Saturday, May 11, 2013

Taos and Route 64

From Heron Lake State Park , we traveled east on Route 64.

A scenic highway headed for Taos with views of snow covered mountains, including Mt. Wheeler at 13,161 feet.  No longer the desert, we have tall pines, and aspens.   The Taos citizens say that the best time of year is the Fall with beautiful yellow colors.

This road brought us to over 10.500 foot elevation.
Remember, you can click on any picture to enlarge.

Descending to 8000 feet, everything flattens out with sagebrush and not much else.  Out of nowhere comes this huge gash in the land and the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge.  In the distance is Taos Ski Valley , again with Mt. Wheeler.

The river is 650 feet down below the bridge and over 800 feet in the distance.  Impressive sight.

We are looking forward to seeing Jim of  . You see his blog listed to the right.
We met Jim ,with a bunch of other really great Lazy Daze owners, in Quartzsite.  Since then, we have been following Jim through his blog.  

One addition for Jim since we had last seen him, was Chica.  Chica is a very friendly, very small chihuahua. It seems that Chica adopted Jim at a campground and though Jim tried to find an owner-nobody came by to claim her.  You can see pictures of Chica on Jim's blog, escpecially in her new overcoat for their travels into Colorado and Canada.

We have come to love the adobe style of homes.  Great examples in Santa Fe and here in Taos.

Had to visit the Kit Carson home.  As kids, we grew up with Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and others.  It was quite interesting to discover Kit Carson was every bit the western adventurer we saw on television.  Born in Missouri, started trapping beaver quite young, led Fremont on his trips --discovering the Oregon Trail, Indian agent.
He couldn't read, but he spoke Spanish, French, and a bit or more of 10 Indian languages.

The kitchen area of the Kit Carson home.  Jim has more pictures of the home and Taos on his blog.

The main section of Taos is called The Plaza.  Most shops seem to be located around or close to the Plaza.

Again, we like a adobe style.  Also note the ristras( bunches of dried chiles) hanging.

We couldn't take pictures inside, but this was a well stocked and displayed store of western clothing.

Was very tempted to pick up a Stetson hat.

A good display out front, but no saddles for sale here.

Early May is apple blossom time in Taos.

This view from the main street of Taos shows the mountains of Taos Ski Valley not too far distant.

We had a recommendation from a local for Michaels
Kitchen and Bakery , just up on the left.  Had wonderful tacos and burrito lunch with Christmas.

That was a new term for us. Christmas means it is served with red and green chiles.

On the way into Taos-close to the bridge--we saw some very unusual homes.  After asking, we went back to explore Earthship.  They had a visitor's center and we  were very impressed with these self contained homes that have been built around the world.

This house was being worked on by a good number of young workers.  The construction uses a lot of recycled trash, like tires, cans, and various colored bottles.  The tires are very important in setting up a buffer that allows passive heating and cooling.

The homes use solar/thermal heating and cooling, solar and wind electric power, water harvesting(each home had a cistern), contained sewage treatment and food production.  The home we visited had a large, year round garden with great looking swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes and more.  They were also experimenting with a hydroponic fish tank and vegetable setup.

As this is being built, you can see the tires(which will be completely sealed), bottles and cans.

You can see much more of this company on

On the way back to town, we headed up towards Taos Ski Valley.  There is a quaint, very small town on the way called Arroyo Seco.  Some very nice shops in very old buildings.  This tile mosaic was on one outside wall.

How many of you remember old dodge trucks like this when they were new?   This one is actually a store icon.  I love looking inside these old vehicles to see the shifters(floor shift in this case), seats and dashboards.  Still runs and is registered.

We took a recommendation from Jim and headed a few miles south to camp in BLM land on the Rio Grande.  A short distance from the visitor's center on Route 68, there are a number of small campgrounds.  The first two seem the nicest and a strong flowing Rio Grande is very close to the camp.

A view of Rio Bravo Campground from a hiking trail above.

Leaving Taos, we continued on route 64.  Again, a very scenic route climbing almost to 10,000 feet again.  Many sharp curves , hairpin turns, and steep grades---but a beautiful road.  We came down from the high road to Angel Fire Ski Area.

Didn't get pictures, but it looked like a great ski center for the winter

From Angel Fire, it is a short drive of about 10 miles or so to Coyote Creek State park.

Eustis, our mascot from Eustis, Maine, was enjoying our one lane road into camp.

Our camera is a small Sony Cybershot.  A great little camera for many things, but not easy to get pictures of birds.

However, this Imperial Bluejay? was very cooperative.  We also have seen many yellow finch, black headed grosbeak, bluebirds, and two large yellow tailed hawks that seem to like hunting in the field next to us.  On site is also good fishing and three active beaver lodges.  We are at about 8500 feet.

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