The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is located in north central New Mexico. The trip begins in Taos and travels through Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River and Questa then returning to Taos. We drove counter clockwise because our intention was to visit the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial in Angel Fire and as an afterthought drove the circle. The Veterans memorial will be another post.
We began our day in Chama NM, drove east on Highway 64 toward Taos winding through the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.
We came upon the “Greater World Earthship Community”. I have read about these homes and thought it would be cool to see them. There are 79 homes in this community but understandably non-residents cannot drive through. We had to be content to see the visitor center/model and the ones nearest to the highway.
The concept was developed in the 1970’s by architect Michael Reynolds. These homes are completely self sustainable. They have solar and wind power. The water is collected on the roof and used for consumption/washing, then flushing, then gets partially purified to water gardens. These homes have indoor greenhouses for growing food.
They are built with all recycled materials. The insulation is dirt packed used tires. Glass bottles packed in mud/dirt provides a stained glass look on the inside.
Look up earthship homes on the internet and there are pictures of the insides of some that are available as AirBnB rentals. If you want to build or buy one of these homes the average price is $500,000.
Continuing east on Highway 64 we crossed the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This is the second highest bridge in the US Highway system. (The highest is near Beckley WV). The bridge is 650 feet above the Rio Grande River. When completed and dedicated on September 10, 1965 it was called “the bridge to nowhere” because there was no funding to complete the highway on the other side of the bridge.
We stopped for lunch in Eagle Nest and were able to eat outside with Meghan. She even got to have a few fries.
We continued on to Red River where we found a fudge shop, definitely had to make a stop there. There was still snow on some of the ski slopes. Elevation is just over 10,000 feet.
Next stop Chama. Very nice day trip.