He did a scaled Big Top circus and up top were real photos of circus performers.
The deets:  Tinkertown is open from April 1st through October 31st, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week -- last admission sold at 5:30 pm

ADULTS: $3.50
GEEZERS (62+): $3.00
KIDS 4-16: $1.00
KIDS Under 4: Free

121 Sandia Crest Rd  Sandia Park, NM 87047

And one more thing, I think I have to thank my parents for instilling in me the ability to appreciate things like this.  This place truly is a simple pleasure in a complex world and I'm glad we went just a little bit out of our way to visit.  The dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point in Utah was another great example of this but I guess that's a story for another day.  Anyway, thanks to mom and dad for all the quirky road trips - makes you appreciate the little things.