Thursday, May 22, 2008

Taos, New Mexico

Posted by Melissa
It was sad to leave Phoenix after such a nice visit. I sure will miss all of you - Cynthia, Randy, Ashley, Taylor, Desmond, Aubrey, and Amy. We are both looking forward to seeing you again in October at DISNEYLAND.

The drive from Phoenix to Taos took us almost 12 hours. NEVER again! We are trying to keep our driving days shorter and making sure we have some layovers so we have a decent amount of downtime.

Taos is a small town in the high country of northern New Mexico known for its arts community. We enjoyed walking around the central plaza and looking into the many galleries. Thane is picking up lots of ideas for future paintings. Speaking of Thane, he discovered that the McDonald's in New Mexico have a double cheeseburger smothered in green chile peppers - he couldn't resist. He followed that lunch with a hot tamale (not the candy kind!) for dinner. I'm not sure just what happened but I do remember him mumbling repeatedly the next day - no more peppers for me...

We visited the Taos Pueblo, located on a beautiful Indian Reservation just outside of Taos. The Taos Indians have occupied this site and these buildings for over 1,000 years. I was surprised to see that there land is so lovely with a crystal creek, lots of trees, and fertile land. I was curious as to how they managed to keep their land when so many tribes were marched or chased off their land and shunted to remote, desolate areas. A young man who ran a gallery on the Pueblo explained that since his people were farmers with relatively well defined territory, the Spanish pretty much let them keep their land when they granted tracts of land to settlers. Their farming practices apparently saved them from the fate of the Plains Indians who were more nomadic - maybe that and they were dealing with the Spanish rather than the US government at the time. Seems there was more respect for the native inhabitants under the Spanish - something we also noted in San Antonio - than under the US.

The Pueblo is the central portion of the Reservation. The Tribe has decided that they want this area to remain true to their roots and they do not have electricity or running water in these homes. They do have newer homes built outside of the central Pueblo that have modern amenities. Only about 30 people still choose to live in the Pueblo homes - but all of the homes are still maintained by the families that own them and they are used during ceremonial events. The adobe brick construction results in thick walls that keep the rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter (relatively). The adobe is covered in a fresh plaster type mud coating each year and with this maintenance, they last for hundreds of years.

The water in the creek that runs through the Pueblo is clear and good drinking water as they protect the water from it's spring source high in the mountains.

We are so glad that we did not miss this UNESCO World Heritage site. If you ever are in the area be sure to check it out.

Next up - The High Road out of Taos, and Santa Fe, NM

1 comment:

Atwater Computer Consulting Blog said...

You might have to write a book after this trip, this blog is already getting pretty long!