Nantucket is a tiny island off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts. It takes about two hours by ferry to get to the island. While we were living in New Jersey for four years we visited the island because my wife, who is an avid basket collector” insisted that she HAD to have a Nantucket basket. 🥴 When I got online to try and make a reservation for two nights I found that everything was booked up for two months. Being the Spring of the year I guess that Nantucket is the “go to” place. I finally found a small garage converted into a maid’s quarters, converted into a guest room. It was only $200/night (1997 prices).
Since I have been to Mackinac Island in upper Michigan several times before this visit I couldn’t help comparing Nantucket to it. The most glaring difference is that autos are not allowed on Mackinac whereas cars sometimes overwhelmed the scenery at Nantucket. The other comparison is that Mackinac, while it is also somewhat expensive, it is really more of a middle-class place to go. Nantucket on the other hand is where some of the nation’s wealthiest have summer homes, including Google’s Eric Schmidt (net worth: $13.8 billion) to former GE CEO Jack Welch. Many of the year round locals, who primarily are service people and shop owners, admit that the island very expensive, very exclusive, and very preppy, some say snobby.
Nantucket is known for whaling during the 19th century. Scallops, foggy weather, lighthouses and endless boutique shops are the main interests today. Main Street which is packed with high-end boutique shops. Most importantly to my wife was the “Basket Shop” which was a short distance out of the main town. There she learned how the island’s baskets are made. The original lightship baskets which were used on the whaling ships are very expensive today, but recently made ones can be purchased from $150 to $750. Fortunately, my wife chose one in the middle of that range.
If you are interested you can download an official travel guide by clicking the picture here. Below is a gallery of pictures I took on the island about twenty years ago. I don’t imagine much has changed since then.
In closing, our two days at Nantucket provided a much-needed respite from the last hectic year of my corporate life. Since I chose to retire back in the Midwest where my roots are I likely will never visit the island again, but it was an interesting experience to rub elbows with the upper-crust.
Let me say up front that Colorado and New Mexico are two of my favorite States to visit. They have so much history including Santa Fe, Fort Bent’s Historic site, Ouray, and Mesa Verde National park. I have been to those several times and hope to get in at least one more visit. In both States are thousands of small towns with very little population but quite a bit of history, if you dig deep enough to find it. It’s amazing that they have survived as long as they have. Some have a population of zero, but most have at least a hundred or two citizens.
For this travelogue entry I will be concentrating on Antonito Colorado history which in some ways is typical of many. The town was formed, like many other Colorado towns, by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. The town currently has about 600 residents, although we only saw four of them during our visit. It has several abandoned buildings and a couple still open including the Golden Nugget Nite Club shown above. I suspect that is a very active place on most Saturday nights. 🥴
Antonito has without any doubt one of the most eclectic residences I have ever been. When we stopped in front of the Golden Nugget to take pictures we chatted with a couple of locals who told us about a house “we just have to see”.
We followed their directions and came up Cano’s Castle. We never saw anyone around, but later discovered that the builder/resident was a very private man who seldom talked to any visitors, announced or unannounced.
Later we found out that Cano’s Castle is well known throughout the country. It was built by Dominic “Cano” Espinoza. He is a very private man to says God built the castle, not him. He has been living in this off-the-grid abode since 1987. If you are interested in more of the story click here. He certainly is quite a character
Click on any picture below to see a larger slideshow view.