Feeling the effects of good food, beer, music and dancing at the Taos Mesa Brewing from the night before, we were a little rough around the edges come Saturday morning.
But there was so much more to see and another place to be come Saturday afternoon back in Santa Fe.
I am not even going to talk about the fact that we totally missed the Rio Grande Gorge and bridge a mere four miles or so from the Brewery and the earthship community just past that. Let's just say the navigator and social planner was a little off her game.
There are a few roads leading out of Taos and before we went into it we wanted to look around a bit.
We headed up the 150 - from a distance it looked like there was a community up ahead.
Arroyo Seco looked to be a very charming little village. Definitely worth the stop if it had been warmer.
It's small - and you really have to slow down as you drive through.
We soon realized that we had gone far enough and were headed up into the mountains again - to the Taos ski area. The problem was that we were having a hard time finding a place to turn around. Although now, between you and me, I have a feeling that the driver wasn't really trying that hard.
Before long we were going - up - up - up. Winding our way along a road that we really shouldn't have been on pulling our very heavy trailer.
We finally reached the top - my finger prints can probably still be seen in the arm rest. I'm not a fan of driving in snow - even though I'm not driving.
Derek stopped to talk with the parking attendant and take this picture. We also picked up a brochure - wow! a very large ski hill in fact with a ton of runs. Cassia just wanted to get out and play in the snow.
So, we stopped on the way back down for her to get her fill. One fall on the snow/ice and she was back in the van.
Driving through Taos. Now, as I mentioned last post, Derek and I had a completely different image of Taos in our minds. We were thinking - Breckenridge. Not sure why exactly, after all we are in New Mexico, not Colorado. We thought it was a ski town set in a valley surrounded by mountains and ski hills.
Nope, that isn't it. The ski hills are all a little further out and Taos is actually a fairly large town set upon a plateau at the base of the mountains.
We liked it though. Of what we saw of it. A short - less than 24 hour trip. We really just saw Taos in passing - we passed through one way in the dark and through the other way around lunch time. We didn't stop to look around the plaza - it was just too cold.
But we like Taos and we will go back one day. It reminded Derek a lot of Salt Spring Island in BC. Young, eclectic and hip. It was what we expected from Santa Fe but didn't get. We bet it's mighty fun to live in Taos.
Now for the pictures back down the 68.
We stopped at the BLM Visitor Center not far out of Taos for lunch.
For about 5 or 10 miles halfway through the trip or so - is one of my favourite all time rides. The landscape is amazing
The problem is that I think it is that much more amazing photography wise going up to Taos than coming down - too bad it was too dark the evening before.
A complete combo of cloud and blue sky - it kept changing - it almost looks like I took the pictures on different days.
Before long we were back in Santa Fe. After a quick stop at Trader Joe's we headed to the south side of the city to the Santa Fe Brewing Company. THIS was the main reason why we were still hanging around the Santa Fe area even though it was way too cold to be doing so. Earlier in the week, Derek had spotted an announcement of an Irish Ale release at the SFBC complete with music provided by High Desert Pipes and Drums. More music and fine beer! We were in!
This is what we found when we arrived. Busy.
And sadly only the pipes was able to make it. Turns out that the Band was booked too late and couldn't make it. Nice that Clark came though - we enjoyed listening to him.
Here's Amazing Grace on the pipes.
In the end we decided not to stay. It was 4:30pm and we had to make a decision. Have a beer and stay parked outside the night or get back on the road and make some distance.
We decided to carry on. Good thing that Derek had bought some of SFBC's Java Stout at Trader Joe's earlier in the week.
Just as we were leaving Santa Fe to get on the 41 going south we had the brilliant plan to head to Moriarty. It's Saturday night - let's see what is going on at the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande Brewing Company!
Did I mention that New Mexico is filled with Craft Breweries? What are Craft Brew Hunters to do?
It was a nice quiet ride. Obviously things were not so good over in the mountains to the east of us.
Moriarty, NM isn't large but we had no idea as to where to find the brewery. Since we needed gas anyway we stopped at the truck stop. It was a bit tricky to get directions - a few people helped us out. It was one of those - turn at the lights - turn at Lisa's truck stop - turn at Mag's - what Mags was, was still a complete mystery.
But we found it!
Only for our hearts to sink as we realized that it is a tasting room at the brewery - no happen' music filled night for us.
I'm not sure what time it was when we went to the door but it was after 5:00pm for sure. You can imagine our excitement when we found the door still to be unlocked.
Tasha was very gracious to allow us to look around and she even provided us with samples (even though they closed at 5). This brewery was near the top of our list so we were thrilled that we squeezed in a visit. You know you are doing some serious shopping when a box is involved - right?!
We LOVE their beer but we also LOVE this graphic, the combo of a skull and alien.
We surely couldn't leave without the Chile Beer. We have been enjoying it with our dinner - a fine accompaniment to Mexican food and burgers.
What's on tap.
It's been a few days now since we were at the Sierra Blanca Brewery. One thing we know for sure - we'll be back! Thanks again Tasha!
And with this post our New Mexico Brewery tour has come to an end. We are brewed out.
That was quite the line up wasn't it? Good thing we only get a flight or a pint or two at each Brewery! With eight it sure adds up.
We have to say this though - New Mexico has some stellar Breweries putting out some phenomenal craft beer. If you too are a Craft Brew Hunter this State is not to be missed!
This is the second post for tonight. I'm now two posts closer to being caught up.
From Moriarty we headed south - looking for warmth - which we didn't find! Not in the last few days anyway. But we did find some great fun at White Sands and Oliver Lee State Park. Those posts will be up tomorrow night or so …….
Tomorrow we are heading back to El Paso. We managed to fill our two weeks with a very interesting, albeit cold, tour of New Mexico. Tonight we are in Las Cruces where we will return on Sunday as we then head west into Arizona.
All for me tonight. Thanks for checkin' in and following along with the Wood Clan.
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