Sunday, April 17, 2016

March 31, 2016 - Enchanted Circle & Taos, NM

It was 25˚ when we got up this morning.  Yes, both of us had a good night’s sleep in spite of traffic noise.  The sky was so blue and the view of the mountains are always a nice sight for our eyes.

After breakfast we went out for sightseeing. First on NM 68 South to visit Ranchos de Plaza and the church that was built in 18th century. It used mud mixed in with straw and has buttress to help support the walls.  Photography was not allowed inside the church. It was beautiful, very old. The smell was little musty.  There are galleries/stores around the church. 

Back of the church
Notice the unusual shaped buttress that supports the wall

We visited two stores that were open for business after 10 am.  The first store had interesting paintings, antiques, old books, etc.  The second store sells lots of Southwestern jewelry, statues, pottery ware.

"Running Antelope"
Original Painting asking for $4,500

It started to get a bit warmer by the time we left the church.  Edith had 4 layers on and Erwin had two.

From the church we went back north on 64 to go visit Sierra Vista Cemetery. When Edith saw it yesterday on way to Orchard Plaza she was excited about it and said she would come check it out today.  Well, the cemetery is very disorganized, almost like there is no plans and they bury people haphazardly, facing every directions.  Although she took a couple pictures she was not at all impressed.  On way out there were three dogs, two of them digging a hole at one tombstone.  Erwin made a call to the Historical Society and they were aware of the situation.  We hope they did not dig in the casket to get free bones!

We visited Overland Ranch plaza where there are few stores and restaurants. There were lots of wind sculptures that move when the winds blow.  We checked out Overland Sheepskin store and could smell the leather.  Their clothing was of high quality, but came with high prices, of course.  Erwin picked up cinnamon bun at Farmhouse Cafe, but did not eat it right away. He was saving it for lunch.  

American Sign Language for "I Love You"

We strolled among many wind sculptures in the back of the plaza.  There was an artist getting the canvas sketched of the old truck and the mountains. Beautiful tall birch trees with leaves starting out.

We turned left to get on 518 to visit Rio Grande Gorge State Park and Rio Grande Bridge.  It is the longest span over the canyons. There are vendors on the side at west end of the bridge.  

We parked the vehicle, walked on the bridge from beginning to end on both sides.  On way back to the vehicle we spotted a raft with people going toward the rapids on Rio Grande River.  There are many padlocks locked to the rails on both sides. 

The view of the mountains from the bridge is gorgeous and breathtaking.  Especially when there are clouds hanging over the mountains. We had lunch while enjoying the view.

Going back to 64 from Rio Grande Bridge we made a detour to visit Taos Mesa Brewery, went inside to see what it is like.  They brew their own beers (there was no tour).  Edith asked for a sample and got Kolsch beer.  It tasted good, but she did not want to get a pint of it because she was the driver for the day.  We checked out the patio that is on the side of the brewery.


We checked out Monte Bello RV Park, got information. The nightly rate is $38, but you cannot beat the view.  Breathtaking 360 degree view of the mountains!  We think we might think about checking into it tomorrow if we plan to stay another day in Taos.

Now on the Enchanted Circle drive (83 mile auto loop).  Several towns along the loop.  The highest elevation was over 9,800’ and the temp dropped to 25˚.  Flurries/snow continued for a long while. We saw Bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, a very large herd of elk, American Kestrel, llamas, beaver dam.

At one point it snowed so hard and fast and Edith had to be extra careful driving because of twisty and rolling roads.  She managed it very well and was very observant.  There were many vehicles getting so close from behind and Edith pulled over to the shoulder to let them go past.

We visited Angel Fire, NM because that was where we did the laundry 3 years ago when we traveled for 9 weeks in our old Chrysler minivan (we slept/lived in it).  The laundromat is STILL there… Few new buildings have been added. The hummingbird feeders that were at the apt next door were gone! Probably the lady moved?  We remembered there were hundreds of hummingbirds, different season too.

Narrow Leaf Cottonwood Trees

More than 30 in this herd!

Unfinished business for beaver(s)


A large herd of elk
Snow sticking to the front
Mountain worms!

The road from Angel Fire to Taos was very twisty with lots of sharp turns.  We made it back to Walmart safely.

After supper Erwin went out to do the laundry while Edith stayed behind to edit photos.  The sky was very eerie and then the flurries came, but did not last very long. 

Expenses for the month of March 
  • Diesel for Lil' Home - $431.58
  • Lodging - $464 


  1. Nancy, thank you very much. glad you are enjoying the blog and the pictures
    Take best care