Betty and I decided to use our RCI points in the US this year and, for our first week, we decided on the Worldmark by Wyndham in Taos, New Mexico. We set things up, resort, air tix, rental car sometime in November.
Everything was fine until the United Airlines robot called the evening before the 8am flight and informed us the first leg to Denver was going to leave 3 hours late, missing our connecting flight. An emergency call to United yielded a surprisingly polite, sympathetic and totally helpful lady in Hawaii. In about half an hour we had eliminated about 4 lesser options and settled on Boston to Cleveland to Denver to Santa Fe. With our “no change or refund” Hotwire car rental awaiting us at Santa Fe airport, it was the best we could do.
The major drawback was the new 6am flight time. Since my son was driving us to Logan, we now had to awaken at 3am to be at his place by 4:20am to make the flight. Thank you Douglas!
Twelve hours after we woke up, we finally arrived in Santa Fe, got the rental Dodge Avenger and started the 65 mile drive to Taos. We shut off the GPS and left the highway in search of the famed “High Road” to Taos. After riding through back country somehow reminiscent of the poorer parts of rural Spain, we stumbled across the road we sought.
The “High Road” outside Truchas, NM. Note the town spelled out in rocks on the hillside.
A church in Las Trampas from 1700.
Lots of agricultural ruins, typical of rural areas everywhere, but with a distinct southwest feel. I am a ruins fan. You can visit Disney, just gimme the abandoned stuff.
It was a fun drive through the mountains for about three hours. The whole Santa Fe-Taos region is high desert with mostly scrubby trees and bushes. Lots of trailers with abandoned cars and pickups, tumbledown barns and sheds and also some ancient adobe churches.
NM is beautiful in its way, but has a lot of poverty. The road signs announce you are entering the territory of this reservation or that while the landscape makes you wonder how anyone could scrape a living out of the parched rocky soil. There must be four Indian casinos just on the main road from SF to Taos.
We also saw dozens of little roadside shrines, evidently to loved ones killed on the highways. They were greatly outnumbered by the discarded beer bottles along most all of these rural roads. Perhaps the two phenomena are related. Whatever, they could use a bottle bill.
And everywhere you looked were museums, art galleries, historical buildings (mostly adobe or faux adobe) supporting the regions tourist reputation as an art haven.
We checked in at the Worldmark, a wooden timeshare complex with the inevitable Southwest theme. Our room was a bit disappointing, (with a Murphy bed!) being small and cramped. There are nice suites here, for the Wyndham folk evidently, but the RCI guests get steerage. The location is superb, however, in the heart of downtown, surrounded by restaurants and galleries and other tourist magnets. We’re good here.
A Murphy bed
So we went out for provisions. One interesting note, all the liquor bottles at the supermarket worth more than $10 had electronic anti-theft devices over their caps. Hmmmmm.
Well, it’s time to pull down the ol’ Murphy bed and get some shuteye. It’s been a long day and we are looking forward to a walking tour of Taos tomorrow.