Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Monday, June 06, 2005


There is a great deal about the Taos experience that can't be conveyed either in words or images.

... like the wind that came up today about noon and blew relentlessly for four hours. When it stopped, it stopped completely and the world was still again. When the wind blows in New Mexico it stirs up the dust and dirties the air; not like in the Bay Area where the wind clears the air.

... like the sounds of the world when I take my daily walk, of birds singing, of streams flowing, of occasional dogs barking, of wind, yes the constant wind IS noisy, and the pickup trucks that go barreling down even the tiniest road.

... like the vastness, the utter vastness of everything -- the sky, the desert, the mountains -- the way space and distance must be measured (though must is a poor word)in megaunits, and time as well

... like the character of the sky, which in its own way is predictable -- completely clear at dawn, and building up with clouds as the day progresses, especially over Taos mountain. I understand that by July the daily build up of clouds will climax in an afternoon thunderstorm. I'm looking forward to this.

I'll share part of an article by Bill Whaley from the local alternative paper, Horse Fly. I hope he doesn't mind.

Taosenos live in a high semi-arid valley, balanced precariously in the natural landscape between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge. A double rainbow appears from time to time and frames Taos Pueblo's sacred mountain. The rainbow always reminds me of God's covenant with Noah and how we all ended up in the boat together. Whether you were born here or arrived in some other way, you receive a gift when you settle down [in Taos] for the duration. Here, you get to pick your poison or your treasure and abide with your karma and your fate. The Big Fella (God, not the guv) lays downthe cards on the mesa and you watch the storms sweep in and out under the blue skies, yearning for answers and getting sand kicked in your face. As you stare into the sky above or the abyss below, you experience a kind of positive personal freedom and realize that all the conventional restrictins of society seem to have disappeared.

... The first wave of visitors -- the natives of Taos Pueblo, settled here in the valley circa 1100. Then came the second wave: Hispanic conquistadores at the end of the 16th century. The third wave -- mountainmen and merchants, symbolized by Kit Carson -- arrived around the mid-1800s. The fourth wave included the Broken Wheel Artists, circa 1900. [Then there is the] fifth wave -- the smelly, longhaired, blissed-out hippies who arrived in the 60s. Now, a sixth wave of dreamers - retirees and aging yuppies who have left their corporate masgters behind to spend their pensions and realize their dreams here in El Norte. .... [he goes on to talk about the slowdown in tourise trade in Taos]


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