The Maiden Voyage

Taos, Ojo Caliente and The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Our plan was to leave Boulder early on the morning of the 23rd  and head to Taos, New Mexico, but that was quickly changed when a storm pulled in the night before and dumped snow.  Fortunately in Boulder, once the sun comes out, the roads quickly melt and so we departed later that day but the pass to New Mexico was closed. 

So we decided to stop in Pueblo and camp for the night at a KOA campground.  Not the most scenic, but it was extremely practical and the camp host was a savior for the Airstream Newbies!  We were pretty thankful that he was around since it would have taken us twice as long or more to get all set up.   Right now everything is a bit of a question mark while Ross and I try and figure out all the bells and whistles to this beauty.  The big challenge in the evening was trying to figure out why the heat and the AC were running at the same time.  Thank goodness for the internet and YouTube Videos.  The problem was solved and we were toasty warm.

Taos has an abundance of art and art galleries but also lots of scenic views and buildings to inspire creativity. The sunsets were pretty spectacular as well.  I took advantage of an evening to paint a glorious sunset.  The colors in the sky were breathtaking.  And lots of photos have been taken for potential paintings back in the studio.

Ross and I had several goals when we bought the Airstream and had the vision to go on these journeys.  Mine of course was to see more of the wonders of the US and translate those visions into art.  We also wanted to incorporate our love for the outdoors and being active.  Lastly we wanted to continue to learn new things.  One of those “things to learn” was another language.  So Ross and I are working on speaking Spanish by using audio downloads while driving.  It should be interesting to see how much we can accomplish and integrate in our travels.

Our outdoors/active events for this trip was skiing at Taos.  We were extremely impressed with the skiing and had a magical time.  The weather, snow conditions and terrain were fantastic.

We noticed an interesting housing complex as we were driving in to Taos and went back to visit it on one of the afternoons.  It is called Earthship Biotecture (you can see more at earthshipglobal.com).  The homes are all built off the grid and use lots of recycled materials for their building supplies.  We toured the visitor center and walked around some of the buildings.  It was fascinating and inspiring but we both felt like the overall aesthetic design could have been better. 

Another visual highlight of the area is the Rio Grande Gorge bridge.  It was spectacular to see the depth of the gorge in this extremely flat landscape.  Amazing what water can do when cutting through the land.

After a few amazing days skiing in Taos, we headed out to Ojo Caliente Spa for a couple of hours of relaxation in the natural hot springs and then it was back to the comfy cozy airstream. 

Our last stop was the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Both Ross and I were speechless and overwhelmed by the size and vastness of the Great Sand Dunes.  I had heard about them for years but nothing can explain them except by visiting them and hiking them.  It is so incredible that they exist in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.  They are the tallest sand dunes in North America (over 750 ft high) and cover about 30 square miles.  As we crossed the flat area of sand before the climb up, both Ross and I felt like  we could have been in the Sahara Dessert.  As we climbed up (which was a steep climb) through the strong winds (that are the cause of these sand dunes) we were so amazed by there immenseness and striking formations.  Once we got to the top we were awestruck  by the vastness of the sand dunes.  We had only reached the first wave of sand dunes and there were plenty more.  Fortunately the descent was easier and quite fun. 

It was the perfect way to end our trip especially with the views of our last camp site and the sunset.  Both of us are feeling very lucky to have had this experience.

Stay tuned for the next adventure!

If your eyes are open, isn’t every moment enough? Sean Murphy

9 Comments on “The Maiden Voyage

  1. I’m already loving this blog! Thank you for taking us on this journey with you it’s so fun to see your travels, art and your smiling faces. I think Buddy needs a blurb too. I can’t wait to see where we are going next 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How fun to relive our year of adventures in our 5th wheel. Some days we would only 150 miles before we wanted to stop and explore the area. Enjoy!

    Like

  3. How fun for you all! Keep up the posts- love to”travel” along. We hope to rent a RV/Sprinter on Outdoorsy.com and join you guys some time soon!

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  4. Sue,
    I love this! Seems like best of all worlds! Keep exploring!!!
    ~Grace

    Like

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