Outline of the "high road to Taos" and the low road back.
One of the defining characteristics of Santa Fe, NM and the outlying communities is the preponderance of art galleries just about anywhere one looks. There are the high-end and famous ones in "The Plaza" of "The City Different," made most famous by the Georgia O' Keefe gallery. And then there are the countless other little private galleries, often run out of private homes tucked into the most unlikely nooks and crannies.
An interesting selection of these gems can me found along what is affectionately called "The High Road to Taos" by the locals.
To get to the high-road take St. Francis Drive north through Santa Fe which can, for sure, be annoying given the number of stoplights and the fact that the Santa Fe Police department does not enforce the cell-phone ban. (Lots of distracted drivers) Once out town St. Francis turns into US 285/84. Just north of Pojouque turn east on NM503 toward Nambe PuebThe off-ramp sweeps to the right off of the crowded slab and at the end of the turn a different world comes into view. A beautifully paved two lane road appears and the mountains and the curves beckon.
The first 20 miles of the ride alternate between slowing down to pass through the small pueblos and villages and passing through some classic northern New Mexico scenery.
Truchas Peaks as seen from the"Ghost Pony" gallery
The road is well paved and marked and although the route numbers change on a regular basis, however since this is a scenic route it is well marked by special markers. NM 503 initially heads east and then north and then east again. After turning north once again NM 503 comes to an end at NM 76 where the traveler can make the decision to turn west towards Espanola or east and continue on the high road toward Truchas. NM76 makes its windy way up through the Sangre De Cristos with a beautiful view of Truchas Peaks to the east.
Next time- Beyond Truchas and onto the Rio Grande Gorge