Yes friends, another Road Trip! I hope you’re not getting sick of them yet, we have many more planned to make sure that you’re not without interesting pictures anytime soon 🙂
But first, new camera!! Massive thanks to Barry and Margaret for getting us a new camera for Christmas ( ❤ ❤ ❤ ), and thanks also to Rob for letting me open it before Christmas for road trip purposes 🙂 We got this very flashy thing (pun intended):
It’s a Canon Powershot sx530 HS and I love it like a child. To compliment the camera we splashed out on a nice carrying bag so that we don’t break it, and insurance for when the bag inevitably turns out to not be enough to counteract my clumsiness.
So, our trusty Subaru was as excellent as ever, and we were ready to go! We had three days so went for a very managable 900 miles only:
We drove from Fort Collins to Taos and then took a day trip over to Santa Fe (via the High Road to Taos) before heading home via the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It was actually not too bad, the drive to and from Taos is about 5 1/2 hours and Santa Fe is about 1 1/2 from Taos. The rest was made up by the detour to the Sand Dunes, which was well worth the trip.
We started on Thursday (Thanksgiving!) and drove down into New Mexico for the first time!
Happily we got to Taos just in time for a fancy Thanksgiving dinner at Martyrs Steakhouse! We had not planned to go fancy and were dressed like two people who had spent the whole day in a car, but nowhere else was open so in we went.
The food was really excellent and the staff were lovely despite having to work Thanksgiving, plus we got to try some excellent beers:
My Session was a tasty wheat beer from Full Sail Brewery, and Rob had the excellent local Monks Ale. It’s hard to read, but the label at the top let us know that it was ‘made with care and prayer’, which was awesome. Even more awesome was the way that they somehow managed to make the top of the beer foam up like a little halo. What a time to be alive.
We filled our faces with steak until we could barely move and then went off to explore the town. Taos is quite small, and I’m not sure there is a single three story building in all of New Mexico. The style of the buildings blew my mind, they are so pretty:
After walking around in awe as the sun set we headed back to our hotel to get some well earnt sleep. We’re both working quite hard the moment so were very happy to have a few days off where we could sleep in and relax!
Saturday we headed over to Santa Fe via the High Road To Taos. The High Road to Taos is a scenic byway that runs through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains – it’s 56 miles long with very excellent views.
Needless to say it was pretty steep in places, with lots of fun twists and turns.
We also saw a Roadrunner, who lived up to his name by running out in front of the car and giving us a good reason to slam on the brakes. I did not manage to get a picture, but he looked a lot like this little guy:
Once we got to Santa Fe we continued to be impressed with the gorgeous building style, and took many photos as we walked around:
We were excited to find that the massive number of art gallieries was complimented by a few of gourmet chocolate shops, which made me very happy!
We decided we had to give one of the galleries ago, so had a walk around the Museum of Contempory Native Art!
They had a large retrospective exhibit by Rick Bartow, entitled “Things You Know but Cannot Explain”. It was pretty weird stuff, and definitely what you would expect from a guy who described art as ‘free therapy’, but I found it very interesting:
The museum also had permanent works by a range of artists, which were all non-stop awesome:
It was an excellent day.
To make things even better we stopped on the way back to visit a winery!
So good! We tried a whole range of things, and then bought a really lovely bottle of Red Wine called Zozobra, which is a blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon ❤
As well as being delicious, Zozobra is themed around a local legend of the same name – every year in Santa Fe the effigy of Zozobra is stuffed with notes that people write their troubles and worries on, which is then burnt. We weren’t there at the right time, but the pictures look pretty darn awesome!
It’s recommended that when you drink the wine you do so near a fire, so that you can write down your own worries and burn them. Santa Fe is seriously awesome you guys.
Finally, we stopped off at the Rio Grande Gorge, which was everything it promised it would be:
After our busy day we were pretty hungry, and we were lucky enough to fluke a big win for dinner! We went to a local Mexican Restaurant called Bella’s Mexican Grill, and it was most definitely in the top ten best meals that I’ve ever eaten:
Our waiter recommended that we have the Guacamole and chips to start, the Guac being freshly prepared by hand at your table for you. He then also suggested the Carne Asada and Chile en Nogada, both of which completely blew our minds. The Chile en Nogada was especially delicious, it was beef stuff peppers with the most delicious sauce that we will spend the rest of our lives trying to recreate.
I’m salivating a little just thinking about it, om nom nom.
Anyway, we got another good nights sleep and then headed home! On the way we had one final look around Taos Plaza:
After which we headed on to the Grand Sand Dunes, which Rob hadn’t seen before. This time we were followed around the whole time by a friendly crow who was either there as our spirit guide, or hoping that we would fall and die so that he could eat us:
Not wanted to let Mr Crow down we did lots of running down hills again, which was extra chilly now that the temperature had dropped by 20oC! We got our toes out and powered through though, very good times!
Rob actually managed to look quite graceful while running down the sand, but couldn’t completely avoid doing the ‘I think I’m going to die’ face. That said I was still making a much more ridiculous face, combined with a little shock at how cold my toes were, so I stuck mostly to photography 😉
It was excellent!! The moral of the story is that New Mexico is totally kickass.
The End 🙂