A Taos Respite

taos 30taos 18After Balloon Fiesta ended, Hector and I needed some down time.  So while waiting for parts to arrive for Island Girl’s roof and for additional test results for Angel, we drove to the beautiful town of Taos.  it had been a few years since we spent time there and a Taos respite was just what the doctor ordered.

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We enjoyed a few lazy days with Angel, just hanging out.

We took in some beautiful sunsets.taos 3

We visited our favorite church, the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, a National Historic Landmark, one evening during the blue hour. Beautiful!taos 33taos 34taos 32taos 37

We had our friend Sharon over for dinner and spent a lovely evening with her.taos 35

One of our last days there we drove out to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. taos 9

taos 10It was a beautiful drive, with the trees displaying their autumn leaves.   Our route went down into the Rio Grande Gorge, crossed a bridge over the Rio Grande River and went up the other side of the gorge. Unfortunately, it was kind of a gray day, not the typical blue autumn sky.taos 15

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brenda  010brenda  005Ojo Caliente’s springs contain four different types of minerals: lithia, iron, soda and arsenic. The waters were deemed sacred by Indigenous Native Americans of Northern New Mexico and have been a source of healing for hundreds or even thousands of years. The resort has eleven pools ranging from 80-109 degrees.taos 4brenda  019

brenda  003Ojo Caliente also offers a number of spa services including massages, salt scrubs, wraps, herbal baths, reflexology, facials and more. All day access to the pools is included with the purchase of a spa service of $149 or more.brenda  015

Otherwise, all day use of the pools costs $18 during weekdays and $28 during weekends (including Friday). A bargain.taos 6brenda  001

Hector and I sampled all of the pools and got deep tissue massages.

I also opted for a full mud pool area experience: slathering mud from a faucet all over, dipping in the adjoining pool, and taking a hot shower afterwards. Hector opted out of the mud experience but it was one of my favorites.

The entire experience was very relaxing and healing. Definitely a must do when in the Taos area.taos 8

There is a basic campground at Ojo Caliente that offers dry camping.  A great option for those that want to enjoy an entire day (or more) at the mineral springs and spa but don’t want to deal with driving (especially afterwards).

taos 19taos 20taos 21taos 25On our last day in Taos we drove out to the Greater World Earthship Community, one of three earthship communities in the Taos area and the largest in the world.

I must confess I had never heard of living “off the grid” until I moved out West. Then one day a few years after we moved to Colorado, a co-worker told me that her dream was to live off the grid. I wasn’t quite sure what she meant and it wasn’t until spending time in New Mexico that I learned more.

Hector and I were considering a move to New Mexico, and Santa Fe and Taos were at the top of our list.  While visiting Taos and looking through the Taos real estate listings we found not only the regular choices of single family, townhouse, condo, etc but also a category for “earthships”.  What???

And we saw photos of a million-dollar earthship that was for sale. It was beautiful.  That was the year that we visited the earthship community for the first time. taos 22

The name earthship is trademarked by Michael Reynolds, the architect who began building these “radically sustainable buildings” just outside Taos back in the 70’s. They are built using natural and recyclable materials (garbage like old tires, bottles and cans and mud etc) and have evolved significantly over the years.taos 26taos 24taos 23taos 17

A Visitor Center built within one of the earthships ($7 admission) provides a self-guided tour with lots of information on the structure, water, electricity and sewer systems and lots more. These homes are now being built throughout the world.  Too much to cover here, but check out the Earthship Biotecture website for more information. Fascinating.

When we completed our tour, we met two young men outside the Visitor Center who are starting a non-profit named Foxhole Homes. They were attending the Earthship Biotecture Academy to get trained and certified to build earthships.

The mission of their organization is to provide sustainable housing and community for veterans. They will begin by building a few earthships to rent to members of the military at Holloman Air Force Base in Southern New Mexico that currently rent tiny hotel rooms.  They then plan to use proceeds from those rentals to support their mission and build homes for veterans. I was so impressed by these young men, check out their Facebook page HERE.

taos 16Taos is beautiful and fascinating.  The sky there is alive with a magic light that puts on a show almost every evening.  It remains one of our favorite places.

~ Brendataos 36

13 thoughts on “A Taos Respite

  1. Taos is such an interesting area. Thanks for sharing:)

    Your spa day looked fabulous. I think I would have enjoyed the mud experience.

    Hope all is going well with Island Girl and Angel!

    • It was lovely. Island Girl is back, Angel, unfortunately, is not doing well. I’m writing about it, but it’s been tough. Thanks for your good thoughts.
      Brenda

  2. Peaceful and rejuvinating, and we felt it reading and viewing. Good for you for taking care of YOU!!! How is our Angel doing? Sounds as if IG is back in top form. Godspeed, Friends!

    • It was very timely. Angel is not well, we’ve had a few rough weeks. She is actually happy and alert right now, but has several major issues. I’m writing about it in a post, but it’s been hard to finish. Thanks always for all of your support.
      Brenda

  3. Your post and Hector’s beautiful photos have made me want to go back to Taos. I would love that mud spa experience I believe. Thanks for turning me on to Earthship. I am anxious to read more about it. Hope all is well with Angel.

    • Taos is really a beautiful place. The Earthships are a must see, I think. Angel is not doing well, I’m going to post about it, but it’s been tough to write.
      Take care,
      Brenda

  4. We were in NM some years ago also thinking of moving there and your drive reminded of our time there. I never knew what those homes were until I read your story. Thanks
    I think you do deserve that mud bath to relax and destress a respite from what’ going on with Angel and Island. Girl. I might try the mud bath one day 🙂

    Hope by this time your roof is done and you already know Angels condition better.

    • Thanks, Island Girl is good to go. Angel is not well, I’m writing a little about it, it’s just tough to finish.
      Take care,
      Brenda

  5. Inspiring and beautiful. One of these days, I must get to Taos and Santa Fe. Sending lots of love and light to you and Angel…

    • It truly is beautiful. You’re right about it being the right place, the fact that it’s so dry is good for the structures, but of course they need rain for their water. A fascinating community.
      Brenda

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