Taos New Mexico, High Altitudes​​ Culture


I visited Taos in 30 years ago. Back then a painter named Ouray Meyers suggested a camping spot high in the mountains. Following his directions, we found a paradise that included cattle that grazed a safe distance away.  We set camp by a small mountain stream strewn with wild roses. It was a short drive to hot springs and hot streams that sat above the canyon. Ouray Meyers became one of my favorite painters, not just because he was an amazing painter, but also because of his kindness. The painting from him has hung next to my bed since 1986. I see his painting of the Taos Pueblo with spirit runners each day when I wake, and the last thing at night Two years after his death  I returned to  visit Taos and Taos Pueblo for real, rather than in dream time.  And this time I was painting myself.

Taos is enclosed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s known for adobe buildings both in town and at  Taos Pueblo,  adobe buildings inhabited by Native Americans for 1000 years. Straw mixed into the mud and reapplied yearly helps the adobe pueblo d shine in the light. Taos is an artist and writer’s colony, with a multitude of galleries and museums.  People stop to talk, invite you into their shops, share their work, and listen.  It’s a place that energizes while it restores. It’s also a good base for making side trips into the area, and there are several local cafes that serve good food at good prices. Red and green chilis warm your food here.


Rancho De Taos is the oldest part of the town. Here we find the church of San Francisco de Asis, as well as a family-owned cafe, Ranchos Plaza Grill,  that serves Northern New Mexican style food in an ancient house painted with a mural.  The food is affordable and dances with the tongue.IMG_5385.jpgIMG_5381.jpgIMG_5392.jpg

A few steps from the front of the church takes you to the grill.  The Rancho Plaza Grill is in an old pueblo home.


Traveling opens me to new experiences and ideas.  Painting while here helped me to notice the landscape at a deeper level. Have you explored a place away from your home that’s altered you in some beneficial way?



About elainereardon

Poet, writer, gardener, herbalist, pottery, painting—bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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