Through the ages, the dunes have swelled and receded in an endless cycle: Erosion of the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains
creates sediment; snowmelt feeds springtime streams, which carry the sand into the valley like a conveyer belt; and opposing winds blow the grains of sand into dunes and push the piles skyward.
With sights set on the fabled seven cities of Cibola, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and his conquistadores bivouacked at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
near the confluence of Glorieta Creek and the Pecos River in the presence of an Indian Pueblo in 1541.
Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
, the city supports more than 300 art galleries and art dealers, while just outside the city, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos--historic, continuously occupied settlements--each house artists in a particular traditional specialty.
Some photos, like the crimson sky saturating the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains
in a blood-red wash, speak for themselves.
Granite is the primary component of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Located 7,000 feet above sea level in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Albuquerque Airport and 70 miles from Santa Fe, the home of the "red willow" (the meaning of taos in the native Tiwa language) has for years attracted those with adventure in their souls and creativity in their hearts.
THE ADVENTURE On a llamatrekking hike through the federally protected Wild and Scenic Rivers recreation area of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
, you'll descend 800 feet to the Rio Grande Riven Let your llama loose to graze while you visit freshwater springs, discover ancient petroglyphs, and bask by the river, sipping hot tea.
Female artists are drawn by the light, which is sometimes warm and golden and other times bold enough to turn the surrounding mountains blood-red--a fact that prompted the Spanish conquistadors to dub them the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
for their resemblance to the "blood of Christ." Rainbow halos are said to hang over the mountains in summer.
Las Vegas is sixty miles east of Santa Fe, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
. Some seventy percent of its residents are Hispanic.
Situated 7,000 feet above sea level, high in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains
, Santa Fe is the nation's third-largest art market, as well as an upscale tourist and retirement destination.
We toured Garden of the Gods and saw the Sangre de Cristo mountains
in the distance.