Travel to Taos, New Mexico

More nice scenery in southern Colorado and New Mexico

Trip Report:  20070929

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The Trip

Our plan was to depart Pagosa Springs and head to Taos, NM. But, rather than head directly there, we decided to take a small side trip up a road called "Piedras Road". Piedras heads north from Pagosa into the mountains and goes for perhaps 40 miles into the San Juans. We did not do the entire road due to time constraints, but we saw most of it. After returning to Pagosa, we drove south to Taos via US Highway 64.

The photos below are what we saw.

As we headed up Piedras Road, the rain started to build. In the distance, the clouds shrouded the mountain with an angry formation that made the mountain look like it was an erupting volcano.

The hard cap rock allowed the formation of nice hoodoos near the river's edge.

The fall colors were starting to appear at the upper elevations.

Hoodoos in the cliff face are visible in this foggy photo.

Further up Piedras Road, we came upon this abandoned ranch house, now in disrepair due to disuse.

At the end of the canyon was the Weminuche Ranch. They own the entire canyon, the limits of which disappear into the fog.

Nice cottonwoods with fall colors.

We left Pagosa Springs and headed south via US 64. The highway traverses a 10,000 foot pass along the way to Taos. About 3/4 of the way up the grade, we passed a group of bicyclists with this fellow in the lead. They all peddled over the pass which, in my mind, was a monumental achievement.

On the down slope, we came to the Rio Grande Gorge. The bridge is a masterpiece, no doubt. But, the winds accompanying the storm were intense and the whole structure was swaying. We walked to the center, but it was scary.

A view of the Rio Grande Gorge from the center of the bridge.

It was raining hard to the east. With the sun to our backs, we saw this nice rainbow.

We finally got into Taos before the main body of the storm hit. Kathleen found this great hotel right next to the main square in town.

The main entryway to the hotel had this nice flagstone fireplace.

The lobby area had many very nice photos and paintings.

The carved doors to the lobby were off the chart.

There was a nice outdoor patio with flagstone flooring and a fountain.

The dining area (for breakfast) was nicely appointed with colorful table cloths and napkins.

Jeff's room had this cool deer skull on the wall.

The flowers outside were in bloom despite being late in the season.

Our room had a fireplace.

Nice hand painted spanish tile in the bathroom with saltillo tile flooring.

The main area of our room had very nice furniture with flagstone flooring and a large bed.

This is Highway 64 in front of the hotel.

On our way to the plaza for cocktails, we passed this trio.

Main street, Taos, NM.

Once we got to the plaza, it REALLY started to rain. The storm had been following us all day and finally caught up when we were on foot and without raincoats. Our destination was Joseph's Table at the La Fonda Hotel for dinner. Since the bar opened at 5:30pm and it just happened to be 5:30, we headed to the cocktail lounge.

The bar proceeded an outstanding dinner at Joseph's Tables which is the 4 star restaurant at the La Fonda. This was a 4 second exposure without flash.

The drive from Pagosa Springs to Taos was very scenic and took perhaps 2 hours. We were surprised to see the large number of bicyclists on the road, but since US 64 is not heavily traveled, they preferentially choose this route despite the steepness of the grade.

Bandelier National Monument

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