Red peppers hang in a cluster from a post where we register our status as visitors at Taos Pueblo. Heading down the dirt road we make our way to the San Geronimo Church courtyard where we will meet our tour guide. Ancient adobe buildings line the streets.
This is our third pueblo visit in the Southwest. While similarities exist with Zuni Pueblo (Arizona) and Acoma Sky City Pueblo (New Mexico) each pueblo has its own unique persona. Each makes us glad we visited.
Taos Pueblo sits just outside the northern edge of the town of Taos, New Mexico. In 1992 Taos Pueblo was recognized by UNESCO as the first settlement to be named to the Living World Heritage Site list. According to our guide, Taos Pueblo has been here about 1000 years.
After a short tour we are allowed to roam around on our own. Taos provides our first chance to wander in and out of pueblo adobe buildings looking at the crafts and wares of the locals. Standing on dirt floors packed hard by the years we appreciate the corner fire places that draw the chill from the fall air.
Clear water moves over stones through the middle of town. This, the Red Willow Creek, is the community’s only source of water. Running water and electricity are not allowed. A wooden foot-bridge over the creek connects the North Side of town with the South Side.
Colorful entry doors of blue, teal and pink spice up monochrome walls. Adobe stands three stories high in places and is further highlighted by the deep blue sky. The craftsmanship of the native people is impressive and we spend time chatting with the locals when the opportunity arises. They talk freely about their traditional arts but traditional beliefs are closely kept and guarded within the village walls.
The flavor of the place is rich but no less so than the flavor of their homemade bread. A young man standing at a simple table espouses the bread’s many uses and I fall prey. A round loaf baked in the traditional outdoor oven (a Horno) makes its way home with us for dinner. Funny how that happened. Just living the Airstream Life.