Maybe 25 years ago I stopped by a site outside of Taos where a group was building what they called an “Earthship.” The whole process felt rustic/hippie/commune at the time, as they built low walls by hammering dirt into stacked car tires.

Their goal was to get off the grid, to use materials that would otherwise crowd landfills, and to return to a more Earth-friendly way of living.

Fast forward a quarter century.

Taos Earthships

I had the opportunity to spend a night in “Waybee,” one of the structures in what is now a full community of Earthships. And Waybee is one of the Earthships you can rent out for short stays.

Think of it as an Airbnb, but more like an Earthbnb. 

Being skeptical I took along my sleeping bag and air mattress. I had visions of dirt floors and checking the area for sleeping rattlers before curling up for the night with my flashlight close at hand.

I am an idiot.

Waybee is….awesome! It ranks among the best places I’ve stayed in New Mexico, or anywhere. And my tour of other rentable Earthships the next morning convinced me these pounded-earth, self-sufficient, environment-friendly creations are among the luxury secrets of our state.

Taos Earthships

Heating, cooling, electricity, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, full kitchen, and rooms (including bathrooms) that are all worthy of photo tweets and Instagram posts.

And each Earthship includes some form of amazing indoor garden. The places smell like flowers and forest. And the gardens supply fresh fruits and vegetables.

This was not at all what I anticipated back when I watched muddy work crews swinging sledgehammers at dirt inside worn tires.

I will be back. I will stay longer. And I will leave the sleeping bag at home.