Vietnam Veterans memorial
This is located just after Angel Fire community and just before Eagles nest. it is on Hwy 64 going east of Taos. The drive to get there is hard and long at 25 miles on winding road with many switchbacks.
I was at the memorial on Armed Forces Day. so flags were displayed along the road 3-4 miles both ways. It is a nice memorial and many vets come to remember.
- Historical Travel
This small community of 500 people is about a hard drive of 25 miles through the Cimarron Canyon mountains on Hwy 64 going east. It winds at speeds of 20-30 MPH and a switch turn is about every 1/2 miles. Tedious. Eagle Nest has a lake for fishing and boating if the level was high enough. The town is about tow blocks long.
Wild Rivers- El Aguaja Trail
This is a one mile switchback down to the Red River bottom. It is a fairly easy hike, and takes maybe 30 minutes each way. Descent is 600 so going up can be exhausting. The views oto the river are great.
The wilderness is on Hwy 378, 3 miles off of Hwy 522 that comes through Questa, which is 15 miles from Hwy 64 at the north end of Taos 7 miles.
- Hiking and Walking
Wild Rivers-Big Arsenic hike
The hike is located in Wild Rivers, a wilderness area that is managed by Bureau of Land Management. It is located in the Guadalupe Mountains, northwest of Taos about 25 miles. The wilderness allows hiking, biking, camping, fishing and boating, more. The hikes provide wonderful scenery and some are moderate to difficult.
This trail hike was a long 1 1/2 miles down and back up 700 feet. The rail has a lot of layouts to follow with rock supports so erosion is less. The spring at the bottom feeds the Rio Grand that diminishes in summer months in flow, so the spring provides the continued swift flow.
Take Hwy 64 north 7 miles to Hwy 522 on way to Questa.which is about 15 miles. At Questa, take Hwy 378 3 miles north and go for about 13 miles to park entrance. There are about 20 miles of road in the park.
- Hiking and Walking
Rio Grande Gorge
Head north and then west from Taos on Highway 64 and you will find yourself driving across an apparently flat plain. But appearances can be deceiving. After a few miles a dark line can be seen ahead of you, and a large parking lot on your right. Park here, among the various stalls set up by opportunistic Native traders, and a walk a few yards further in the direction in which you were driving. The dark line will open up and reveal itself as the dramatic gorge of the Rio Grande, at this point crossed by Highway 64 on an elegant and somewhat unnervingly delicate-looking steel bridge.
If you are afraid of heights you might want to stop at this point, but for the rest of us a walk out along the pedestrian walkway either side of the highway is a must. From here you can stand in one of the small areas that jut out over the river and look directly down into the gorge 650 feet below. It may not have the scale and grandeur of the Grand Canyon, but it’s a remarkable sight nevertheless. The gorge has been carved over the millennia not just by the rushing waters of the river but also by seismic activity, and the black volcanic rocks are starkly beautiful. They can be hard to photograph however. This is one place where the usual rule of photography, that the light is more attractive early and late in the day, doesn’t necessarily apply here, as you need the sun to be quite high if it’s to light both sides of the gorge. But the deep shadows that we experienced at about 10.00 am brought out the drama of the scene, even while being more challenging to photograph.
The views from both sides of the road are similarly dramatic, and the highway quiet enough for you to cross quite easily. But when a vehicle does pass, especially a large truck, you will feel the vibrations as the bridge moves beneath your feet – not for the faint-hearted! I saw at least one nervous woman cling to her companion, and another turn back just a short distance onto the bridge, but it really isn’t that bad – you soon get used to the wobbles and I suspect it’s a deliberate piece of engineering on the part of the bridge builders. It is the second-highest bridge in the US (the highest is in Colorado) and was given the Most Beautiful Span award in 1966 by the American Institute of Steel Construction.
When you have had your fill of the views from the bridge, walk or drive to the parking lot on the far (west) side. From here a trail leads across the surrounding flat scrubby plain to the edge of the gorge, giving you great views of the bridge and a different angle on the gorge itself – see photos four and five. This is a great little walk of about a kilometre, but you’re warned to look out for snakes, and I would also caution against doing it with small children as there is no fence separating you from the drop to the river far below.
Greater World Earthship Development
A mile and a half beyond the Rio Grande Gorge bridge Highway 64 brings you to a very different sight, the Greater World Earthship Development. This is a cluster of self-sufficient “green” houses built using mostly recycled materials – used tires packed with earth form the walls, while bottles stacked with cement and crushed aluminium cans make colourful peepholes. The resulting homes look perhaps more suited to hobbits than humans, but several hundred people live here and in similar houses in the vicinity. They produce their own energy, reuse grey water, manufacture their own bio-diesel fuel and grow much of their own food. All very admirable, although I couldn’t help wondering whether living in such a relatively remote location would mean a less than green reliance on motor vehicles.
For $5 you can do a self-guided tour of a model Earthship and watch a video about the building process and the thinking behind the designs. For rather more you can rent one for a night or a week, or even buy one for yourself!
Cimarron Canyon State Park, Pallisades Sill
High in new Mexico's High Country, set with clear running water, seasonally snow-peaked mountains, rock climbing sills, canyon niches, and gorgeous forests ... Cimarron Canyon has alot to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Its part of a 33,116 acre wildlife area - the largest in New Mexico teaming with Elk, deer, bear, turkey and grouse attracting hunters in the fall and winter. Wildlife viewing is plentiful as songbirds, elk, deer, bear, turkey and grouse call the park home. "You are now at the Great Plains - Rocky Mountain boundary. The Cimarron Range, one of the easternmost ranges of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in this part of New Mexico. Elevation 6,800 feet." State Park: "This high mountain park is part of a state wildlife area and is managed by the New Mexico State Park Division in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Trout fishing is excellent in the Cimarron River and the park offers fine opportunities for backcountry hiking and wildlife viewing. The crenallated granite formations known as the Pallisades are popular with rock climbers." Pallisades Sill: "These spectacular cliffs are cut by the Cimarron River through igneous rock known as a sill and composed of the rock type monzonite which was emplaced some 40 million years ago as these southern Rocky Mountains were being uplifted. Elevation 8,000 feet. "(roadside historical marker)
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
- National/State Park
Toystore and Playspace
This is a really cool toy store with many unusual and educational toys AND in the back of it, there is a big play area, where you can just let your kids go wild. There is water, slides, swings...many things to entertain your kids.
It is located at 225 Camino de la Placita, on a parallel road off the plaza.
Rio Grande Gorge and Bridge
One of New Mexico's most famous and picturesque gorges and bridges. The Rio Grande Gorge is 800 feet deep and ten miles long, running from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. One of the world's most popular white water rafting locations, steep pocketed rock climbing hotspots, and home to numerous petroglyphs. Along its bottom runs the historic Rio Grande river with hidden hot springs and ancient ruins. The bridge and gorge has been home to numerous movies and film shoots including Terminator Salvation, Natural Born Killers, Twins, She's Having a Baby, and Wild Hogs. In fact, during our visit here, traffic got stopped while we watched an RV race up and down the bridge being filmed for some upcoming movie. The bridge that expands this gorge has won awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction as the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" in 1966. It is a cantilever truss steel bridge crossing the Rio Grande Gorge. It sits 650 feet above the Rio Grande which makes it the fifth highest bridge in the United States. It spans roughly 1,280 feet across with highway 64 running over it. The bridge has been the site for many suicides, some of which are notoriously famous. It is also the hotspot for Bonnie and Clyde type road warriors for proposals as stemmed from the classic scene in Natural Born Killers. Definitely a nice road stop along Highway 64. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
- Mountain Climbing
Along Highway 64 just southwest of Taos, New Mexico is a sustainable living community of Biotecture homes called "Earthships". Earthships are passive solar homes made of natural and recycled materials designed for off-the-grid living. Earthships also embrace a thermal mass construction for temperature stabilization and incorporating renewable energy and integrated water systems making the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills. Most of the Earthship designs are created by Earthship Biotecture of Taos, NM. The homes are primarily constructed to work autonomously and are generally made of earth-filled tires, utilising thermal mass construction to naturally regulate indoor temperature. They also usually have their own special natural ventilation system. These structures are built to utilize the available local resources, especially solar energy by means of windows strategically placed on the sunny side to bring in light and heat; contingent on a horseshoe-shape to maximize natural light and solar gains during winters; thick outer walls for insulation against summer heat; honeycombs of recycled cans cemented together for more insulation, and incorporation of earth and adobe. These kind of buildings took shape in the 1970's. Earthship Biotecture's founder, Mike Reynolds, created a company to specialize in building these sustainable structurres with the importance for them to be independent from the 'grid' so that they are less susceptible to natural disasters and free from electrical and water lines. Because of the earth filled tire construction, Earthships have great load-bearing capacity and have an increased resistance to fire. Earthships can be found in every state and are appearing in countries like Europe. Earthship Biotecture is located in the Greater World Community which is a housing development in Taos, New Mexico compiled together of strictly earthship homes. Officially a legal subdivision in 1998 - it was started in order to create an ideal condition from where a sustainable community could grow and flourish.
- Study Abroad
- Arts and Culture
Secco de Arroyo
This cute little artsy town is not a place you'd normally visit but we were staying at the hostel which is located there so were lucky enough to find it. There are some small cafes and artist shops and though small a place you could hang out and enjoy a quiet afternoon. It is just north of Taos. If you find the hostel, you are there!
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
Go up to this little jewel. There are good restaurants and bakeries that come and go. Taos Cow Ice Cream started here. There is an open house craft show in the fall. It's on the way to the Ski Valley, which is about to succumb to snowboarding.
- Museum Visits
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Skiing and Boarding
I spent about a week in Hong Kong, traveling on business, last November. What a facsinating place and culture! Wish I had more time to sight see while there. These are pics of my trip to the mainland, a waterfront town called Sai Kung, and another from Kow Loon. Would love to go back for a pleasure trip
- Road Trip
On the Camino Real
"Founded in 1875, this small farming community was first named "La Jolla". It was once famous for finely woven blankets. Here the Camino Real left the Rio Grande and followed a canyon northeast to Embudo Creek where it began a climb over the mountains to Taos." (monument highway marker sign)
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Eagle Nest Lake
A very large, beautiful man-made lake that was created by ranchers in 1918 for irrigation. It's a 2200 acre lake that is conveniently located by the ski resorts of Angel Fire and the artistic community of Taos. Also very close to the rock climbing paradise in Cimarron Canyon. Well know for its Trout fishing, its also a great place to sight wildlife like Elk, Bear, Mule Deer, and Bald Eagles. I visited it mid-December of 2005, and it was a solid creaking, moaning, and enchanting lake of ice with spots where the waves were froze thrashing the shore. Beautiful.
- Sailing and Boating
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