Taos & Earthships, Rio Grande Gorge, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
With our newly winterized RV fresh out of the shop, we headed south to New Mexico to find some warmer weather. Our friends Ben & Kittra had just moved to Taos so we stayed with them again for a night! They sent us east to check out the Rio Grande Gorge and to see the Earthship colony. It’s crazy how Rio Grand Gorge State Park totally comes out of nowhere – you’re just driving along in flat desert shrub habitat and then BAM! Enormous canyon underneath you that had blended into the horizon in front of you until you were literally IN IT. There were flurries coming down as we walked over the gorge, and it was cool to see them far below us in the canyon as well as all around and above – like being suspended in a snowglobe!
Also in Taos is the original EARTHSHIP community! Started back in the seventies, Earthships are biotecture homes that are completely self-sustaining so they don’t have to be connected to the grid for utilities. They generate electricity through solar and wind energy, capture water from the rain and air (plant transpiration), contain and treat all of the sewage, maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate, and have a whole greenhouse you can fill with all kinds of plants and small trees. Their water system stores rain water in a cistern for use in the faucets and showers that then gets purified through the plants in the greenhouses. They use things like recycled tires and glass bottles for the walls, combined with adobe mud. Earthship Biotecture is a non-profit that plans out and build these structures across the world. There are lots of them in many different countries now, with some being community buildings, schools, or multi-functional structures.
There is at least one Earthship in all 50 states! We loved learning all about the logistics of it and walking through the visitor’s center model (below) – this is definitely a consideration for our future home. Such a pioneering concept and truly admirable what they have accomplished. The more sustainable forward-thinking like this in the world, the better the world will become.
If you’re interested >>>> https://earthshipbiotecture.com/
Be sure to check them out if you’re in Taos area – it is something very unique.
Downtown Taos is pretty cool! Very artsy with plenty of local shops, lots of Pueblo buildings and patios. They have this beautiful outdoor mall area landscaped with lots of trees, flowers, and cafe tables. We walked around for a while, but as was pretty cold and windy and now dark, we headed over for a warm up at the sole brewery in town, Taos Mesa Brewing.
We also enjoyed Santa Fe, the 2nd or 3rd oldest city in the United States (depending on who you ask)! It’s a very similar feel to Taos, only larger and more populated. The only place where we could fit to park was at the cathedral parking lot – downtown Santa Fe reminds us of Italy with all the tight curvy streets. Also coincidently, the cathedral was St. Francis of Assisi and David has sang in the actual cathedral of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy. This town is known for being an artist’s hotspot. Everywhere you go, you can find jewelry, handcrafted clothing, pottery, paintings, drawings, carvings made of wood or mineral, and more. It was also cool to see a range in the price points in the downtown area, from an outdoor vendor’s shop where you could find a treasure for a few bucks to a high-end clothing store down the street offering elaborate, gorgeous and one-of-a-kind pieces for hundreds of dollars. A little something for everyone! Gabrielle bought a cool Dia de los Muertos mask.
While in Colorado last month, one of the gals at Primitive Beer (a Longmont favorite of ours) passed along a tip: If we make it to Santa Fe, we HAVE to check out Rowley Farmhouse Ales. Aaaand she was right! Fantastic, crisp, and flavorful Belgian beers – one of the best breweries we’ve found in our North America trek thus far.
Next stop: Albuquerque! We checked out Petroglyph National Monument, an area with thousands of petroglyphs carved on volcanic rock by ancient civilizations. Most of the true meanings are unknown, so it’s just left up to your own interpretations. There are a huge variety of images, and we found it really intriguing – just imagine what ancient peoples were trying to communicate or preserve! Some are obvious, some not so much. Here are a few favorites:
We also checked out 2 Albuquerque breweries: Marble and La Cumbre. Really cool neon wall art at Marble! They have a nice setup outdoors for concerts, as well as tasty brews. La Cumbre was good, too! Beer flights are the best after hikes.
Bonus photos: Walter White’s house from the show Breaking Bad, which was set in Albuquerque! It’s the actual house that they filmed the show in – anybody remember the pizza on the roof? Anyway, clearly you can see the owners have not embraced the Breaking Bad fans. The house looks quite different from when it was filmed with the addition of this huge fence, cameras, and lots of warning signs.