Thursday, March 3, 2016

Winter Wows

We missed it by a couple of days when we arrived in Roswell, and really thought we'd missed our opportunity to see it on the big screen. Then Bill checked Santa Fe and saw that it was still playing until March 2 - the day we were planning to arrive. Noooo! 

So of course we changed plans and headed to Santa Fe a few days early! 

The story continues......
Wonderful movie, we really enjoy it, and now my sons won't disown us :-)

The day we arrive we want to find the place where we'd enjoyed delicious sopaipillas three years ago, but have no idea what the name is. Still, driving down the main road there it is! We don't recognize the name, and the parking lot is much fuller than before, but somehow the front is very familiar.

Just like we remembered - superb!
Tuesday we are out the door by 9:00 and don't return until nearly 6:00. It's been a while since we've spent a whole day saying "Wow!", and this is a very full one.

The drive to Taos north on Hwy 64 passes through the Rio Grande Gorge and parallels the Rio Grande River for several miles. It's amazing and difficult to catch a decent photo.

As the road turns east, away from the river, we can see the huge gorge cutting through the flat plains to the west. It is absolutely incredible! We laugh when we both say "Wow!" As we often do in these places, we talk about coming across that deep canyon as pioneers in wagons - what did they think? - how long did it take to find a crossing?

The Taos Pueblo is both what I'm expecting, and very different. I'm happy to pay the $16/person fee to wander the settlement, and yet a bit uncomfortable knowing that I'm photographing people's homes. Not a large number of natives still live here, but some do. The structures are incredible - multiple stories that have lasted over 1000 years. Big Wow!

Dogs are allowed on leash, but it is a bad idea. "Res dogs" run loose everywhere. Tessa makes friends with the first little pit bull who greets us at the car, but the seven larger ones heading our way are just too much so we leave her in the car. She lets us know periodically that we are horrible humans.

The original church was destroyed in 1690 by the local natives
Pueblo architecture 
The location is lovely
In addition to residences, some rooms are small businesses
Bread oven
The buildings are beautiful
The new church, built in the 1800's, still holds mass every Sunday - no photos inside
On weekends, many native vendors sell their wares in the courtyard, this day there are only three
The weather is a perfect 62 degrees with a light breeze so we continue north.

Not far out of Taos we begin to see more than just an occasional small patch of snow in the shadows. By the time we reach 8000 feet, the snow is deep under the tall pines. We were just in the flat, brown plains. Wow!

Tessa checks out the cold, crunchy surface
Soon she's embracing her inner ski bunny
Angels' Fire is a small ski village in a very large open plain. A couple skiers enjoy the one run that remains open, but nearly everything in town is closed on this weekday afternoon. It is very beautiful here.

Angel Fire Ski Run

Frozen Monte Verde Lake
We find a good lunch at Zeb's and head south.

Instead of retracing our route, Bill navigates us to the High Road to Taos (in this case it's from Taos) for the drive home.

The pine forest goes on forever. 

Carson National Forest
When the road comes out of the forest the vista is beyond amazing. There's no way a photo can capture the layers of color and texture. The red canyons, the gold plains, the green forests, the purple mountain range - all laid out in front of us for miles. 

There are so many wows this trip that it is almost overwhelming. For the grand finale, the sun sinks behind three bands of clouds, the rays shooting up from the top one, while the bottom one is seemingly on fire. Photos still don't do the Wow justice.

We're loving our time in Santa Fe - I think we'll extend our stay :-))))


  1. That would definitely be a WOW visit. What great photos you have too.

  2. What a day! We have yet to make it to Taos, thanks for the preview! ;-)

    1. It was my first visit and I'd like to go back and take more time in the little town. And really the drive is a must do :-)

  3. Visiting a Bristlecone Pine forest in each state that has one is on my bucket list. Have made it to the New Mexico forest. It's the last one on the list, but after seeing your pictures - might just stay in Santa Fe :)

    1. Those forests are amazing - we loved the one in the Eastern Sierras of California. There are so many things to see here :-)

  4. Nothing better than a happy dog n snow. :)

    Taos is really cool, Jodee! Thanks for the tour!

    1. She was so funny! The Pueblo is very humbling.

  5. Wow is right about your post too. What a day you had. You are in places I am so longing to visit. Really enjoying your pictures. Love Tessa's inner ski bunny. I do think she should thank you for keeping her away from that questionably friendly group. She's such an innocent. Wow is what it's all about!!

    1. So true, she's smart but not "street smart", and those kids had it in spades! There is a magical spirit here that makes it feel like home. You will love it.

  6. We love Taos -- don't know if you had a chance to explore the plaza area, but it's lovely. It's been a few years since we've visited the pueblo -- I'd like to plan a visit to coincide with one of the feast day celebrations. Brings back good memories seeing your photos. Tessa and her inner ski bunny -- too cute!

    1. I definitely want to get back to the plaza next time we're up there. The snow-covered mountains were beckoning this time. A celebration day would be amazing at the pueblo. I was hoping to catch something while in Santa Fe, but March is the only month without a fiesta :-(

  7. You did have a Wow day. Our last visit to Taos was in '04 and my previous one was on '71, while it didn't change much the surrounding area did. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. Sure hope our son and DIL don't disown us since we didn't get to the new Star Wars movie...but then it doesn't pay for us to go to movies since Dave falls asleep while we're there.

    1. :-)))) at the price of movies these days falling asleep is definitely costly! I'm sure your family can bring the DVD to share with you once it's out :-) This was our first visit to Taos, but signs of growth are everywhere.

  8. Wonder if I'm the only one who hasn't seen Star Wars. I'm surprised you're allowed to take photos in the Pueblo. You got some good shots there. And that view is amazing. Hope you had your winter clothes along.

  9. Yep, Emmi periodically lets us know we are awful humans too! :))