9.26.2006,8:13 PM
Day Ten: Taos Revealed
Miles: 0
Weather: sunny and warm; blue, blue sky

I woke up staring at Rudolph the Red-nosed biker in the mirror. My nose is beet red and now peeling from wind and sun.

I explored the nooks and crannies of Taos today. Peeling away a layer of this town, finding treasures everywhere. Since I stayed here last week the foliage has turned color, both here and in the mountains. Everywhere is a picture, a scene waiting for an audience and to be captured. I played photographer today, but kicking myself for not buying a polarizing filter for the camera. Badly needed.

I also explored the galleries, not the big ones, but the small ones hidden here and there. Taos is rich in artistic and literary history as well as Amercian/Mexican/Indian history. After today, I feel more akin to this place and the area. Several of my favorite authors and artists either lived here, or nearby, or spent many years here: Frank Gorman, Georgia O'Keefe, Aldous Huxley, DH Lawrence, Edward Abbey...... and so many more. It was as if this place is a convergence of people and time in the past, present and future from all aspects of life.

I can see now why people are so enamored of Taos. A local artist commented to me today: "Taos is what Sante Fe used to be and what Chama will become."

I took many pictures of adobe structures. Why? Because adobe is a canvas for everything around it. Doors, windows, trim, all with contrasting colors; any color of foliage is as if it too was painted in the foreground. Contrasting shapes and textures of wooden gates, headers and doors. Shadows from the vigas near the roof play across the adobe walls. The narrow streets with adobe buildings, trees and mountains in the background.

Adobe is actually a material used to build shelters: unfired earth. The Pueblo Indians I visited on my way west use true adobe material: earth mixed with grasses. In popular reference, 'adobe' is now associated with a style of construction. Most structures are built conventionally with wood, metal or conctrete blocks and then stucco is spread on the outside walls. That stucco is usually a cocktail of Portland cement, a polymer to resist water/rain, and dye to impart the light brown or beige color.

I have admired adobe buildings for years, and this was my chance to see it in many forms and colors. I admire it for its low maintenance (the 'new' adobe), its simplicity, energy conservation, and as a canvas for creativity. Perhaps some day, I'll build that rammed earth/adobe house yet

I'm way behind in my blog posts, but riding and adventures have taken precedence.

Today was a 0-miles riding day. Instead it was a two-legged exploring day and I'm glad I did.

And what should I see on the streets of Taos? A black V-strom DL1000! Twice, riding pillion. I waved with the 'V' salute and was returned the second time with the same. Looks like a new V-strom; too shiney and the V-strom stickers (and stock signals) are still on it.

That makes three V-stroms sighted on this trip thus far.

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley

posted by Macrobe
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