Monday, March 24, 2014

Trip to Taos

How about some beautiful New Mexico scenery to start your week? These are photos from a day trip to Taos on February 15, 2014, that I haven't gotten around to blogging about until now.   

I may actually have quilty photos tomorrow if my day off goes as planned ;) 

One of the best things about moving to a completely different state/region/climate/altitude/topography/time zone is exploring. Since I had never visited the Southwest until we decided to move here, everything is new and exciting and exploration worthy.  One of the first places I wanted to go when I arrived was Taos Pueblo.  Mr. SBQ had already visited Santa Fe and Taos in 2002 but it was all new to me.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains from downtown Santa Fe
Mr. SBQ and I drove the High Road to Taos from Santa Fe. The High Road trends up through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains through Indian pueblos and historic Spanish villages.

El Santuario de Chimayó 

Our first stop was in the village of Chimayó.  The Santuario de Chimayó (left) was built between 1811 and 1816 and is now a Catholic pilgrimage site.  Interior photographs were not allowed but you can see the traditional painted wooden carvings and altarpiece on this page.

San José de Gracia Church, Las Trampas
Our next stop was the village of Las Trampas, established in 1751 by a Spanish Land Grant, and another stop at a Spanish Colonial church (right).  Built between 1760 and 1776, the San José de Gracia Church is characteristic of Spanish mission churches in New Mexico.  The adobe walls need to be continuously re-mudded to preserve the exterior.  It was not open the day we visited but the interior wood carvings, statues, and altarpiece can be seen here
San José de Gracia Church, Las Trampas

Here is a closeup of the front facade and painted, carved wood doors. 

After lunch in the town of Taos, we continued on to Taos Pueblo. One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the United States (approximately 1,000 years old), Taos Pueblo is one of only 21 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the U.S
Taos Pueblo, North Building
[I took the above photo with my iPhone 5s with no filter or touch-up or alteration of any kind. I just love how it turned out.]

I don't even know how to begin describing Taos Pueblo; it's one of the places that needs to be experienced in person to get the full sense of space, architecture, and environment.  Here is a link to the pueblo's website for some basic information and history. 

Taos Pueblo, South Building
We took a guided tour and walked around the village on our own.  The pueblo has two buildings on either side of a large open space and creek. 

The pueblo has remained unchanged in modern times, there is no running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing. 

It is a living community with approx. 150 people living full time in the pueblo and approx. 1900 people living in the surrounding pueblo lands in modern and adobe houses.

People living in the pueblo still retrieve water from the creek and many cook in traditional horno ovens (beehive-shaped, outdoor, adobe ovens).

Pueblo dog 
You can see a horno oven in this photo. 

The adobe walls are remudded twice a year.

St. Jerome Church (or San Geronimo)
The present day St. Jerome church dates from 1850 and replaced an earlier church that dated from 1619.

Some of the rooms are open to the public as shop spaces selling jewelry, pottery, and baked goods. 
I couldn't resist a blueberry-raspberry fried pie made in a horno that morning.  I did share with Mr. SBQ after having him hold it for a photo. 

We went to the town of Taos for a bit of walking around the plaza and seeing the shops.  There was a quilt shop there and gift shops but nothing caught my eye.  The town of Taos is famous for its art galleries, ski valley, and wealthy residential areas--all of which we bypassed on this trip.

Our last stop of the day was the community of Rancho de Taos and the famous San Francisco de Asis mission church.  Built between 1772 and 1816 on the plaza, the church was made famous in paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and photographs by Ansel Adams.
 Here is the front of the church but it is more recognizable by the rear facade (below), the subject of paintings and photographs (and favorite bird perch on the day we visited).
We took the "Low Road" or River Road back to Santa Fe, which follows the Rio Grande river valley and is a much quicker route home.  I must have been tired because I didn't take a single photo on the way back.   


Karendianne said...

Spectacular photos!

Gari in AL said...

Wow, what a great trip you had. Now I want to come back to the southwest as we didn't make it to Taos. Thanks

June said...

Absolutely incredible photos. What a very blue sky!! I would love to visit Albuquerque some day.