On the Road | EARTHSHIP + TAOS PUEBLO
Taos, New Mexico
We couldn’t tell if we crossed into Tijuana or Burning Man. The heat of the road distorted our vision and every built up airstream and school bus looked abandoned except for the subtle hints of flourishing gardens. The structures slowly became more pronounced and then a sign read “Earthship Biotecture - Visitors Welcome.”
We entered upon a world I had heard of years ago and always wanted to visit. What’s not to love about a house made of dirt and beer bottles?!!
The curb appeal takes a sec but the interior of the model earth ship was a cool refuge from the blazing heat. Natural light reflected through the green house acting as a double barrier from the blistering sun. Little signs posted throughout explained the array of materials and functions; earth rammed tire walls create thermal mass to passively heat and cool, bottles or cans are used to form partition walls, the extensive grey water system collects and circulated water 4 times before being discarded as waste. There were also a surprising amount of “normal” building materials/practices; ie concrete floors, timber beams, etc. Trippy yet self sufficient and functional. I want to build one.
To our delight it was also the opening of a local food truck and the owner, who happened to be from Michigan, made a killer Frito Pie that we chowed in the parking lot. My first ever.
After our minds exploded at Earthship we drove across the famous Gorge Bridge which rests a casual 600 feet above the Rio Grande. I wish I had a photo of us standing dead center while two semi trucks passed. The bridge turned into a swing. Possibly the scariest moment of the trip.
We then headed to Taos Pueblo and chatted with relatives of the oldest continuously inhabited village in the country. Considering this place is 1000 years old it solidified my appreciation for adobe. A bit touristy but worth the experience.
Overall our stop in Taos was brief. The main agenda was get into cell service to figure out the next move. Being off the grid for 4 days made the quaint artisan village feel crowded and hot. Perfect excuse to get the hell out. We made an impromptu decision to extend the Jeep rental three more days (serious thank you to the Hertz man who hooked us up) and headed for the mountain range to the East and then back West towards the Chama River.