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Taos, New Mexico: Where White Beauty Meets Pure Natural Bliss
The summer in Taos, #NewMexico is just full of things to do, and don't be put off by the cold either. The city is just as #active in the winter, but there really is one top choice then. #Skiing on one of Taos' four peaks is truly a treat, and despite the less than stellar visibility, it was a great time!
It had been years since I had been to Taos and it was for a wedding at the time, the experience full of energy, an energizing dinner and cocktail party and a boat load of fun. If I recall, it was early Spring and I had discovered a few gems on the outskirt of Taos that I had hoped to return to one day and of course, the names of those gems were captured on an old laptop, never to be restored.
For some reason, my mystical illusion of experiencing Taos had to be the gems I had hoped to return to and without those names, it was, well, left up to pure accident of where I’d end up staying and what I’d end up doing, with a little help from the local tourism board of course.
Hotel Edelweiss Lodge
In my mind’s eye were those golden gems however, and not finding them again would somehow make my Taos experience inferior. Hog wash I heard my grandmother saying as I contemplated such a ridiculous thought, and a way of thinking I rarely have, particularly as a long time traveler. Isn’t everything a new discovery and….doesn’t everything happen for a reason? I decided to return to my normal mantra while traveling which focuses on “trust”, a hunger for discovery and being present and once I did, everything quickly fell in place.
Not finding them again would somehow make my Taos experience inferior
Before we hit the ski resort itself, we ended up staying at a charming B&B in town and had arrived just as the flickering snowflakes were at their strongest.
Ski at Taos Valley
Fort Collins Brewery Bus
While I was dead set on exploring the spiritual side of Taos, as well as it’s foodie and art scene, there was no doubt I was going to ski — after all, it was January and we were greeted with the first snow fall since we left New York more than a couple of weeks prior. And, snow it did, for three straight days.
In and around Taos is beautiful, no, it’s breathtaking — nothing more, nothing less!! Below is the road we took to head out of town one day for a scenic drive.
Below, on the road towards Taos Pueblo or otherwise referred to as Pueblo de Taos, a must visit when in Taos (see my write-up - it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Only a mere mile or so outside of Taos, you reach Taos Pueblo itself. Below is inside, so you can get an idea of what to expect. Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tewa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people. My post explains the history and backbone of this gem and has tons of great photos to guide you through the experience of being on-site itself.
And, how’s this for the stunning views you get from Taos Pueblo on a cold winter day?
On the road to the Taos ski resort…
By the time we had started climbing the windy road that led to the ski resort, we realized our car’s wasn’t made for the slippery conditions, something a four wheel drive could have handled easily. Thanks to Adriana, a local who is also instrumental in promoting local tourism, we made our way up and down the mountain with ease in her truck, both for an annual wine tasting event they do every year and to ski.
We also stayed at the Snakedance Condos to get a flavor for the lodging on the mountain and had a scrumptious meal at the traditional Bavarian gem at the top (be sure to read my foodie write up on the restaurant). Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the visibility on the day I was planning to ski couldn’t have been worse.
The visibility on the day I was planning to ski couldn’t have been worse
The downside of course was that I didn’t get those stunning landscape and mountain views that Taos is so known for on a clear day. The other downside was that it was hard to see, especially with dark tinted goggles, the only ones I had access to that day.
I wasn’t the only one who had a tough time with visibility that day – you’ll notice that because of the weather conditions, I opted to leave my Canon 7D in a dry warm place, rather than cart it around on the slopes. The result is that every shot on the mountain was taken with my iPhone with snow flurries between the view and the camera and the granularity and blurriness of the shots unfortunately reflect that. Despite not being able to produce the best photography on the slopes, you’ll get an idea at just how white and fluffy it was on that January day.
There were times I couldn’t see a thing in front of me, so ended up hooking up with a Brit who was there for the week for several runs, just so I had a bright jacket to follow down the mountain. It was either that, I thought, or end up on some random side of the mountain covered in snow.
The truth is, that despite the poor visibility, my lack of stellar equipment for the day, how utterly exhausted I was from the recent long drives and that it took me forever to get my pass sorted because of that fatigue, I had a blast! I mean, I really had a blast. As tired and blind as I was, there was something truly magical about being on the mountain in such chaotic conditions.
I had to rely on my other senses to get me through and rather than use my sight as my mainstay, I felt the motion of my curves and turns, I felt the snow fall on my face, blocking my view and all and I felt the sensation of Taos in January in the midst of fresh fallen snow and thought yes…..this is bliss, pure bliss!