The typical route from Albuquerque to Santa Fe is a straight shot, hour long drive up the I-25 North. The Sandia Mountains rise to the east, the Rio Grande snakes to the west, and a handful of Pueblo communities lie in the wake of this empty stretch of highway.
You want the road less traveled though. You want to break free. You want the world to know. Got to let it show. Ok, ok, fine. Take Highway 14. It's the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway which features rolling hills of juniper and sagebrush, mining towns turned ghost towns, and green chile cheeseburgers (a trail in its own right).
Grab a beer at Mine Shaft Tavern in the hippy artist town of Madrid, stop for breakfast and a bale of hay at San Marcos Cafe & Feed Store, drive past the Penitentiary of New Mexico with a shudder, then after another beer stop at Santa Fe Brewing, pop off onto Dinosaur Trail to see the glorious coming out of the t-rex. Along with a family of brontosaurus, it's what remains of the work of the late Larry Wilson, who built dinosaurs in the 80s out of spray foam, rebar and wire mesh. "Wilson had his 15 minutes of international media fame in 2001 after he crammed an Osama bin Laden dummy in the jaws of his t-rex." -roadsideamerica.com
Sorry, I didn't intend for this trip to make so many vicious turns. We made it though. At this point, the Turquoise Trail turns into Cerrillos Road - the main drag of off-Plaza Santa Fe and big box stores. Your coming out is complete and you're now free to enjoy the view like the t-rex. Unlike the t-rex, eat cheeseburgers, not people.