El Camino Real

September 6, 2022, Gallup- Last night, it came to me that much of the messaging I’ve been getting of late, as to what course of action should be followed, has come to me through other people. This morning, though, the message was loud and clear-devote the morning to Taos and its surroundings, especially along El Camino Real-the “King’s Road” towards Santa Fe, along the East Rim of Rio Grande Gorge.

Taos has been a town through which I passed, not spending much time there-until today. With a commitment to myself to drive as far as this old mining town, I freed up a few hours to make friends in Taos, as well as time to stop and see people I love dearly in Santa Fe, Madrid and Moriarty.

So, parking KIA in a free dirt parking lot, I walked a long a row of art galleries, not purchasing anything this time, though I will spend more time picking out at least two art pieces, on a future visit, weather-permitting, in December.

Here are a few of the shops along Kit Carson Way.

View of Couse Center, a forum for promoting arts in Taos.
Garden in courtyard, Mission Gallery

As last winter’s New Mexico visit was centered on the O’Keeffe Museum, so I fully expect to devote a few hours to the Couse Center, in the days between Christmas and New Year’s. I will be able to get a good cup of hot coffee at World Cup, at the east edge of Taos Plaza.

Drink for thought, World Cup Coffee House, Taos
World Cup is the Taos link in my chain of connections

An energizing visit with a mix of very hard-working people and laid-back former attorneys and factory workers established this connection, much as prior encounters at Henry and The Fish and Double C’s Diner did for Santa Fe and Moriarty, respectively.

Like Santa Fe, Taos has La Fonda Hotel in its Plaza. Here is a look at the lobby and its hearth.

Lobby of Taos La Fonda Hotel
Fireplace, lobby of Taos La Fonda Hotel
Alley, off north side of Taos Plaza

After this, I went south, about three miles, to Ranchos de Taos, the original Spanish Land Grant settlement. Here, there is a smaller plaza, and Iglesia San Francisco de Asis.

This is the central church of Ranchos de Taos

Heading towards Santa Fe, I came upon a spot where Rio Grande is flowing rather rapidly, and another, where the river is more languid.

Note the small rapids in two spots along the Rio Grande. (East Rim of Rio Grand Gorge)

A few miles south, here is a fishing spot, favoured by local residents.

I will be back, again, weather-permitting, very soon. The rest of the day saw short, but very genial visits with friends at Henry & The Fish, Java Junction (Madrid) and Double C Diner,where I got a take-out meal, as it was too early for dinner. The chicken enchiladas were just as tasty, when I got to Colonial Motel, here in Gallup, as they would have been had I dined in. Having good friends at a coffee shop or eatery is even more important to me than the fare itself.

Finding friends all around, this has been a marvelous journey.

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