Monday, April 18, 2016

April 1, 2016 - Arroyo Seco, Taos Ski Valley & Taos, NM

We were surprised to see the snow on the Jeep this morning. No fooling! We could see some vehicles driving by with snow still on the roof.  No idea how cold it was while we slept.

We decided to go out for breakfast and we wanted to try Earlene’s Cafe on Paeso de Casue Sur, not too far from Walmart.  Our meals were very tasteful, especially the sliced roasted potatoes.  The atmosphere was very interesting and it had photos on canvas taken by local artist.  While there we discussed and decided to stay one more day in Taos and wanted to camp at Monte Bello RV Park, about 5 miles east of Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. 

Edith's dish - Spanich Quiche with Roasted Potatoes
Erwin's dish - Fried Eggs and Roasted Potatoes
We wanted to check out one propane dealer, but we could not find it even with the aid of Google map.  We decided to look elsewhere and found one.

We went back to Walmart, so Erwin can drive the Lil’ Home to get the propane tank filled up.  Edith went off by herself in the Jeep to look for photo op along the way to Monte Bello RV Park.  

Edith wanted to check out Overland Ranch again because she wanted to take pictures of the old truck against the mountain backdrop especially after the snow last night.  The ground was muddy, but Edith managed to step onto dry ground.  The artist that we saw yesterday was not there.

At Monte Bello RV Park we were greeted by a friendly couple, who owns the campground.  One night fee is $38 (little more than we wanted to spend, but cannot beat the view). We decided to stay just for one night and if we find we like it so much we can check in again tomorrow.  We were lucky to get site #16 because yesterday campers called in to reserve that site, but they failed to show up and it was already past 11 am (check-out time).  Actually, they were going to give us site #10, but Erwin checked it out and said he would rather have the mountain view, so we got #16 (only one left on the row facing the mountains).

Set-up was swift and easy.  We were advised not to hook the water hose to the hydrant because of freezing conditions.  We were in awe of the view of the mountains from inside our LH.  So breathtaking that we could, if there was no other plan for sightseeing, watch the mountains all day long.  The clouds were building up above the peaks.

Panoramic view of the Mountains 
After lunch we decided to check out Earthship Biotecture, few miles west of RV Park.  Admission fee for Seniors is $5 per person. There is a 10 minute slideshow and a tour of the model house that has a living quarter, two bathrooms and two bedrooms.  There are other Earthships nearby, but were off limits. We can only see the outside behind the rope.  The purpose of Earthships is to use natural and/or recycled materials, use solar panels for electricity and cistern to collect rainwater.  Recycled auto tires are used and filled with compacted dirt to form the structure of the building.  Also, aluminum cans and glass bottles are used to build walls. The walls are coated and plastered with adobe mud, which is a mixture of dirt, sand, straw and water.  Most Earthships usually have a greenhouse to grow your own foods.  

Going back east on Hwy 150 we checked out one roadside attraction. We checked it out three years ago, but did not know the exact location until we saw it today. Bareiss Gallery has lots of bronze/steel/clay sculptures in the yard.  The gallery was closed, but we went ahead and walked around checking out some of the displays.  The large metal glasses was there three years ago and is still at the same site.  

Erwin playing with chimes!

We were curious about Taos Ski Valley, a village and alpine ski resort in Taos County, NM. We took NM 150 and stopped in Arroyo Seco. We explored it for a while. After leaving Arroyo Seco we continued driving on NM 150 and oh boy, the road was very twisty and harrowing.  We could not go more than 35 mph until we arrived Taos Ski Valley.  The locals seemed to know the road by heart and they zoomed on by us too fast.

Old skis turned into colorful fence!

During 1800’s a group of miners founded Taos Ski Valley, but in 1955 it became a ski resort.  The elevation is at 9,207 feet. Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in the state of New Mexico, is at 13,161 feet.  The village depends on tourism and ski operations to keep it going.  Cabins, hotels, bed/breakfast inns and restaurants are in Bavarian style.  There were skiers going/leaving from the ski area when we drove up to get a close look of the ski resort. There was lots of snow on the mountains.

After leaving Taos Ski Valley Erwin spotted several beaver lodges and told Edith to pull over to the shoulder, so he can get out to get pictures.  A lot of trees were chewed down and some trees were still left standing even with the bark chewed off all around the tree. 

Edith prepared filet mignon steaks and roasted cauliflowers for supper.  We rested a bit before Edith went out for sunset photography.  Two campers were also taking pictures.  Even though there were lots of clouds, but the sunset was beautiful.

We still have not decided if we are going to stay another day tomorrow. We will probably decide tomorrow morning.  There are still so many places in or near Taos we have not visited.  Of course, we try not to visit EVERY place while visiting a town/city because then there will not be anything to visit if/when we do come back another time. ALWAYS leave something to see so when/if you come back, there is something to do!

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