I took a trip to Trinidad, Colorado to visit friends who had moved there from Austin, Texas.
Trinidad is a small town (population 8,465, as of 2013) in Las Animas County, Colorado. It is the most populous town in the county and the county seat.
Trinidad first became a town because of the Santa Fe trail. The town grew as a resupply stop on the Santa Fe trail. In 1862, coal was found in the region and lots of people (primarily immigrants) flocked to the area and to Trinidad to work in the mines and make money off of the people who worked in the mines.
When I told a friend in Northern New Mexico that my Austin friends had moved to Trinidad, he only wanted to talk about sex change operations. From Wikipedia:
Trinidad was dubbed the “Sex Change Capital of the World” because a local doctor had an international reputation for performing sex reassignment surgery. In the 1960s, Dr. Stanley Biber, a veteran surgeon returning from Korea, decided to move to Trinidad because he had heard that the town needed a surgeon. In 1969 a local social worker asked him if he would perform the surgery for her, which he learned by consulting diagrams and a New York surgeon. Biber attained a reputation as a good surgeon at a time when very few doctors performed the operations. At his peak, Biber was performing roughly four sex change operations a day, and the term “taking a trip to Trinidad” became a euphemism for some seeking the procedures he offered. His surgical practice was taken over in 2003 by Marci Bowers. Biber was featured in an episode of South Park where elementary school teacher Mr. Garrison undergoes a sex change operation. Dr. Bowers has since moved the practice to San Mateo, California. The 2008 documentary Trinidad focuses on Marci Bowers and two of her patients.”
Also from Wikipedia:
For many years Trinidad housed the miners who worked in the coal mines of the Raton Basin south and west of the town. The coal mines are now closed, but since the 1980s companies have been drilling new gas wells to extract coalbed methane from the remaining coal seams.
Trinidad’s location at the foot of Raton Pass, along the Santa Fe Trail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico, has always made it a favored route for travellers, first by foot, then horse and ox-drawn wagon, then by railroad. Today Interstate 25, the most highly traveled route between Colorado and New Mexico, passes through Trinidad, and was recently reconstructed through the city to upgrade the aging raised viaduct in which the highway used to go through city.
I used the Wikipedia article about Trinidad quite a bit to jog my memory and find statistics about the town.
I took all of the photos in this post.