Despite getting a late start on the road from Albuquerque to Taos and also leaving during the height of rush hour traffic, we were graced with a very good omen that traveled along with us for quite some time. As I drove along, I just kept thinking how different and, even somewhat alien, the landscape seemed in comparison to my home in New England. But oh, how lovely it was with the shifting patterns of light and the towering mountains shadowing our route. The spirit of this landscape was speaking directly to my soul.
First rule of thumb when traveling and driving to an unknown destination: plan your arrival during the daylight hours! Our drive to Taos took approximately 2 1/2 hours and, yes, we did arrive just as it was getting dark. Of course, we got a little lost but we finally pulled into the driveway of the Mabel Dodge Luhan House around 8pm, just in time to attend a welcoming gathering in the Main House.
Mabel was a writer, social activist and patron of the arts. She moved to Taos in 1919 and purchased this 12 acre property. For those who saw the recently debuted Lifetime movie on Georgia O’Keeffe, another famous resident of New Mexico, it was to Mabel’s home that Georgia fled after her husband, Alfred Steiglitz, had an affair with another woman. You can read more about Mabel here. She has written several books on her life in Taos. One in particular, “Winter in Taos”, is at the top of my reading list.
The next day dawned clear and bright as it always seems to do in Taos. As the day progresses, the clouds roll in and gather over the mountaintops in spectacular sweeps and shapes.
After a delicious breakfast spread, our morning knitting session commenced. Our teacher and fearless leader, Jane Thornley, shared her philosophy of knitting with us, telling us that it was important to listen to your inner creative voice and let the yarn flow and come together in a free-form, or free range, way. We could choose to make a wrap, a shrug or a scarf, whatever was calling out to us.
You can see Jane’s gorgeous wrap called “The Road to Taos” here. Jane is an avid traveler and the harmonious flow and beautiful color palettes of her creations are inspired by the landscapes and nature she comes across in her travels.
After lunch, we took a field trip to the yarn shops in downtown Taos, La Lana Wools and Weaving Southwest.
All I can say of that adventure is – oh my!
It was a feast for the eyes for a color freak like moi.
We finished our day with a lovely meal at the Dragonfly Cafe, a European cafe and bakery that uses seasonal, locally grown fresh produce, most of it organically produced. We sat in a cozy, cushioned alcove, a comfortable place to end our very busy day.
Stay tuned for my Taos Journey – Day 2…
“Of all the worlds that Mabel tried to create, her dream of turning Taos into a paradise regained speaks to us most clearly today, and not just because it was a modern reincarnation of the oldest American myth. She addressed the issues that still challenge us; the possibility of our survival in an individualistic world, in a country where community is rarely found, in a land that slowly chokes itself on the effluence of its industrial processes.”
~Lois Palken Rudnick, exerpt from Mabel Dodge Luhan, New Woman, New Worlds