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Kirsten Jacobsen (cq) of Taos, N.M. climbs atop the roof of the Earthship Visitor Center just outside Taos one afternoon to turn the closed sign over at the end of the day. An earthship is a independantly sustainable structure built of recycled tires and other materials. There is an entire community of earthships on the mesas just outside of Taos. Taos Ski Valley, celebrating its 50th year of world-class skiing this season, is a short drive from the Southwestern town of Taos, N.M. and features 12 lifts and more than 2,600 vertical feet of lift-serviced elevation. It is also one of the last ski areas in the country that doesn't allow snowboards permitting only skis and snowblades on their slopes. (MARC PISCOTTY/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) CQ

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