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Day 3 began with a stop by Taos Pueblo which has been inhabited for upwards of a thousand years. The multi-storied adobe buildings house businesses and dwellings of the Taos Indians who still live in the pueblo.
One big highlight is the ruins of the original San Geronimo (St. Jerome) church that was destroyed by the U.S. Cavalry in 1847. In front of the ruins is a cemetery — now full — with mainly crude cross grave markers. According to one of the tour guides, the Taos Indians don't embalm corpses.
From Taos Pueblo, it's just a short drive to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, one of the highest bridges in the country. I lacked the intestinal fortitude to drive across it, although I did walk halfway out to the outlooks on either side. The bridge sways in the wind, and even more so when a vehicle passes by. The view is breathtaking, but I was relieved to return to terre firma.
Next came a trip to Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, N.M. Bandelier is home to the ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo Indians. The Main Loop Trail takes visitors through Frijoles Canyon and up and actually into the ruins of ancient cliff dwellings. Pretty cool stuff if you're into history and/or archaeology. Bandelier is also home to a wide variety of plants and animals. But don't feed the squirrels. They bite.
|Bandelier494.JPG ||841.64 KB|
|Rio Grande Gorge Bridge485.JPG ||858.88 KB|
|Taos Pueblo483.JPG ||850.35 KB|