The next morning, after waking up to the scent of burned smudge sticks and the heat of lingering embers, my mom and I got dressed and headed to the main part of the hacienda for breakfast. The Adobe and Pines Inn has a 3-course breakfast EVERY morning. It’s incredible. Adobe and Pines is owned by this couple named Phillip and Renee, and Renee is an excellent cook. I unfortunately didn’t think to take any pictures of the food we ate (curses!), not that you would have seen anything because we wolfed everything down quickly. The breakfast nook was directly behind our little adobe room, and there was even a little blue window connecting the two:
The 3-course breakfast consisted of delicious fare such as oatmeal with berries, yogurt with honey, granola, and fruit, migas with queso fresco, and omelets with local cheese! Every meal was handcrafted by Renee, and you could tell this was her favorite thing to do. Each meal was totally phenomenal. She was also great at pointing out cool places to go in the area and was a very gracious hostess! If you’re ever in Taos, you HAVE to stay here.
On our first day out and about in Taos, we visited some pueblos. There are several Indian reservations in Taos, and this one is open to the public. There are Indians who live here without running water, heat, or electricity. They make traditional jewelry and art, and they dedicate their lives to preserving their culture. It’s truly fascinating. Each pueblo is made of mud, straw, and water, and it hardens under the New Mexico sun and also in kilns. I’m not sure of the exact age of these pueblos, but I want to say they are late 1800s. Pay no attention to the dour look on my face:
We purchased a tomahawk for my dad (he has a room of Indian artifacts) and visited all the pueblos to see each artisan’s work. Satisfied that we had seen everything, we got back on the road to our next destination: The grave of Millicent Huddleston Rogers. There is something you should know about the Yeager family. We like cemeteries. A lot. In fact, I’ve probably been to a rather large percentage of cemeteries in the state of Oklahoma. I think the history is what attracts my parents, and that’s certainly a draw for me as well, but I think there’s also kind of a weird energy around cemeteries. Not like spirits or anything, because I don’t think that your spirit is in your body once you die. But alive people leave their feelings and hopes in graveyards when they visit them, and I think that lingers. Also, really old cemeteries have fantastic trees, and it’s fun to look at the way they’ve grown.
Anyway, we were at Millicent Huddleston Rogers’s grave because she was an artist and philanthropist who almost single-handedly preserved the art, culture, and jewelry of the New Mexican Indians. Specifically Navajos. She adored their style, and style was HUGE in the 1940s. She was also filthy rich and had money to spend on jewelry, rugs, artifacts, etc., and she even has a museum dedicated to her efforts and her collection of Indian art. We visited that as well, but I have only a few pictures of it. It was really a place my mom wanted to see more than me, but it was pretty interesting!
Next, we traveled on the high road to Taos through to the old city of Chimayo. There we toured an old pueblo church called El Santuario, where a ‘miracle’ had occurred. I say ‘miracle’ because I’m not really sure what happened was an act of God, but! One version of the legend says that during holy week, a friar saw a light shining from the hillside, and when he went to it to find out what it was, he saw a light was coming from underground. He dug in the dirt and uncovered a crucifix. He turned it over to Friar Álvarez, who took it to the Santa Cruz church nearby, but the crucifix mysteriously returned to the spot where the friar originally found it overnight. He dug it up again and took it to Santa Cruz, and again the crucifix disappeared back into the ground. After the third time this happened, the friar decided to build a chapel on the spot to house the crucifix. This crucifix is locked inside a box at the altar of the church, inside of which you cannot take pictures. So sorry. But the area is beautiful, and it sees about 30,000 visitors, who make the pilgrimage each year at holy week.
After all this sightseeing, Mom and I returned to Adobe and Pines, where we informed Renee that we were going to stay an extra day because were just enjoying ourselves so much. And Renee was so excited that she gave us an incredible gift…that you will have to read about in Part 3!