Saturday, July 17, 2010

Taos, New Mexico

So Toas was a beautiful little city North of Santa Fe. I had a fun time when we were there. Such beautiful scenery.

So we started the day at Taos Pueblo, a world heritage site by UNESCO. I have the book of all the world heritage sites so I was beside myself to be here. This pueblo or Indian village has been around for over 1000 years. And about 50 families still live here, even without running water or electricity.
All of the houses are made out of the adobe style from thousands of years ago. Most are original materials that have been redone through their community programs. However, the original materials are still apart of the designs. You see the modern cars, though....
The view from the main plaza/center. You'll see this picture taken a few more times :)
Of course, the United States has also issued a National Historic Site.
This was the original church that was burned down/destroyed from the opposing defeaters of the leaders here. It then became the sight of the cemetary.
This was our guide (tips only) that gave us a small, 30 minute or so tour of the basic grounds. She showed us these ovens that are still used today to make the bread they sell in the homes/shops.

They still live off the water from the Rio Grande here. Makes for a nice, shaded area of the pueblo, though.
These towering buildings are actually comparable to apartment complexes today. Each is an individual home and you needed a ladder to get up to them.Up close...
The main focus is on the left of the water but there is also another part of the community on the right with many shops. This is actually where I bought all of my souvenirs...the ornament and necklaces.
The church is where we actually started our tour but I found this picture was much better. The Taos practice both Catholicism and their own Native American religion.
So, almost each of the buildings is a store. They have sculptures, Native American items such as dream catchers, moccassins, and drums. But I looked mostly at the jewelry. Here is where I bought some painted corn necklaces. Hey, $3, what can ya do??
Oh, and there were dogs EVERYWHERE. But as our guide said, would you rather stay in your house all day with no air conditioning or would you rather be petted and amused all day? Easy decision.....
The adobe buildings were not too tall. There's me as an example. If you look at the small building on the right then you can see I'd have to bend down to fit in.

POSTCARD!!! Haha I need to start making money!
What a silly sign. It almost was a mockery to how they were selling CRAP to tourists on their own sacred land. But, I dunno. What do you think?
The Mountains here actually belong to the Toas and their reservation. But mostly just the few big mountains you see here and only up to the top. The US owns the other side.
Then we went to the Taos Ski Valley. Barbara was going to have me go up on the chairlift but I was so nervous. Luckily, it was closed :)
You want me to go where in that bench? How high off the ground??
We actually walked around for a bit and then decided to eat lunch here at The Stray Dog in Taos Ski Valley.

Nice view from my seat, huh? Lol
Then we drove over the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Wow....reminded me of the Grand Canyon for a minute. While doing that we noticed the Earthship Community was there. I had heard about this on the Travel Channel on the show Extreme Towns.
So, Earthship is a community of these completely recycled homes. The homes/walls are built from dirt/mud and tires with beer bottles and cans in the middle to help keep the mud/dirt solid. They use solar power for electricity and they use rain water and drainage for running water.
This is what the houses look like. There are about 250 of these in the community.
So, there's a visitors center, seen here. For $5 you can go through 2 of the houses/education centers.

The tires, dirt, and cans/bottles are the walls.....
Where you saw all of the windows is where the green house is. There are many different plants and flowers that you can plant here.
Outside of the structure they were working on.
Inside of the second house/education center. You couldn't wear shoes into the second one lol.
Then we drove back to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It was scary walking out into this. But I was brave and SEE, I was REALLY these lol.
Amazing........and so scary. I actually walked (by myself) across the bridge making a round trip. My heart was beating pretty fast and I was totally focused on just keeping one stop in front of the other.

It was quite a walk when terrified of the height the whole time.

Beautiful scenery though...

DONT LOOK DOWN!! Haha I actually cautiously walked up to the look out points and held the picture over the bridge. That, in itself, was terrifying.

After the death walk we met Lee Ann's son for dinner at Graham's. Service was SLOW but food was good.
My shrimp pasta dish. Yummy!
So, on the next post I'll tell you my Bridge story. It's not a good one lol. But I really enjoyed Taos and was SUPER excited to get to Colorado on the next day.

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