June 20-Taos NM Day 2

I slept ok for a few hours the night before but got up around 1:30am and worked on getting this here blog written and up and running. Around 4:30am, I had all the writing done and I got the newsletter out. It felt great.

I went back to bed until 6:30 and tried to go to the Bearclaw Bakery in Taos at 7am. Apparently they open an hour later on Sundays. So I tooled around and came back shortly after 8am. I got inside just before the line was out the door. I had wanted to sit outside but the small patio was already full. I had a blue corn pancake with blueberry compote, a lemon-cream cheese croissant, and a cup of decaf. My plan had been to camp out and write, but the place was so busy that I felt bad for soaking up space. I ended up leaving after about 45 minutes.

I decided to try to see Taos Pueblo but there was a sign that said it was closed. Even thought the gate was open, I opted to respect the sign and I turned around. While I was doing that, a car passed me and went in.

I went back to David’s place and took a nap. Then I got up and decided to drive the Enchanted Circle.

The Enchanted Circle is a tourist loop that goes through several small communities with stops along the way for scenic and other cultural resources. It is very beautiful, like the rest of the region around Taos.

I stopped to take some pictures along the way. The University of New Mexico now owns D. H. Lawrence’s ranch.

Sign announcing the D. H. Lawrence Ranch outside of Taos New Mexico

Here is a sign announcing that there are bighorn sheep in the road for the next 9 miles. Hard to read because my phone’s camera doesn’t do well with LED reader board signs.

LED reader sign saying

The mountains around the region are quite beautiful. They are occasionally juxtaposed with industrial development.

Industrial development in front of forested mountain along Enchanted Circle in New Mexico

I got some ambient sound along the Enchanted Circle.

Eagle Nest NM.m4a

A goodly part of the Enchanted Circle is part of the Kit Carson National Forest. The landscape varies with respect to tree density.

Trees and mountains in Kit Carson National Forest along Enchanted Circle in New Mexico

There is a stunning Vietnam Veterans Memorial near Cimarron, about 2/3 of the way through the loop. I took a lot of pictures because I was fascinated by the architecture and landscape architecture. I was reminded of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC even though they are almost polar opposites in terms of design and physical context. Here is what it sounded like.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial NM.m4a


Landscaped water feature in Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

Ampitheater at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

Amphitheater seating at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

White amphitheater walls with trees and grassy areas at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

White amphitheater walls with trees and grassy areas at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

Entrance to gift shop at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Cimarron New Mexico

 When I got back to the man cave, David was already firing up the BBQ and friends were there. I met a few of his friends, who were just like David-warm, welcoming and friendly. We talked for a while and they were also curious about Portland. It’s interesting how Portland’s reputation in far away places was, for these people at least, all about last summer’s protests and the ongoing vandalism. I did my best to contextualize the situation and explain that most of the city was peaceful and working on other problems like homelessness, poverty and housing affordability. They seemed to understand and accept what I was saying. Again, I appreciated the respectful conversation.

The food was great. Ribs, corn on the cob, homemade potato salad-it was all delicious. At some point I overheated, excused myself and went to my room. It was so hot out, I needed some powerful AC. When I got up, the party was over. I did some writing and went back to bed.

Jacob M Brostoff @roadtrip