Respite Along The Rio Grande

9/21/14

 

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Somewhere between Farmington and Taos on a quite warm day, our air conditioner quit working…

We rolled down the windows, endured the warm breeze, quit talking to each other, due to the loud road noise, and became a bit crabby.  By the time we pulled into Taos, it was rush hour,  cars were sitting still in every lane and the lights were all red and lasted forever.  It was Friday, and also unseasonably hot for Taos.

Instead of a gentle stroll along the plaza as planned, we really just wanted to find a place to stop and camp, so we left town shortly after arriving, heading up the mountain to cooler pastures, on which the map showed numerous campgrounds. It didn’t take us long to learn that the forest service had closed all those campgrounds for the season, just two days ago.

We kept driving until it got very dark, when around a corner we went, and met in the middle of a very dark two lane country road, two very big and very all BLACK cows just standing right smack in the middle of that dark road. It was a very very near miss, which could have resulted in a very bad disaster for both us and the cows.

But calamity was averted, thanks to the fact that the road had no one coming in the other direction.  Whew, it really was time to stop. So in the very next, very little, very dark town of Angel Fire…we found of all things a Visitor Center. Well, we certainly were visitors, and we needed some centering. We did what any logical wandering nomad would do, and found a far little corner, hunkered down in the parking lot, and turned in for the night.

All was well the next morning, never a soul did we see before departing to journey further along the very scenic drive in the Carson National Forest. It was foggy. Really foggy. So foggy, we didn’t see the very scenic drive until around noon.

The sun did finally come out, and the sun did shine. It was warm again. But happily, we found ourselves parked along the mighty Rio Grande River, high above the Rio Grande Gorge. I wanted to hike to the bottom. Glad we took the easy trail. It was pretty rugged, I could only imagine what the challenging and difficult trails were like. But it was a lovely hike down and awesome to be on the Rio Grande River.

While lingering at the water’s edge, Fred and I both at the same time spotted a huge mountain sheep across the river high up on the cliff. Then we spotted another and another. There were seven altogether, and we watched them for a long while, while enjoying the rolling river and expansive views. As we started back up the ascent, the sheep started their own descent. It was  amazing to watch them sure-footedly going down the rocky cliff and gravely trail. We humans were so carefully picking our boulders, and placing our feet, while they were almost as graceful as ballerinas on tiptoes.

We stopped near the top for water and power bars, and watched them again for another hour or so.

Of course I took lots of photos and got some really great shots. But somewhere along the way, I either lost the memory card, or accidentally deleted it, because it is now nowhere to be found.

After our exciting day with the sheep, we lucked out and found a wonderful campground in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. This one was operated by the BLM who managed to keep it open.

 

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Peace at last.

 

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And a comfy, quiet evening under huge cloud filled skies. And no it didn’t rain. Yet.

 

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