Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A Special Visit to Taos!

It was indeed a special visit! Everything coincided to bring it together. We hadn't seen Andy Bond in many years, since he graduated from college and moved west. He lives in Taos and runs the Taos Avalance Center (which he founded), but spends a good part of the year as a guide up the biggest mountains in the world. And then his parents, our very good friends Debbie D'Arpa & Dick Bond, got their second vaccine shots and scheduled a visit to Andy that paralleled our trip back east. It was their first time to meet Andy's significant other, Andrea, in person. And all just days before he had to leave for work in Oregon.

Andrea and Andy at our breakfast in Taos our last morning

We arrived first from Santa Fe and settled in next to Andy's beautiful home overlooking the mountains in Taos. He and Andrea arrived a little later and we enjoyed a wonderful visit with him over dinner at the house. He has so many amazing stories of his adventures all over the world. We especially enjoyed hearing more in-depth about his season in Antarctica. Andrea is a teacher in middle school and has had such a hard time with the distance learning during the pandemic. We have a much greater appreciation of the hard work and dedication of our nation's teachers after listening to her!

Dick, Debbie, Heather, and Scott at Andy's house for lunch

After coffee with them, before they headed off to work, Scott and I took off for a sightseeing trip around Taos. We did some shopping at the local Whole Foods type supermarket, Sid's, and then drove around the downtown area. Next, it was a trip up the mountain to the Taos Ski Area - we are sorry we've never had a chance to ski there. What a beautiful spot. Finally, we took Andy's advice and hiked the Rim Trail at the Rio Grande Gorge. As you can see from the photos, it was spectacular.

The bridge over the Gorge at the Rio Grande from the Rim Trail along the edge.

 Dick and Debbie flew to Colorado and drove down to join us for a late lunch.  They rented an Airbnb nearby - a lovely 2 bedroom house with a hot tub. After lunch at Andy's house, we drove down to see the Greater World Earthship Community. Started by architect Michael Reynolds in the 1970s, they teach people to build these autonomous environmentally-conscious homes. And then we went to their rental for the evening. They ordered dinners to go from Medley, a fabulous restaurant nearby, and we enjoyed the hot tub and their company before returning to our trailer. Andrea's parents came over to join them just after we left.

The next morning Andy treated all of us to a fabulous breakfast at Aceq. Although it was cool, the bright sunshine and heater nearby made it perfect outdoors. It was sad to say goodbye, all too soon, but we'll be back!!!

At Debbie's suggestion, we took the High Road 
from Santa Fe to Taos. Our first stop was Chimayo
and the Santuario of Chimayo. The garden which
surrounds it had cherry trees in full bloom 

The Santuario was built in 1816 and is also known
as the Lourdes of America, for the famed healing
powers of the holy dirt. Photos of visitors or
others who have been healed are all over the 

The nearby little chapel is dedicated to the children
of the world and photos of children everywhere
paper the back wall,

A wider view of the Santuario and gardens

The view of the mountains from the High Road to Taos

San Jose de Gracia built in 1760 in Las Trampas

This charming restaurant had outdoor seating
where we enjoyed coffee and a chocolate walnut
cake, which we shared.

A theater was attached that hopefully will be able
to open again after the COVID crisis.

Another view of the mountains

Taos Ski Resort base

This bridge led you into the village
at the base of Taos Ski Resort

Vendors set up shop at the entrance to the Rim 
Trail at the Rio Grande Gorge bridge.

The view over the Gorge towards Taos

This same view from the entrance to Andy's home
and seen from his kitchen windows.

One of the Earthship homes

A close-up of the wall made of wine bottles and
adobe. This construction material needs a lot
of maintenance!

Dick, Scott and Heather enjoy the hot tub.
Debbie and Dick at breakfast our last morning
with them.

Andy Bond's house in Taos
Breakfast at Aceq Restaurant

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