After walking across the bridge, we headed back into town and toured the church at the Southern end of town:
One thing that struck me as rather odd about the Catholic art found in all the places we visited in Taos as well as the St. Francis of Assisi Church is that they love to show Jesus crucified, bleeding profusely, suffering from a spear wound, etc. Basically blood spilling out everywhere. I realize that this is commonly shown in all aspects of Catholic art but here, in Taos, it is rather graphic. More than usual. I know this is suppose to be harsh reminder of the tragedy that befell the prophet but how are I supposed to have peace of mind waking up to that every day? If I were Catholic, that is. Anyway, just an observation, I don’t need the religious army coming down on me. You can keep those swords sheathed.
After visiting the church, we packed up the campsite and headed over to the Dragonfly Cafe for lunch. The menu is made up of local and organic produce when possible. Try the Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich sometime. Fantastic!
We woke up early, cooked and ate breakfast at the campsite, and then took a brisk ride on Highway 64 to the bridge. It is a very unassuming and sneaks up on you fast if you’re not looking for it. Here are few pictures from the area:
The pictures are nothing special. Its another bridge like many others. It would, however, be an unpleasant experience if you were racing along the flat lands at night and suddenly found yourself falling down a vast gorge. Ya know, I’m just sayin’.
Although, before I continue with the Pueblos, I forgot to mention that we did visit the Hacienda de los Martinez after setting up camp at the Enchanted Moon campgrounds in the afternoon. It is worth experiencing, I suppose, but there isn’t a lot to see. The main take-away is the experience of how people in that day lived and survived in semi-unsettled territory. The adobe structure was quite a feat for that day too as it was made out of clay, hay, some wood, and ox blood. Wood was hard to come by in those days although you wouldn’t know that by seeing Taos today. In fact, downtown Taos reminds me a lot like cities on the East coast (i.e. Raleigh) where the vegetation is dense, the trees are tall and leafy, and there is little sense of direction to where you are.
Right, so back to the story. Today we visited the Pueblos in the early morning. The weather was a little overcast and I tended to be fascinated by the doors as you can tell from the pictures below:
It costs $10 per person to visit with an additional $5 for use of a camera (with a caveat that you ask permission to snap photos of the natives since there are many families that still live in these structures). These are definitely worth seeing especially when you can talk to the people who still dwell there. A much different experience than visiting Mesa Verde for example.
We spent the afternoon visiting the various art shops in downtown Taos during the afternoon. BTW, check out Graham’s Grille, if you are in Taos. The Jamaican Jerk Pork Sandwich is outstanding!
As for camping, we moved closer to town and ended up in the Taos Valley RV and Campground. Great place to stay with excellent service. Definitely recommend.
With the bike fully loaded for three-days of traveling and camping in the Taos, NM region, we left Colorado Springs around 8:30am in the morning and made it to our campsite just after lunch. The following is a rough map of route (shown within New Mexico only):
(click to view)
The ride on Highway 64 from Raton to Taos, NM is a fun ride with a mix of high speeds and twisties. The only caveat is that the first fourth of the road has an abundance of road snakes which can be a treacherous on a hot summer day.
As for our campsite, we ended up making camp in Enchanted Moon RV and Camp Grounds but it was anything but enchanted:
As you might be able to tell from some of the facility photos, it was a little run down to say the least. Not to mention that we had tiny caterpillars hovering in the air all over the place on small silk strands. I don’t remember ever seeing that before on previous camping adventures. While cooking dinner that night, it was a challenge to fight off the caterpillar army as they climbed up through the wood and dropped from the sky. I’m just glad Kate was a good sport for allowing me to pick that spot to camp at for the night. Hey, it’s all part of the adventure, right?