Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The big news in northern New Mexico this morning was the weather.  A cold front had moved in bringing scattered rain and the potential for snow in the northeast.

As it turned out, Colorado got dumped on with the snow, and we got rain.

It was just drippy as we headed north of Santa Fe and picked up the route called the High Road to Taos.
 Our first stop was in Chimayo, an old Spanish settlement with some historic buildings, and famous weavers.  The Ortega's have been weaving here for eight generations.

 We bought a table mat 'rug' as a sample of their beautiful work.  

The next stop was to be Cordova, noted for its wood carvers, but I'm afraid we got lost in Codrova.  Is the road?
 We never found any wood carvers, but it was an adventure, and quite scenic too.
 The next town, Truchas, is a sort of ramshackle artist colony.  We stopped at one gallery, where the elderly gentleman almost talked our ear off, but he was quite charming.  We learned that Truchas means 'trout'. Elevation, 8000 feet.
 There wasn't much of a town in Las Trampas, but there was this wonderful old church, built in 1760.
 And finally, we were in Taos.  Actually, we moved right along this morning because with the weather an issue, we wanted to get to Taos Pueblo this afternoon.  We visited some of the shops around the plaza.
Then we had lunch at the Taos La Fonda Hotel on the plaza. I had a salad and a bowl of pozole, a pork and hominy stew that was new to me until this week, but that I have become quite fond of.
 After lunch we drove out to Taos Pueblo.  It was raining off and on, and the plaza was turning muddy, but we pressed on.  We found quite a few fellow travelers there.

 We have had many wonderful experiences on the trip, and this visit is right up there on the top of the list.

 This is the stream that runs through the center of the plaza, separating the two main apartment style pueblo structures.  These buildings are up to 1000 years old.  Taos means 'red willow', such as the shrubs here on the stream bank.

See that Crafts sign, and the 'open' sign?  Well, there were lots of them, and they were a little hard on the pocket book.  We left with four more pieces of pottery. Of course we are not buying the big expensive pieces, and we did get some good deals, since the tourist season is over.

 The rain let up after a while so we could enjoy being out in the open.

 This friendly rez dog greeted us on our arrival and then escorted us in our departure.
 We have visited many pueblos now, and they can seem to be pretty dismal places to live.  But there is beauty in simple things.
 And the real beauty is in the people.  We had so many wonderful conversations with so many artisans and their family members.  We learned from them as we appreciated their skill and craftsmanship.  We shared experiences of our life in Seattle.  Many had spent time in the PNW, either on reservations or in the military.

In fact,we even made a family connection.  One painter had spent time on the Yakima reservation and in Toppinish in eastern Washington State.  Tom mentioned that his cousin's husband was a doctor in Toppinish, and his father and uncle had been doctors there for many years before.  Turns out that the elder Dr. Shearer delivered this woman's daughter 39 years ago!

On our way back to Taos, we stopped at this Women's cooperative gallery.  There we met Judith Tofoya, of the famous Santa Clara/ San Ildefonso Tofoya potter family.  It was her old aunt we visited a few days ago.  Judith was working on one of her famous carved pots, and her daughter was working with her.  Judith is a master potter, and a very small black on black pot of hers was priced at $300.  But the wonderful conversation we had with her was priceless.
Tomorrow our trip comes to an end.  We have all day to work our way back to Albuquerque, where we will board our flight home at 5:30.  

It has been an amazing trip. 

Update:  It's now snowing in Taos!  good thing we have all day to travel tomorow.


  1. Ahh, Taos Pueblo. I love that place. Your photos are perfect. I first visited that place when I was about ten years old. We try to visit it as often as we can.

    In many ways, it has not ever changed at all. I think fall is the perfect time to visit this spot. I'm sorry you had rain.

    If you like pozole, we have a restaurant right here in Pueblo, Co that makes wonderful pozole. It is one of my husband's favorites.

    I have loved going on this trip with you.

  2. We loved Taos and Taos Pueblo too. You guys are our kind of travelers. I love how you saw as many places as were humanly possible. Your photos are so fantastic, Linda! I really enjoyed seeing all the places through your lens. Happy travels tomorrow.

  3. Yes, it was a very nice trip. I guess if I want to travel there, I should go in September to escape the snow.

  4. Now that sky looks a whole lot more familiar! :-)

    I absolutely love that picture of the three pots on the porch. The colors just pulled me in. Many of your shots were stunners, but for some reason that one made me go back and look at it again and again.


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