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
Ross and I have been wanting to get out and test the Airstream locally before we go on a longer road trip to make sure that we get some of the wrinkles worked out. A few plans have been changed due to weather and then finding out that we ordered the wrong Surge protector. But two nights ago we spent the night at Flatirons Golf Course where Ross works (and given permission) to stay in the parking lot. If you haven’t been there the views are amazing and so beautiful that I spent an afternoon out there plein air painting a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the painting isn’t something that I love, so I won’t be posting it. The reality is that there are often lots of not so great paintings between the fantastic paintings. I’ll be back out there when it warms up to try again, and maybe we will even camp there another night because the sunrise was amazing.
We hope to be out on the road soon with more exciting adventures and better paintings. Stay tuned.
Thanks for joining Ross and Sue on their new adventure! We are very excited to pick up our Airstream on Monday February 11th and to get the journey started.
We will be blogging about our travels, sharing the paintings created along the way and art tips and tricks as well. If you have any questions feel free to ask them here and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Once we get set up in the Airstream we will officially start blogging. So check back soon for some updates. In the meantime if you would like to see some of my paintings please see: Sue Cable Art Website
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton