I got up very early and headed up to Taos Pueblo. It’s not very far, but it’s a small two-lane highway through the mountains. You go through the town of Taos, and the pueblo is a few miles up on the right.
san geronimo chapel
The pueblo is amazing, and still very active. I went into several shops and all the shopkeepers wanted to talk about where I was from, and what I thought of the pueblo.
cemetery with ruins of old st geronimo church
making fry bread
I bought fry-bread from a table in the center square and wandered around getting crumbs all over myself. After a while, I decided to head west to the bridge that crosses the Rio Grande, because the gorge there is spectacular.
rio grande gorge, looking south
From there, I headed back towards Taos to see the town. It’s very cute, and is full of art galleries. I wandered in and out of shops, then decided to check out the Kit Carson museum. I was the only one in the place, and felt bad for the ladies working there. They were very enthusiastic.
Just south of Taos, in Ranchos de Taos, is the Mission San Francisco de Asis. It was one of Georgia O’Keefe’s favorite subjects.
mission san francisco de asis
I took the high road back toward Santa Fe. The northern portion of it goes through Carson National Forest, and it’s beautiful. I came upon the town of Las Trampas and found the Mission San Jose de Gracia. It’s under renovation, and all the workers there were really friendly.
A giant storm hit just as I was leaving Las Trampas, and I thought the hail was going to shatter the windshield. I’m not sure I’d have minded too much in Cracker, except for my stuff getting soaked.
I came upon Truchas, a tiny artist village in the mountains. I thought I was going to drive off the edge of a cliff, the roads are so narrow. Most of the shops were closed at that point, but the scenery was amazing.
Nearing Santa Fe, I found myself in Chimayo. I may never be the same.
mini chapel at el santuario de chimayo
The Santuario de Chimayo is one of those places that fascinates and terrifies me at the same time. According to legend, it is the home of healing dirt; those who take it with them will be cured. It’s chock-full of creepy artifacts.
the canes of the healed
el santuario de chimayo
Out back, the yard down near the river is full of prayers, testimonials, photos, makeshift crosses, and rosaries. People leave mementos of their family and friends, asking for them to be cured. The result is a collage of desperation.
I did not try the holy chile.
I headed back into Santa Fe and stopped for a very late dinner at Cafe Pasqual’s. I sat on the second-story balcony with a margarita, overlooking the Plaza. After an awesome dinner, I headed back to the hotel.