05 February 2011
THE BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
It has been two weeks since my last post [although I do tweet for the blog to fill in the gaps - see post at right].
Since then New Mexico was hit by a very bitter arctic storm, a storm that hit a third of the country. Now arctic storms may be familiar to the folks back east...but not in New Mexico.
This was our DAY temperature. The nights in Albuquerque dipped into the minus double digits!! Ugh. The neighbors across the street had a pipe burst so I feared for the worse. Thousands were without natural gas and the governor declared a state of emergency. CHUNKS of ice were floating down the Rio Grande!! I've never seen anything like that before.
Somewhere behind those clouds is a 10,000 ft mountain.
And just like that... it was gone.
...but I digress...
The day after Kasha Katuwe, I ventured north with my brother and a friend of his to Taos, NM.
Taos is now an art colony and skiing destination. Established in 1615, local native tribes had amicable relations with the Spanish; however, in 1640 native tribes in New Mexico revolted pushing the Spanish back to Mexico, only to be conquered again by the Spanish in 1661.
Today Taos is a town of about 4,600 with trendy residents such as Julia Roberts and Donald Rumsfield. It is only about two hours north of Albuquerque and about an hour north of Santa Fe.
One of the highlights of visiting Taos is Taos Pueblo belonging to the Northern Tiwa tribe. It is open to the public most of the year [it was closing for six weeks the Monday following our visit for 'spiritual' reasons]. It will cost you $10 bucks to enter and an additional $6 bucks if you want to take pics.
The former Spanish presence is very evident.
[click on any pic to enlarge]
Like Acoma Pueblo, you feel you are on a very detailed movie set.
The dwellings at Acoma; however, seem more well preserved and updated.
Note the doors on the pueblos. They are not part of the original buildings. The Spanish made the native people put in doors and windows. Traditionally pueblos are entered through openings in the roof via ladders. The north pueblo is one of the most photographed and painted structures in the US. It is also the largest multi-storied pueblo still existing.
A very cool place.
Just north of Taos is another marvel.
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge [also called the Taos Gorge Bridge] is a cantilever truss bridge built in 1965 and is 650 feet high, the fifth highest bridge in the US.
My plans this year call for more trips to northern New Mexico so sit back and come along, won't you.