Desert Southwest Vacation – Part Two

Desert Southwest Vacation Part Two

Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico

Leaving the beautiful parks of Utah and making our way toward Taos on Utah Hwy 261 we took one of the most hair raising roads of the trip and probably my life (rivaled only by those skinny winding cliffside roads in Ireland). Sure there was warning sign that trucks need to detour, and then a sign that said a gravel road was ahead. That didn’t pause us, heck we live on a dirt and gravel road. But this road was different. The narrow gravel road twisted and switchbacked all the way down a mountain side. Chris was in his element and loving every moment. I was gripping the door handle and trying not to panic as I waited for the Meclizine to kick in. We met no other vehicles on this section, which was fortunate because one of us would have had to back up to one of the few (very few) places where a should had been created just wide enough for a tiny car to perch as another passed. It gives me the shudders to think about it now.

As we dropped off the mountain road onto the desert floor I was flooded with relief and there were several miles of weird laughing as we talked and drove along a now flat highway. Our next goal was to make it to Monument Valley before sunset. If you’ve seen many old school westerns you’ve seen glimpses of Monument Valley. We didn’t stop for photos but we did pass a movie being filmed.

This is Navajo land, barren and wide open. After dinner at a local diner in Kayenta, we filled the Volkswagen up with diesel and decided to drive on through the dark to find a hotel. Seventeen miles east of Kayenta on Hwy 417 a school bus we’d been following stopped. A tall lean young man stepped out and crossed the road. In our headlights we could see him cross through a gate and walk into a pitch black night. There were no house lights in the distance. The temperature was near freezing. I felt chilled inside my nice car with seatwarmers as I thought of the young man wallking….

The Leonids meteor shower was supposed to begin that night and as we drove on toward a hotel in Cortez we watched the blue black sky. We saw a few meteors dart through the sky and disappear quickly.

The next day as we drove through Carson National Park nearing Taos we had to slow down to navigate a road block – of sheep and goats. These photos were taken as I leaned out the window all the while being watched by the guardian of the flock.
DSCN1389

DSCN1391

DSCN1393

Our Taos B&B was the Stewart House. It’s an utterly charming little place with all the amenities and loads of Taos charisma. The owner is soft-spoken and non-intrusive. She makes a mighty fine pancake breakfast too!

DSCN1406

DSCN1407

DSCN1410

DSCN1411

DSCN1414

Taos is one of my favorite places and a great stop if you like to park your car and then walk the streets stopping in shops. One of the best meals of our trip was hot soup from a street vendor. This young man will not be noted on your restaurant guide or in your Lonely Planet book. He’s a fabulous chef who uses local organic ingredients. I had the tomato bisque with peanuts, topped with sesame and cilantro. Not only was my body warm inside but my taste buds were thrilled and satisfied. Chris had a noodle dish which was wonderful. I wanted to go back and order duck chili but knew I couldn’t eat another bite.

DSCN1396

One of the planned stops was Weaving Southwest.This is now my favorite yarn shop in Taos. (For those of you who haven’t been there in a while Taos Sunflower has closed.) There are huge looms being used by a local weaver, and long walls of hand dyed yarns organized by color. It made me giddy. I’ve been in a lot of yarn shops but this place is spectacular with color! Weaving Southwest is also the home of the Rio Grande Spinning Wheel. The owner/founder’s granddaughter gave us a demo on the big spinning wheel. It’s dramatically different than most of the modern spinning wheels that I’ve seen. Chris and I each took a whirl at the peddles and spindle. I had an ah-ha moment as everything that I’ve tried on a drop spindle suddenly worked. Drafting was a breeze on this wheel. And get this – I spun lace weight! RIght there after a few minutes time – lace weight! Go figure.

Later on Paseo du Pueblo I spotted an overgrown park. Or was it? I walked through the vacant lot which has become an unofficial little sanctuary. Here are a few photos.

DSCN1402

DSCN1399

DSCN1400

DSCN1397

DSCN1401

DSCN1403

If you’re going to Taos be sure to drive up to Arroyo Seco. It’s small and quaint and a place I think I could live. Have some ice cream at the Taos Cow or a Negro Modello at Abe’s Bar. You can’t go wrong in Seco. Slow down to the local’s pace and enjoy the peacefulness.

Santa Fe is about museums, galleries and shopping. Because I can’t learn enough about Georgia O’Keeffe the O’Keeffe Museum was one of our first stops. I am constantly intrigued by O’Keeffe’s paintings and by the photographs of her. Her years in New Mexico especially, dragging home bones – walking in the wild openness – hours spent just watching the colors in her surroundings….

The Folk Museum in Santa Fe is another great stop. Whether you’re interested in fiber arts, silver smithing, painting or poppets the exhibits in this museum will make you happy. There is a lot to see and the exhibits change regularly so I recommend going every time you get an opportunity.

Travel – wherever you go – whyever you go – can be inspiring and enlightening. It can cause you to look at your life or the world around you in a new way.

I journal on a regular basis and daily while traveling, but before we left Santa Fe we sat down in the coffee shop of a local bookstore and poured onto paper our thoughts, dreams, and plans for the future. Notes made separate from our journals – notes to pin up and remind us of what we want so we don’t lose that focus as we return to our daily lives here on the farm.
Desert Southwest Vacation Part TwoTaos and Santa Fe, New MexicoLeaving the beautiful parks of Utah and making our way toward Taos on Utah Hwy 261 we took one of the most hair raising roads of the trip and probably my life (rivaled only by those skinny winding cliffside roads in Ireland). Sure there was warning sign that trucks need to detour, and then a sign that said a gravel road was ahead. That didn’t pause us, heck we live on a dirt and gravel road. But this road was different. The narrow gravel road twisted and switchbacked all the way down a mountain side. Chris was in his element and loving every moment. I was gripping the door handle and trying not to panic as I waited for the Meclizine to kick in. We met no other vehicles on this section, which was fortunate because one of us would have had to back up to one of the few (very few) places where a should had been created just wide enough for a tiny car to perch as another passed. It gives me the shudders to think about it now. As we dropped off the mountain road onto the desert floor I was flooded with relief and there were several miles of weird laughing as we talked and drove along a now flat highway. Our next goal was to make it to Monument Valley before sunset. If you’ve seen many old school westerns you’ve seen glimpses of Monument Valley. We didn’t stop for photos but we did pass a movie being filmed. This is Navajo land, barren and wide open. After dinner at a local diner in Kayenta, we filled the Volkswagen up with diesel and decided to drive on through the dark to find a hotel. Seventeen miles east of Kayenta on Hwy 417 a school bus we’d been following stopped. A tall lean young man stepped out and crossed the road. In our headlights we could see him cross through a gate and walk into a pitch black night. There were no house lights in the distance. The temperature was near freezing. I felt chilled inside my nice car with seatwarmers as I thought of the young man wallking….The Leonids meteor shower was supposed to begin that night and as we drove on toward a hotel in Cortez we watched the blue black sky. We saw a few meteors dart through the sky and disappear quickly. The next day as we drove through Carson National Park nearing Taos we had to slow down to navigate a road block – of sheep and goats. These photos were taken as I leaned out the window all the while being watched by the guardian of the flock. Our Taos B&B was the Stewart House. It’s an utterly charming little place with all the amenities and loads of Taos charisma. The owner is soft-spoken and non-intrusive. She makes a mighty fine pancake breakfast too! Taos is one of my favorite places and a great stop if you like to park your car and then walk the streets stopping in shops. One of the best meals of our trip was hot soup from a street vendor. This young man will not be noted on your restaurant guide or in your Lonely Planet book. He’s a fabulous chef who uses local organic ingredients. I had the tomato bisque with peanuts, topped with sesame and cilantro. Not only was my body warm inside but my taste buds were thrilled and satisfied. Chris had a noodle dish which was wonderful. I wanted to go back and order duck chili but knew I couldn’t eat another bite. One of the planned stops was Weaving Southwest.This is now my favorite yarn shop in Taos. (For those of you who haven’t been there in a while Taos Sunflower has closed.) There are huge looms being used by a local weaver, and long walls of hand dyed yarns organized by color. It made me giddy. I’ve been in a lot of yarn shops but this place is spectacular with color! Weaving Southwest is also the home of the Rio Grande Spinning Wheel. The owner/founder’s granddaughter gave us a demo on the big spinning wheel. It’s dramatically different than most of the modern spinning wheels that I’ve seen. Chris and I each took a whirl at the peddles and spindle. I had an ah-ha moment as everything that I’ve tried on a drop spindle suddenly worked. Drafting was a breeze on this wheel. And get this – I spun lace weight! RIght there after a few minutes time – lace weight! Go figure. Later on Paseo du Pueblo I spotted an overgrown park. Or was it? I walked through the vacant lot which has become an unofficial little sanctuary. Here are a few photos. If you’re going to Taos be sure to drive up to Arroyo Seco. It’s small and quaint and a place I think I could live. Have some ice cream at the Taos Cow or a Negro Modello at Abe’s Bar. You can’t go wrong in Seco. Slow down to the local’s pace and enjoy the peacefulness. Santa Fe is about museums, galleries and shopping. Because I can’t learn enough about Georgia O’Keeffe the O’Keeffe Museum was one of our first stops. I am constantly intrigued by O’Keeffe’s paintings and by the photographs of her. Her years in New Mexico especially, dragging home bones – walking in the wild openness – hours spent just watching the colors in her surroundings….The Folk Museum in Santa Fe is another great stop. Whether you’re interested in fiber arts, silver smithing, painting or poppets the exhibits in this museum will make you happy. There is a lot to see and the exhibits change regularly so I recommend going every time you get an opportunity. Travel – wherever you go – whyever you go – can be inspiring and enlightening. It can cause you to look at your life or the world around you in a new way. I journal on a regular basis and daily while traveling, but before we left Santa Fe we sat down in the coffee shop of a local bookstore and poured onto paper our thoughts, dreams, and plans for the future. Notes made separate from our journals – notes to pin up and remind us of what we want so we don’t lose that focus as we return to our daily lives here on the farm. var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Desert Southwest Vacation – Part Two

  1. I love your photos and your blog (as always). Taos is one of my favorite places…and I do love Arroyo Seco. Love Santa Fe, too, even though it's so “touristy” now. Yes, Georgia O'Keefe Musuem is fabulous! I still love La Fonda, even when I'm not staying there. The French bakery/café next door is still one of my favorites! Have you eaten at The Shed? I loved it when I could still eat posole.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s