Welcome to the Land of Enchantment.
Taos, New Mexico is the southwest dreamscape that we always fantasize of and may forever long for. These are the landscapes of rich red dirt in Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, the Long Quiet Highway of Natalie Goldberg’s books, and that which inspires hundreds of artists, creators, mystics, and nature lovers every year.
Taos is an artistic goldmine within a small and evolving population of 6,000. Home of Unesco World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo – a living Native American community that has been inhabited for over 1,000 years – this landscape is rich with tradition, sacred mystery, reverence, and (maybe quite literally) humming with creativity.
Explore how a sacred landscape can inspire lasting, incredibly unique, and awe-inspiring beauty. Explore how a landscape within can reveal the same. In this retreat, we will venture to internal depths and gaze into literal external depths (deep into the Rio Grande river gorge!). We’ll learn about how sustainable, creative, and adaptable humans can be. We’ll bask in our own deep pools of unending bliss while soaking in fabulous mineral hot springs under the full high desert moon.
This retreat will be a fairly active one, with day trips and a fair amount of walking. Please remember that this is YOUR time to carve out how you wish and everything is optional.
We will visit living structures and communities both ancient and new whose dreams are ALIVE. We’ll luxuriate in mineral springs under the full Sagittarius moon. We will hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge, the silent mesa home to blooming cacti, jackrabbits, coyote, and big horned sheep with the winding river echoing below. We’ll visit O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch, the Earthship Biotecture eco-community, and an option to visit the Taos Pueblo community if open (visitation varies during seasonal and ceremonial times), and wander the winding streets for a Saturday afternoon’s open galleries. We’ll weave in yoga practices & mindful movement to unwind tension and prepare the body-mind to settle into inner landscapes through creative writing practice, dream work, and reverent (or, irreverent!) group sharing.
“Among past Taos landscapes are mighty Precambrian mountain belts, shallow tropical seas, vast sand-duned deserts, extensive white sand beaches, and muddy meandering rivers bordered by lush fern forests. Most recently, the Rio Grande valley and its youthful volcanoes attest to an Earth history punctuated by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”– Paul Bauer
Devisidero Trail. Sacred Mountain. Sage. Labyrinths. Gorge. Sunset. Ojo Caliente. Ghost Ranch. Hot Springs. Rio Grande. Ghosts. Hikes. Galleries. Pinón. Silence. Magpies. Cactus blossoms. Mesa. Open space. Big Sky. Mountains. Artists. Peace. Wonder. Mystery. Magic. Vortex. Holy. Pilgrims. Faith. Sacred. Full Moon. Community. Rest. Ancient Beauty.
About our excursions …
We’ll be taking a half-day trip on Thursday and a nearly full day trip on Friday. Included in your investment fee is transportation in a passenger van for our excursions. If you would prefer to drive yourself for the sake of freedom, or if you bring a pet (dogs are welcome at the lodge for an additional fee!), that is perfectly fine by me. Please note that some may be allergic or sensitive to doggies (the dog-friendly rooms are in a different part of the lodge), and they are not allowed at the Earthships or the Ghost Ranch for our tours / hikes.
Earthship Biotecture Headquarters: On Thursday we’ll luxuriate in the morning and head out to tour the wondrous, bizarre, fantastical, and utopian Earthship community.
“An Earthship is a brand of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:
- Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
- Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
- Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
- Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
- Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
- Food: In-home organic food production capability
“Earthship structures are intended to be “off-the-grid-ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. – Wikipedia. Watch the video below to learn more about these amazing structures and the philosophy of their creator.
After our Earthship Tour, we’ll head for a late lunch to Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership with expansive views of the mountains and mesa … followed by a 2-3 mile mindful hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge. We’ll watch for those bighorn sheep and jackrabbits, smell the sage and dust, and stare (safely) into the void at the snake=like river below …
Georgia O’Keeffe Ghost Ranch: On Friday we’ll enjoy yoga and breakfast at our retreat center, head in to town to pick up groceries for lunch and head out for a scenic drive to Ghost Ranch for their short midmorning tour and spend some time exploring the trails that inspired Georgia. Bring your journal or sketchbook and paints. We’ll find a place to ground and center and connect to this incredible landscape. “High desert hiking is wondrous and unique. Ghost Ranch has three distinct trails that will take you through red rocks and hills, to lush green areas of forest and past dinosaur quarries. See breathtaking landscapes along the way. Listen to birds sing. Smell the aroma of sage mingled with juniper and piñon. Come explore the rock formations, flora and fauna at Ghost Ranch.”
“Ghost Ranch gave [Georgia] the freedom to paint what she saw and felt. Knowledgeable visitors can look around and identify many of the scenes she painted. Red and gray hills like those across from the roadside park south of the Ranch headquarters were frequent subjects. Kitchen Mesa at the upper end of the valley is an example of the red and yellow cliffs she painted many times. Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain to the south, was probably her favorite subject. “It’s my private mountain,” she said. “God told me if I painted it often enough I could have it.”Read more about Georgia’s love for Ghost Ranch here
Ojo Caliente Spa & Mineral Springs: Prepare to surrender to some heavy duty bliss time. The moon will be full, and we will find our own ways throughout this gorgeous spa. Bring a book, a journal, your suit, towel, and flip flops and settle in for this luxurious evening. Multiple outdoor and indoor mineral springs to choose from, including a mud bath. Schedule a massage if you like and enjoy dinner on your own schedule.
“Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs is one of the oldest natural health resorts in the country. Our sulphur-free, geothermal mineral waters have flowed from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years. Over 100,000 gallons per day come to the surface, revitalizing those who soak in the long-believed, healing waters. Ojo Caliente is the only hot springs in the world with four different types of mineral water including lithia, iron, soda and arsenic. Our twelve pools are filled with different types and combinations of these waters, with temperatures ranging from 80 – 106 degrees.” Learn more and schedule a treatment here.
First Saturday Art Walk: On Saturday, we’ll have an option to visit Unesco World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo (if open, optional add on) or hike the Devisdero Trail (moderately strenuous), OR just relax at our retreat center! In the late afternoon, we’ll head into Taos center to explore. On each first Saturday, galleries and studios in Taos feature demos, receptions with new works, and meet the artist events. In a city of this size, the amount of art is phenomenal. And you can probably understand why after our last few days of exploring. Learn about the galleries and what they have to offer here (of course new exhibits will be coming through in June 2020). We’ll enjoy a group meal at El Gamal, a fave: Fresh and healthy Middle Eastern Food prepared with love.
About our lodging
Blue Sky Retreat Center at the Historic San Geronimo Lodge is a historic property that was built in 1925. “… a signature New Mexico style adobe construction with a chili pepper-shaped swimming pool, a hot tub, a meditation path, a garden and a labyrinth. It has been a farm house, a sanatorium, a boarding school and now a bed & breakfast and a retreat center. The San Geronimo Lodge was built in the style of a Grand Lodge, with vast common rooms high ceiling with traditional vigas, rambling verandas and winding portals-all situated on the 3.5 acres of natural serenity. Fruit tree abound the banks of the Acequia Madre which rambles through the grounds and many miles of the Carson National Forest are just a short walk away. Built in native adobe, the San Geronimo Lodge truly offers the best of both worlds – historic ambiance and charm with all the comfort and convenience of modern day accommodations.” Choose from private rooms, doubles, or triples. Please note this is a quirky, rustic lodge with some imperfections, and also very charming! ANNNND this just in – they are building a YURT for yoga! Fingers crossed this is completed by the time we retreat in June.
What is included:
- Four nights at Blue Sky Retreat (single, double, triple guest rooms available)
- Most meals included – Plant-based, home-cooked goodness (except for meals during excursions as noted below)
- Coffee / Tea / fresh juices during breakfast
- Daily yoga practice (Vinyasa, Slow flow, Yoga Nidra)
- Creative writing practice
- Full moon soak at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Friday evening (towel, locker lock & robes not included but available for rental)
- Admission to Earthship Biotecture Community Tour
- Admission Georgia O’Keeffe Ghost Ranch self-guided tour
- Group hikes along the Rio Grande River Gorge & optional Devisadero Mountain Trail
- Relaxing wander through Taos during Saturday open galleries
- Group dinner Saturday night in Taos at El Gamal
- Transportation during retreat for our field trips
What is not included:
- Flights / transportation to New Mexico
- Transportation from airport to and from Taos
- Car Rental or Shuttle Fee
- Travel insurance
- Medical care
- Lunch on Thursday & Friday and Dinner on Friday are not included
- Spa treatments at Ojo Caliente (massage, etc)
- Admission to Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site *if open during our stay*
- Fancy coffees / alcohol not included (BYOB)
- Alcoholic beverages during Saturday group dinner
Getting to Taos / Blue Sky Retreat
Taos is 2.5 hours from Albuquerque and 1.5 hours from Santa Fe. There is also the San Luis Valley Regional Airport in Alamosa, CO (1.5 hours). Gratitude to Blue Sky Retreat for these travel tips:
Blue Sky Retreat Center is located at 1101 Witt Road, two miles from Taos Plaza, off of Highway 64 (aka Kit Carson Highway). The road to take is Witt Road, which intersects with both Highway 64 and Paseo del Canon East (585). DO NOT TAKE SAN GERONIMO ROAD as it is 4 wheel drive only and not paved and not in good repair. If your GPS takes you down San Geronimo Road, please go on Witt Road instead.
BY AIR & CAR
From ABQ (Albuquerque Sunport) airport by car take I-25N to I-84N to I-68N to Taos. Once in Taos, it is a very short drive to 1101 Witt Road.
There is also a shuttle organized by Taos Ski Valley that will bring you right to the door of Blue Sky Retreat Center, which must be arranged at least 24 hours prior to your arrival at ABQ or SAF (Santa Fe) airports. They can be reached here: http://www.skitaos.com/discover-taos/airport-shuttle/ or call 800-776-1111.
Payment will be made through Paypal’s secure processing site which accepts all forms of credit cards. Would be grateful if you chose to pay with “friends or family option” if you already use paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org (thank you!) or simply follow the links below.
Save your spot non-refundable $200 deposit or reserve in full with options below. Pay deposit here
Earlybird single (private) room $969 / $999 regular price – Reserve here
Earlybird Double (per person) $849/ $879 Regular – Reserve here
Earlybird Triple (per person) $769 / $799 Regular – Reserve here
Earlybird prices until January 31st (paid in full). Full balance due by April 15th, 2020
Payment plans available at no extra charge. Balance + remaining payment link will be sent to you after purchase. If Paypal is not your desired payment processing option, I do accept Venmo to @marybue 🙂
ABOUT YOUR RETREAT GUIDE MARY BUE
I am a lifelong musician, traveler, poet, journal writer, vegan, adventure seeker, solitude craver, and yoga instructor of 10+ years. I believe deeply in the richness of a creative life that is ever unfolding. I have visited Taos many times and had the great honor of being an Artist in Residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico in winter of 2017. I believe that one doesn’t have to play an instrument, write a novel, paint like Frida, or write like Mary Oliver to live a creative life. Every moment that unfolds offers opportunities to make something beautiful. While this may seem like a lot of pressure, rest in knowing that potential is ever unfolding, even in the silent and restorative times (like sleeping!). Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I am pretty much an open book (most of which can be discovered in this website or listening to my music!). Contact me via the contact link here or at marybue @ gmail.com