Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Western Trip – Day 58 – Day Trip North

After returning from Taos the first time, doing some web research, then visiting the farmers market, Bev decided there were three things she wanted to see – the Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and the Taos Pueblo.

Since I still had the cough and didn’t want to be with other people much and we could see them all in one big loop, we decided it would make for a good day trip.  We began by heading up to Abiquiu (yet another unpronouncable word for me) to visit the lavender farm located down a yellow lined dirt road.

From their plants they make a full range of soaps, lotions, etc intended to provide many healing and soothing effects so, of course, Bev and Pat had to pick up a few – Bev is really big into skin care.  In talking with the owner, the area provides the right soil and climate for growing this Mediterranean plant.

From there we headed cross country generally in the direction of Taos but doing a bit of zig zagging and seeing the typical back county for this area.  It is pretty arid but alive with color this time of year provided by small and larger yellow flowered plants and some with purple flowers.

I know many of you are desert lovers and given enough time I’m sure it could grow on me but at this point I have to wonder why the white man fought the Indians for this land.

After leaving the lavender farm, the first place we came to was El Rito which was one of the first Spanish settlements in northern NM and contains the oldest church in NM and this (no clue):

We followed NM-567, knowing it would take us along and across the Rio Grande but what we didn’t know was that the pavement would end at the top of the gorge and there was a single-lane gravel road with steep drop-offs and switch backs down the canyon wall to the river – I got lots of driving help from Bev.

Once we got to the bottom and crossed the little bridge, I was delighted to be beside the river at a boat launch area where I could easily walk down and check out the temperature – it was plenty cold.

I was also happy that the road was once again paved after we crossed the bridge – going down into the canyon was the only dirt section.  We got back on NM-68 and got a shot across the gorge of where we just were on the other side.

The next stop was the bridge across the gorge on US-64 northwest of Taos so headed thru town, went a few miles and turned west on US-64 for about seven miles to the bridge .  The bridge is obviously a big tourist draw and many people were there and so was this guy.

We got this shot of the single arch bridge from the parking area.

From there we headed for Taos Pueblo just east of town, but after getting there and realizing it was nearly closing time we decided against a stop and we headed back to Santa Fe.  Had we stopped, I would have reported that Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people and that about 4500 live on and around the 95,000 acre reservation.  The Pueblo's website states it was probably built between 1000 and 1450.  Here are a few shots from the web.  

This made for a good day trip of about six hours and from Taos, we headed back to Sweetie for a good supper that had been cooking in the slow cooker  - The Amazing Crockpot Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/15/16 event date


  1. Sounds like a fun day exploring the country side.
    There is just something about the desert that keeps us coming back each winter,peaceful relaxing, wide open spaces and clear blue skies.

  2. I also am a desert lover. Much prefer it to trees and green stuff. However the trees and green stuff are a nice change in the summer time. Your recipe link didn't work for me.

  3. Larry, Nice day trip with matching photos! Too bad you were too late to wander around Taos Pueblo! That gravel road is one of those roads that I live for! The riverside access was a bonus... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. I'm with you on wondering why the Spanish wanted the desert. No insult intended for those who love it, of course. That bus is pretty funny; such a derelict looking thing would never be permitted here in the Northeast. Looks like a great day spent avoiding people.

  5. I would be helping Bev help you with the driving going down that dirt road. :D While many people love the desert, I'm with you and Marjie about wanting to live there…too desolate for me as well.

  6. Taos Pueblo is very cool! I'd like to visit that. Love those blue doors.

  7. This was a beautiful day trip -- thanks for your great pictures and commentary. That unpaved road down to the gorge should have been a piece of cake for someone accustomed to our Tennessee back roads!

  8. I'm not much for the desert - other than a good visit. I remember camping in New Mexico and waking up to one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen. Then it got hot - haha. Nice road down the mountain! Happy travels Larry!

  9. I'm with you. The desert might be cool to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there! I love the lush green rolling hills of Appalachia.


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