For our second day exploring together, we set off for the nearby town of Taos. Cade had been told that the best way to get there was to take the High Road. So, with our rental car, we headed off towards the High Road, which took us through tons of scenic landscape, including mountains and small towns. Since he was told ahead that this was a scenic drive, we took our time to take it all in and make a few stops for some pictures.
Soon enough we found ourselves just outside of Taos. Instead of heading straight into town, we diverted and headed northwest to check out the Rio Grande Gorge. We figured this would be an easy side trip with being so close, and it turned out to be so worth it! The bridge, which you can walk out onto and stand in viewing platforms, provided an amazing scene of this huge gorge. We stayed and awed for awhile, trying not to get too dizzy from looking down.
With grumbly bellies, we headed back towards Taos and grabbed some lunch at the Guadalajara Grill. Again, spicy food, more Mexican than American this time, but good nonetheless. The portions were ginormous, so with giant food babies, we hopped back in the car and headed for the next spot, the Taos Pueblo. As most know, the Southwest has quite a few reservations. With neither of us ever having been to a reservation (I guess to be fair, I had been to a historical reservation site in Indiana but never one that is still being inhabited), we both were really interested in getting the chance to see one. I don’t think either of us knew quite what to expect, but it turned out to be incredibly informative, and the natives we interacted with were extremely friendly.
The tour took us through everything from religious beliefs to history of the tribe to how they live today. While it was very interesting to hear how they still live off the land, the most informative part to me was hearing their perspective on the history between Native Americans and modern day America. I’m a big believer of hearing both sides of history and not relying on the side that is most frequently heard or taught, so after learning about Native American history for years in school, getting to hear from their side of history was really intriguing.
Before leaving, we bopped into one of the merchants to get some cookies that were made in the hornos shown above. They were delicious, and it’s pretty cool to now think that we’ve had Native American made cookies.
After the reservation, we headed back towards Taos, got ourselves settled into our hotel, and went back out to explore downtown. A local coffee shop, World Cup, was recommended, and being the coffee lovers that we are, we had to try it. With some yummy coffee in hand, we walked around the plaza, stopping in shops that looked interesting. Along with getting our customary magnet for each place we’ve been, we stopped in an artwork shop that caught my eye. While we are pretty good at not giving into impulse buys, we just had to get a La Catrina drawing that stole both of our hearts.
As the sun began to set, we headed for some much needed dinner. And, as is customary, we found a place with a promising beer list, the Taos Ale House. We got some big juicy burgers, a couple of beers, and watched the end of the Broncos and Steelers playoff game. It was really fun being around a bunch of Broncos fans (with Denver being pretty close).
To finish out our night, we drove through the plaza one more time to see the lights, then headed back to the hotel to make a fire and get a good night’s sleep after the big day.