After 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.
We enjoyed a few lazy days with Angel, just hanging out.
We visited our favorite church, the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, a National Historic Landmark, one evening during the blue hour. Beautiful!
One of our last days there we drove out to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa.
It 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.
Ojo 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.
Ojo 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.
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.
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).
On 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???
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.
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.