We'd been watching the weather forecasts that promised snow during the week in higher elevations, so it looked like today would be a good day for Taos. This morning was nice and bright, and we had a pretty view from our rental.
We scooped up my parents who had arrived in Santa Fe a few days earlier. Their first night at La Fonda on a cheap winter rate was spent in a tiny first floor room overlooking the garbage, but after begging for another room they were given palatial digs on the Concierge floor.
We took the High Road, which winds slowly up through the mountains, past tiny villages. We stopped off in Chimayo, where families have woven traditional blankets for generations. At the Ortega workshop I bought a simple long hanging in the Chimayo pattern in shades of grey and white. We also stopped at the Santuario de Chimayo, a 19th century adobe church known for healing miracles. There's another lovely old church further up in Truchas.
The road into Taos ends at a line of strip malls, but you're soon in the village, with plenty of t-shirt shops and restaurants. I had a recommendation for Doc Martin's, in an old adobe house. The food was fantastic. I had a cup of wonderfully spicy green chile stew, and then an appetizer chile relleno. The relleno was actually crispy, something few restaurants manage to do.
After lunch we drove to the Pueblo. You park and then go to register, pay for admittance and to take photos, and get a map. There are also residents offering short tours, and we opted to do that. Our guide was a young man who gave a history of the pueblo, explained a bit about their past and current lives, how their traditional beliefs have become mixed with catholicism after a very uneasy beginning.
Nowadays, less than 100 people live fulltime in the Pueblo, but others hold on to their family's rooms for ceremonial purposes but live in modern houses out of the walls. In the Pueblo there's no running water, water is taken from the stream; and refrigerators, lights and stoves are powered by propane. Several homes have been turned into stores selling local crafts and baked goods. We especially liked the Morning Talk Indian Shop, whose father-son owners carry some nice jewelry and pottery at good prices. We also had some excellent pie from a shop, and my father was befriended by a lovely dog who tried to follow us home. Be warned that the pueblo is on uneven ground and there are rough steps into the shops.
We had early dinner reservations, so headed back to Santa Fe, this time on the Low Road that runs along the Rio Grande, through a valley with many fruit orchards.
Dinner was at Cafe Pasquale, with a mixture of contemporary American and New Mexican cooking. I had a vegetable enchillada that was pretty good, but Larry's lamb special was wonderful. Evan took a plunge with tofu mole enchilladas. He liked the sauce, but later admitted he'd have liked the dish better with chicken instead.
And the forecast was correct--here comes the snow!