Taos, NM



DAY 3: October 11, 2018

Our first stop on day 3 was a visit to the Jemez Pueblo Walatowa Welcome Center.


Amy and Gideon, our Tour Director



One example of a Horno.


The Horno is an improvement on open fire cooking introduced by the Spanish to the Americas.


An example of an Adobe dwelling.

On the way to Bandolier National Monument, we took a photo stop at Valles (Jemez) Caldera .


Jemez Caldera

This shot belies the size of this volcanic basin measuring 13.7 miles in diameter. Following the last eruption – 50 to 60 thousand years ago – rapid cooling lava produced obsidian, a hard substance which is easily chipped to form sharp edges that became tools and spear points that have been found dating back 11,000 years.

On one rim of the Caldera is the 50 square mile Bandelier National Monument home to ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the area during the 12th and 17th centuries.  Much of the area was covered by ash of varying hardness- Bandelier tuff – from a volcanic eruption 1.4 million years ago. The softer deposits were carved out from the cliffs to form housing.


This site was similar to archeologic remains in Canyon De Chelly in Northeastern Arizona, home of the ancestral Puebloans to the Navajo. Petroglyphs are seen in both.


We have lunch in a 100 year old Adobe home converted to a restaurant and set off by coach to visit Sanctuario Chimayo.


This National Historic Landmark and pilgrimage church (300,000/year) was started by Don Bernardo Albeyta, one of the first Penitantes, who was a follower of a pilgrimage site in Guatemala where the clay is ascribed to have a healing power.  As cures were reported at the precursor of the present structure, shown above, the clay here came to be regarded as curative. Presently 25 to 30 tons of clay are placed into the pit to be removed by the faithful.

Leaving the Sanctuario, we stopped for a photo op at the Taos Plateau.



Believed to be Mt. Wheeler


And the last stop before settling into our accommodations for the evening was San Francisco de Asis Mission.


This is one of the most photographed churches in NM, and a subject of Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams.

DAY 3: October 12, 2018

Following breakfast, we met the Mr. and Mrs. Martinez, Puebloans of different tribes, speaking different languages and English. We were shown how moccasins and pottery are made using original techniques. Home life both in the city and at the ceremonial pueblo community was described.


Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 1000 year old adobe structures, was next on our itinerary, but was closed to visitors due to a funeral. We were able to visit the school at the Pueblo where we heard from several students in 5th grade about their favorite aspects of pueblo life.


On our way back to Taos Plaza, we stopped at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge where we made a comfort stop and viewed the Rio Grande Gorge at this narrow divide of the tectonic plates.



It should come as no surprise that vendors are to be found at tourist stops.

Arriving back to the Taos Plaza, we had lunch and free time to shop. As we have original lithographs made by R.C.Gorman, I was expecting to visit his home or studio in Albuquerque, but found that it had moved. I learned from a shop keeper in Taos Plaza that upon his death in 2005, his family sold the collection to a private gallery which did not exist in Taos, but did in Santa Fe.

The day of our visit was punctuated by a parade encouraging support for the local football team.