26 Sept 2019 – In Colorado Springs, we visit the gorgeous Garden of the Gods – a free city park full of awesome red and white rock formations and pinnacles.  We are very lucky to spot a bobcat sleeping on top of a rock pinnacle.  A little far away, but we are able to get a photo.  We also visit Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to see giant fossilized redwood trees up to 10 feet in diameter preserved from a volcanic eruption.

27 Sept 2019 – A drive out to Rye Colorado to see Bishop Castle.  Begun in 1969 as a 1-room stone cottage, it is now a castle.  Admission by donation and enter at your own risk as no building codes are followed, the owner is very anti-government.  The building includes a dragon, parapet, a vast open space with stained glass.  There are wrought iron walkways all around and up 160 feet high.  Very sketchy to walk around the structure, as sometimes railings are missing and sometimes pieces of the catwalks!

28 Sept 2019 – Taos is our next stop.  Unfortunately the Taos Pueblo is closed due to an upcoming feast.  Rio Grande Gorge Bridge nearby has fantastic views into the deep gorge.  There are even crisis phones in case one is thinking of jumping! We enjoy a wonderful tour of the Earthships in Taos – self-sustaining homes that provide food, energy, clean food, shelter, and waste management.  The structures are very funky, often built with three sides into earth hillsides.  Walls are constructed of up to 500 tires with rammed earth in them, glass and plastic bottles embedded into exterior walls to provide light, and tin cans laid on the side to form bricks in concrete. Homes range from tiny to vast.  We tour two rental properties which were very fancy and beautiful. The tour lasted about 2 hours and only cost us $12 for the two of us.  Well worth the time and money!  We stop at the Santuario de Chimayo shrine, a pilgrimage site where people stop to collect holy dirt said to be curative.

29 Sept 2019 – The Puye Cliff Dwellings show us the summer homes of the Santa Clara people in the 1900s.  These are up on the cool mesa, while the winter ones are built into the cliffs below.  Unfortunately few intact dwellings remain.  Nearby is Los Alamos where the atomic bombs were conceived, developed, and tested.  A very informative free museum shares information way over our heads, but interesting nonetheless.

30 Sept 2019 – A hot day in Sante Fe.  We wander the historic downtown – the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis and Loretta Chapel with its beautiful circular staircase.  Lots of adobe buildings around, shops, galleries, etc.  A visit to Meow Wolf in a converted bowling alley takes us through a psychedelic art installation full of the weird and unique.  There are passageways where one steps through a washing machine or a fridge into another room beyond.  All the rooms are different, narrow spaces, flashing lights, fluorescent paints used everywhere. There is a storyline where this is a world searching for a missing boy somewhere in a multi-verse, but we just enjoy the sights.

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