We moved to the southern end of the Monument for a couple of nights. Once again, there are several campgrounds, but, unlike the ones in the northern section, these are right along the Rio Grande and some have electric and water hookups. The campgrounds begin just about a mile north of Pilar, along 570, for those who are interested. We chose the second one, Rio Bravo, which is probably the nicest.
On our only full day there, we traveled an interesting loop. We began by continuing north on 570, checking out each campground on the way. Petaca CG, which was the fifth one, looked like it had been a victim of a mudslide. Yikes! We crossed the Taos Junction Bridge and, after climbing partway out of the gorge, we stopped to hike La Vista Verde Trail.
It was about 1 1/3 miles through a fairly level area above the river, but below the rim.
I always think the edges of lava flows are interesting and here were some huge ones.
Back in the truck, we continued to the top of the rim. Along the way, we were thrilled to see these sheep which Ron identified as Rocky Mountain Sheep.
Continuing north on 115, I thought it was fascinating how flat the land appears, but see that dark line across the picture? That’s actually the Rio Grande gorge!
Our next stop was at the Greater World Community to view the Earthship Biotecture. There is a visitor center which explains their sustainable living including
- Building with natural and recycled materials
- Solar/Thermal heating and cooling
- Solar and wind electric power
- Water harvesting
- Contained sewage treatment
- Food production
And you can walk around a limited amount. I can understand that the owners don’t want tourists walking through their yards and knocking on their doors.
There was lots of passive solar (windows on the south side) and solar panels, but what surprised me was how they used tires, cans, and bottles in the walls. How many bottles of beer or wine would you have to drink to build a house?
We continued our loop by crossing the Rio Grande Gorge High Bridge. At 1272 feet long and 650 feet above the Rio Grande, it is pretty impressive.
Then we headed back south through Taos where we stopped for groceries. It was a good day.