Friday, 5 October 2012

We took the High Road

The High Road to Taos that is, it’s a lovely drive up into the mountains, through the forests and with lots to see on the way.

We knew the road we needed to take, but as we drove through Santa Cruz we almost missed it, good job we were in the right lane and could make the turn.   Our first stop was the Sanctuario de Chimayo.

Dirt from the Sanctuario is reputed to have healing qualities, I’m not exactly sure why or what people do with the dirt, but there is a room filled with walkers, wheelchairs, crutches etc. etc.   I don’t think it was a feast day or anything but the day we visited there were lots of people there. 

The entrance to the Sanctuario, no pictures are allowed inside.
A shrine within the Sanctuario.
Our next stop was higher up in the mountains, the village of Las Trampas which was established in 1751 by 12 families from Santa Fe led by Juan Argűello, who received a land grant from Governor Tomas Velez Cachupin.   The church of San José de Gracia is one of the best examples of surviving 18th century churches in New Mexico.

The church was locked so we weren’t able to look inside, but it’s a lovely adobe building.

The road continued through the mountains with some lovely views across the forest, in places you could see the start of the autumn colours.
Taos reminded us of a miniature Santa Fe and was very busy, the main road through town was just one continuous stream of traffic, luckily we saw a parking sign, followed it, and quite nicely the parking turned out to be free.  It was a good spot, as we were close by the Kit Carson Museum and only a short walk to the plaza.
The museum was really interesting, although of course these days people have differing views on Kit Carson and we enjoyed our visit.
Taos Plaza was established in 1796 as part of a land grant to Don Fernando De Taos.   During the day it was a defensive fort and at night it was a refuge for livestock.   Today it is surrounded by stores, art galleries and restaurants.

We took a different route returning to Santa Fe, following the ‘wild and scenic’ Rio Grande for a good part of the way.
Have fun, we are!

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