Tuesday morning I headed out once again to the scenic byway Turquoise Route. My first stop was at Henderson Store, the only recommended shop in Golden, New Mexico according to my Turquoise tourist map from the hotel.

Pulling open the wooden screen door, I walked into a store filled with jewelry, pottery and other gifts. Glass cases ran along the perimeter of the store. It felt like a mix between a museum and a market. I don’t own a lot of jewelry, but the main pieces I wear are my bone gauged earrings and big silver cuffs I’ve gotten from other Native American artists. These kinds of jewelry fit my style, but I did not own any big “statement piece” necklaces. I bought a big, heavy silver and turquoise necklace made partially out of old silver coins, a skinnier turquoise bracelet that is lightweight enough for me to type without taking it off, and a pair of earrings for my sister. The owners of the store were very nice, and patient with me while I looked over each case. It seemed that every time the door opened, they were greeting another loyal customer and catching up with how their lives were going.

I’m the kind of shopper who would rather buy now and exchange later, rather than running around to all kinds of shops and trying to remember what I liked enough to go back and buy. I wrote a check with the biggest number I have ever spent on jewelry, and continued down the Turquoise trail. Henderson store kindly told me that if I found something I liked better from another store, I could come back and return any of their jewelry I had just bought.

The next stop on the route was a town called Madrid, pronounced MAh-drid. This is the kind of town where dogs run around without leashes because everybody knows whose dog it is. I am a very thorough person, and since I was shopping with confidence thanks to Henderson Store, I went to every single gallery that sold jewelry. Many of the gallery owners had that hippy vibe, similar to how I felt in Asheville. Everyone greeted me with a smile and were genuinely interested to hear about my travels. At the second gallery I visited, I learned that almost all of the stores in town would allow me to bring my dogs in. So Snickers and Meeko immersed themselves in art and culture, taking in the sites and drinking from thousand dollar rock fountains. No word on whether the water tasted any better.We even met a gallery owner from Pittsburgh!

We ended up spending 2 hours in Madrid looking through shops and chatting with people. I didn’t end up buying any jewelry from there, as I felt that my Henderson purchases were exactly what I was looking for. As we drove back towards Albuquerque, I started thinking more about what I would want in a jewelry collection. I stopped at Henderson Store again and bought another shorter necklace made entirely of turquoise, and a big silver pendant. I’m sure I will be able to find a big antique looking silver chain out in San Francisco.

The dogs were exhausted, and quickly fell asleep. All my shopping put my schedule back further than I wanted, so we did not arrive in Tuscon, Arizona until 10pm. Actually, in my brain it was 11pm, but apparently Arizona doesn’t ‘do’ Daylight Savings Time. Who knew that a state could pick whether they wanted to change their time? I spent the night curled up with Snickers on an air mattress at my cousin’s (my mom’s side) boyfriend’s place. He had a very sweet 4 month old pitbull mix puppy who really really really wanted to play with Meeko. Unfortunately she was about 40 pounds while Meeko is 16 pounds. It was decided that the play would be too rough for the puffball, so they resolved to barking and wagging tails at each other between a glass door.

In other news, my boyfriend has found an apartment for us! It is a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom vintage looking place that accepts dogs and knows that we are bringing dogs! I still can’t believe that we have a place to live after months of searching, and in some cases, being turned down. Part of me feels like something could still go wrong, but for now I will try to ignore that. This lease doesn’t start until the middle of July though, so we are planning where to live for the next two weeks. Needless to say it will be a long time before I unpack this car!

Location: Tuscon, Arizona

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