I have always wanted to ski in Taos, but since it doesn’t seem that that’s in the cards for my foreseeable future as an RV gypsy who is trying to avoid winters, I decided that a non-ski trip here will have to make do. You see, Charley, our RV, can only take cold to a certain level, and winter ski destinations are not on his approved travel list. But as Fred and I were only about 90 minutes from Taos when we were in Santa Fe, I knew this was a must-go day-trip for me. I was not at all disappointed, and in fact, I tried to imagine Taos all covered with snow and I just couldn’t do it. We loved our spring day here yesterday!
Without a real agenda, we arrived in the late morning, and upon seeing a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Visitor Center on the outskirts (term used loosely) of Taos, we figured that this was as good a place as any to get some information about what to do while here. A very helpful ranger there steered us to a great little Mexican/New Mexican place for lunch and then suggested a nice drive for our couple-hour itinerary while visiting the area. Coming back to the food for a moment, there is a difference between Mexican and New Mexican food, and the primary question is “red or green?” referring to your choice of chile, and if you want both, you order “Christmas!”
Following lunch, we spent an hour or so in the historic downtown which surrounds a cute little square whose roots date back to the late 1700s when Taos Plaza was a defensive fortress. The top two photos show how wonderful this little town is – if you like remote, quaint towns like we do. I would have loved to have purchased a piece or two of lovely turquoise jewelry made by local Native Americans, but alas, I went way way way over my shopping budget (which is about $0 these days) for the month already back in Santa Fe. Another time, perhaps….
The BLM ranger did NOT steer us wrong, for our early afternoon drive around Taos was STUNNING, as the photos to the left show. The coolest thing, by far, that we saw, was the impressive overpass that spans across the Rio Grande. Known as the Gorge Bridge, this thing is nearly 1,300 feet across, spanning the gorge that is nearly 650 feet below it.
We crossed the bridge and got out of Toad to walk back across it, as most others were doing, too. It was really a thrill being that high up over the gorge below.
Then as the final photo shows, we drove down into the gorge on a 2-mile-long dirt road full of switchbacks and wicked turns – it was amazing! Have we mentioned lately that we LOVE our Subaru!?! This is exactly what we had in mind when we thought of driving “off road.”
While I didn’t make it here for the skiing, Fred and I have already decided that we will return here this fall when we make our way back to New Mexico for the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque in early October. We will absolutely be routing ourselves so Taos is on the way.