After a fantastic week in Albuquerque, it was time to head north to Taos, a charming town of just under 6000 permanent residents in the Sangre de Cristo ("Blood of Christ") mountains. At higher altitude than Albuquerque, Taos is quite a bit cooler in the summer and thus a popular tourist destination for travelers from both far away and not-so-far. We had six nights booked in a rental casita downtown and were looking forward to being able to walk to restaurants and shops, something we couldn't easily do from the edge of town in Albuquerque.
But before we get to Taos, I wanted to share some of the photos from our drive up from Albuquerque. Leaving the city, low clouds were hanging over the Sandia Mountains, making them appear snow-capped.
New Mexico does a really fine job with its bridges. This is one of several decorated ones we passed under.
The scenery became absolutely breathtaking as we headed up into the mountains, even though the day was cloudy.
A small roadside parking area with a picnic table served as our lunch stop. It was a bit windy and cool, especially after the heat and sunshine in Albuquerque. We were up above 7000' in altitude at this point.
On the west side of the road, I dubbed this formation "Monkeyface Mountain". I have no idea what its real name is. Do you see the monkey too?
As we got closer to Taos, the clouds started breaking up, showing us peeks of blue sky.
We stopped at a visitor information center along the way and checked out this map of the northern Rio Grande Valley; i.e. what we'd been driving through.
Finally we reached the outskirts of Taos...oh so pretty. I couldn't stop snapping photos!
We had some time to kill when we arrived in town as we'd been told not to check in to our VRBO casita before 4 pm as it was being cleaned. No problem, we found the Kit Carson Memorial Park right in town and walked around with Paisley for awhile. We ended up walking there frequently during our stay in Taos as it was very close to the casita.
The Kit Carson Memorial Cemetery is in the park, so we got to see Kit Carson's grave as well as those of some of his family members and contemporaries.
Eventually 4pm rolled around. The casita was even nicer than shown on the VRBO site as the photos there were several years old. This was a charming, budget-friendly place to stay right in town but on a quiet back alley. Plenty of space and quite comfortable -- pet-friendly too! I have to be honest and say that the bed, which is just a double, not a queen, was saggy and squeaky. We found we couldn't tolerate sleeping in it together, but there is a small additional room with a single bed, so we used that as well. That was really the only problem with this place, and for the money, we really can't complain. Compared to the place we'd stayed in Albuquerque, which was really just a guest room with bath, this place was huge!
After checking in, we explored town some on foot and found a great place for dinner. But we had enough wonderful food in Taos that I'll dedicate an entire post to Taos' eats in the future. We'll also have posts coming up on the charming town itself, a couple of excellent hikes, and mountain biking. So please stay tuned for much, much more from beautiful Taos!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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