Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Earthships . . . sustainable housing concept.

There we were . . . tooling down HWY 64 towards Taos, NM and Oscar says "Hey Pete! Get a load of those buildings, didn't we just see them on TV?" We did . . . so we just had to stop in and take an up close look at EARTHSHIP!

Imagine the temperature outside is 29 degrees and you have no electrical or gas heating in your home. Scary? Not if your home is an Earthship design with Thermal/Solar heating! Your home could be a comfy 70 degrees on the inside. Go figure . . .

About 15 minutes west of Taos, NM is the most unique housing development I've ever seen. Earthship Is a design concept that takes a moment to wrap your head around, but after you've done it you realize how much sense it makes. Made of recycled materials, an Earthship home maximizes the following principles: Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling; Solar & Wind Electricity; Contained sewage treatment; Natural & Recycled Materials for building; Water Harvesting; Food Production.

Off in the distance beyond this Residents Only sign are numerous Earthship homes comfortably nestled into the landscape.

You just never know what marvel is around the next bend as you travel through this great country . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trujillo Meadows, Co 10,300' elevation!

Up, up, up we climbed into the Colorado Rockies to escape the lowland heat. It was well worth the effort as we approached Trujillo Meadows and the cool wind rewarded us with its touch.

Our campsite was surrounded by magnificent evergreens alive with chattering chipmunks who relished in tormenting Oscar.

Trujilo Meadows has a nice waterfall to be viewed from an overlook.

Some campsites have a nice view of the lake full of trout.

Twice a day we were greeted with the sound of the Cumbress / Toltec steam engine as it came into Cumbress Pass. The camp was about 2 miles from the station and the engine's whistle sounded clear and strong as it approached or left the station. Here's a short video as it departs Cumbress Station loaded with passengers.

A half day's walk takes you to the top of the continental divide . . .11,600' elevation - what a view!

18 days before our arrival was the last sighting of bears in camp. Before that, they had been seen in camp day and night for 3 weeks! We were guided to a bear cave about a mile away, as the crow flies. (I left Oscar at camp so he wouldn't whoop up on the bear too bad) In it, we found evidence of a den used to "winter over" by the bears. They were out eating berries and storing up fat for a long winter's sleep.

Here are Oscar's new best friends form our trip. Russ, Candy, Betty, and Larry. In front are Oscar's furpals, Leo & Dillon.