ONE, THEN ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER. Every minute, a shooting star streaks through the velvety black sky over the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. That’s especially true in August, when my husband and I and our three pups all cuddle under a blanket on the deck of our pink vintage trailer at Hotel Luna Mystica to watch the Perseid meteor shower. Each celestial glow appears to land in the mountain’s embrace.
Owner Ryan Irion knows the skies that the vintage trailers sleep beneath make them extra special. “We sit at 7,200 feet,” he says. “Being out on the mesa, there is a fair amount of dust particulate in the air, which causes a lot of refraction of the light. With the backdrop of the mountains that encircle the mesa and the area being sparsely populated, with little light pollution, the skies are spectacular.”
My husband and I venture to the vintage trailers north of Taos when we need a little escape. They welcome dogs, so our whole family can join. We bring good books, our canines, and a backgammon board, knowing we will feel a new sense of contentment when we leave.
When it opened in June 2017, the hotel had eight vintage campers on site. That number has grown each year. Hotel Luna Mystica now hosts 22 restored trailers and 60 campsites on a 12-acre property just down NM 64 from the Río Grande Gorge Bridge.
Each visit feels unique, depending on the trailer. The 1958 Twilight, named Frida (as in Kahlo), takes cues from the iconic Mexican painter with floral prints, bright colors, and big red poppies painted on the outside. Christopher, a 1951 Royal Spartanette, delivers an Americana aesthetic complete with a big U.S. flag and dark wood details. “All of our trailers have first names, and stories, that you can read online,” Irion says. “That story informs the decor of the trailer.”
We’re staying in Louise, a 1967 Avion Tourist trailer painted pink on the lower two-thirds of its exterior, making the trip a little extra rosy. We wake with the sun as it peeks through the windows and paints the Sangre de Cristos in watermelon hues. Cups of coffee in hand, we start the morning perched on our private deck while the dogs gaze out over the sagebrush fields.
After a languid day of reading, listening to dreamy playlists, and playing boardgames, I throw on a dress and we head to the Love Apple for an early dinner in town. Housed in a white adobe chapel that dates back to the 1800s, the restaurant is run and owned by Jennifer Hart. With a focus on locally grown produce, she frequents farmers’ markets and buys from a cohort of like-minded growers in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
We opt for patio seating to bask in the perfect temperatures the high desert graces us with on summer evenings, lingering with a bottle from Love Apple’s fantastic wine list as the sun sets.
Back at Hotel Luna Mystica, we change into sweats and brew mugs of tea to sip while awaiting the meteors. The display peaks around midnight, but by 10 p.m. they already streak across the pitch-black sky. On the mesa, you can fully appreciate each one as it falls, the misty tails leaving lights in your eyes. The feeling lasts long after you’ve gone home.
WHILE YOU’RE THERE
At Taos’s John Dunn Shops, a sweet cluster of locally owned boutiques in historic buildings, you can find everything from clothing and books to gems and minerals.
Women-owned and family-run Rolling Still makes high-desert vodka. Sip craft cocktails in its lounge, including some made with their green chile–infused spirits.
Not far from the Taos Plaza, the historic adobe San Francisco de Asís Mission Church makes for a stunning photo op.