Sunday, June 7, 2015

Angel Fire: Day 2 of An Enchanting RVing Destination

Editor's Note:  Below this note is the original "Day Two" trip plan from Angel Fire RV Resort to Taos. To be honest, this trip is more than you can reasonably accomplish in one day if you do Taos justice. This is Evin's and my 4th trip to Taos in three years and there is still a lot we have NOT seen. One could spend several weeks in Taos alone.

If  you go to my first post in July 2015 you will find that I have planned a more "do-able" Taos day trip taking in four of TripAdvisor's "Top Things To Do In Taos". All four have received TripAdvisor's "Certificate Of Excellence". All four are shown below but the July 1 post will have more photos and better driving directions from Angel Fire.

I encourage you to stop at the Taos Visitor Center or go to their website, There you will find "Day Trip" plans also.

Day Two on the Enchanting Circle will have to be presented a little different because early on the rains came. I will used a few photos I took on previous outing to represent what we had planned for the second day. We started by heading west from Angel Fire RV Resort on U.S. Highway 64 toward Taos.

Heading out of the entrance to the resort I couldn't help but see the field on blue irises and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial off in the distance.

If on "Day One" you chose to not visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial I suggest you consider going to the Memorial on "Day Two" and take between two and three hours so you can see the award winning movie mentioned in the previous post. The head south and head to Enchanted Circle Pottery which is only a little over 5 miles south of Angel Fire RV Resort. It is featured in its own post. 

After you visit Enchanted Circle Pottery it will be lunch time. Next I would recommend Yu Garden Restaurant in Taos if you like Oriental or Asian cuisine. Oriental food is a favorite of Evin's and mine. During our travels we find that some Oriental food we like and some we don't. We really enjoyed Yu Garden. 

Yu Garden
Asian Cuisine
1033 Paseo del Pubeblo Sur Suite J
Taos, NM

  "Yu Garden" in Chinese characters.

 Yu Garden's Lunch Special Bento Box

For $7.95 were served shrimp and vegetable tempura, salad, our choice of steamed or fried rice and choice of soup. I had Orange Chicken with Wonton Soup. I have never seen Chinese food served this way. Jim, Evin and I were really impressed and really enjoyed our meal. It tasted better than it looked, if that is possible.

Evin's dinner favorite - General Tso's Chicken

Steve's favorite - Beef Green Pepper

Barbara's favorite - Chicken Mixed Vegetables

Evin and I made a new friend at Yu Garden, Barbara, from Angel Fire. We shared and enjoyed each other's dishes at dinner. We also enjoyed lunch with Jim Alexander, Angel Fire RV Resort's Manager. He was "blown away" and will gladly recommend Yu Garden to the Resort's patrons.

All meats are cooked to order at Yu Garden. Amanda is open seven days a week. Lunch is served from 11 AM - 3 PM. Dinner is served from 3 PM - 9 PM except Friday & Saturday till 9:30 PM.

Amanda, owner of Yu Garden.

During both our visits to Yu Garden, Evin and I had plenty left over to take home for another meal. We really enjoyed our lunch with Jim and our dinner at Amanda's Yu Garden with Barbara.

Yu Gardens is located .3 of mile north of the Taos Visitor Center on the right. It is tucked back in the corner, so, you have to look for it.

NOW. On with our travel adventures for the Day 2 of "An Enchanting RVing Destination"...

On the southern outskirts of Taos we headed south on New Mexico Highway 68. We wanted to go the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Visitor's Center in Pilar to see their photography exhibit of the Gorge and check on the blooming cacti in the Gorge. 

I noticed as I view their exhibit that there was something missing. So I pointed this out to the Ranger at the information desk. He was very nice and curious and I said, "There are no flowers photos. I have a RV friend named Bill that would be very disappointed if there were no flower photos in your exhibit." 

I noticed he had a computer and directed him to the June 1, 2015 PUPPY PATHS post, "Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Beauties". His eyes got wide as he scrolled down through the posts. He said that he would like to make a slide show of my photos for their exhibit and I gave him permission.

San Francisco de Asis

On the way to the Visitor's Center we stopped at the National Historic Landmark San Francisco de Asis in the community of Ranchos de Toas just off to your left on New Mexico Highway 68 a few miles south of Taos toward Santa Fe. The active church is one of the most photograped and most painted building in the country. The church is in TripAdvisor's Top Ten of things to do in Taos and also received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Most artist paint or photograph the rear view. Each June, church parishioners and residents of Ranchos de Taos re-mud the structure. Until the rains came, that is exactly what they were doing today.

A few miles down the highway you could see that the rain was following us giving nourishment to the blue sage.

As we ventured on south I could see the Rio Grande Gorge off to our right. 

There are several rafting whitewater outfitters in the Taos area. Go to for more information or Google the subject.

View from an overlook on the West Rim Road.

About half of the drive northwest of Pilar on Highway 570 is paved, but, when you cross the old bridge there will be several miles of step climbs and switch backs to the top of the West Rim of the Rio Grand Gorge. We have made the drive several times in our Ford Escape and our car is not four wheel drive.

Stop at the Rio Grand Gorge Visitor Center in Pilar and pick up a map. The Visitor Center is on your left just a short distance past the Hwy 570 turn to the right to go to Orilla Verde. 

Earthship Biotecture Visitor Center

When you come out of the Gorge the pavement will began again. Go straight and you will come to a stop sign at the Intersection of Highway 64 West of Taos. Turn left and go around a mile and a half and you will see the Earthship Biotecture on your right. There is a Visitor Center (shown above) and a house under construction (shown below). 

Earthship Biotecture Home

Earthship Biotecture is in TripAdvisor's Top 20 and is also included in their Certificate of Excellence. Self-guided trips and guided trips are available. Call the Earthship Visitor Center (575) 613-4409 for information and hours.

When you leave the Earthship Biotecture turn left out of the parking lot and head east on Highway 64. In less than two miles you will come to the Gorge Bridge. Before you get to the Bridge there is a New Mexico Rest Area on your right. If you go around to the Bridge side of the Rest Area you will see a concrete path leading to picnic tables. It is an excellent place to see the Bridge and Gorge from.

Above is a view of the Gorge from the Bridge. You can park on the West side of the Bridge and walk out onto the Bridge. Their overlook areas where you can take photos. 

Continue east on Hwy 64 to the stop light intersection with Highways 68, 522 and 150. Turn right onto 68/64 and go approximately .3 of a mile and turn right on Millicent Rogers Road. Go approximately one mile and the Millicent Rogers Museum will be on your right.

Millicent Rogers Museum
1504 Millicent Rogers Road
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-2462

The Millicent Rogers Museum was voted # 1 in the Taos News poll. TripAdvisor ranks it as the #2 Must See Taos Attraction and also gave it the Certificate of Excellence. In our three previous visits to Angel Fire and Taos we never made it to the Millicent Rogers Museum. We had our priorities wrong. The museum houses a collection of over 5,000 pieces of fine art which includes paintings, sculpture, silver & turquoise jewelry and Native American art and religious artifacts.

After you leave the museum and come to Highways 68/64 turn left and look for signs for the Taos Pueblo, another must see in Taos. You will turn left at a stoplight at the intersection of Hwys 68/64 and Hail Creek Road. Continue straight past Taos Mountian Casino. At the stop sign bear left and the road will end at the Taos Pueblo. It become a 15 mph zone, so watch your speed.

Taos Pueblo

I could literally spend days at Taos Pueblo. Like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, Taos Pueblo is a living spiritual place to me. More photos will follow in a separate post. The Taos Pueblo is ranked #6 and received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

When you leave Taos Pueblo continue south on Hwy 68 and look for Michael's Kitchen on you right. I will also do a separate post because Michael's is one my favorite restaurants anywhere. My mentor, Carol Ann and "Big" Steve recommended Michael's Kitchen. When I am in the area I eat there as often as possible. There is a separate PUPPY PATHS' post for Michael's Kitchen.

Below are photos Michael's coming from the north and photos of some of our favorite dishes at Michael's Kitchen, probably Taos' favorite restaurant. It is one of the restaurants that I would recommend for breakfast, lunch of dinner. It also has a great bakery.

Michael's Kitchen
304C Paseo del Pueblo Norte

Spanish omelet with green chilies on the side and hash browns and sliced tomatoes.

Evin always gets a burger. She really enjoyed Michael's chesse burger all the way with fries!!

Another great meal, Chile Relleno!! Another favorite of mine!!

There are dozens of fine restaurants in Taos. Will try to update this post with a list of restaurants later. Again, go to July 1, 2015 for a more realistic day trip plan.

On Thursdays during the Summer there is live music at the Taos Plaza from 6 PM - 8 PM.

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