This weekend was a wonderful, much-needed trip away. I feel like I’ve been on “vacation” a lot lately, but none provided the rest I really needed. Sure, I went to Oregon, and sure, I went to Las Cruces, but those trips were so action-packed that I didn’t have any downtime and returned to work feeling like I needed a vacation from my vacations.
So on Saturday, Joe’s brother Zack drove over from Phoenix to visit us here in New Mexico to get some ski time in. He rented us a cabin for two of the four nights he was in NM for us in a wonderful spot just a mile from the Taos Ski Valley resort. I got a bit sick to my stomach the first day we were there, but I sat next to a window while Joe and Zack skied, and I got to see every skier and snowboarder who came down the mountain. I got some reading done (though I found after the first half of the day that focusing on Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” would be impossible with the afternoon influx inside the lodge). I called my parents and caught up with them. And when I felt better, I had a couple beers.
The guys were so tired that night- as was I, just as a result of little sleep the previous three nights- that we were in bed by 9pm. We didn’t even have dinner, and the guys rather docilely watched “The Amazing Race” with me, which Zack would later accidentally call The Great Adventure (a name that has since stuck). The next morning was the best part of the trip. After getting the guys on their skis and seeing them off, I borrowed Zack’s car and decided to go to the city proper of Taos. I was nearly there when I remembered the Rio Grande Gorge was really close by, and I could probably see that all on my own. I am so glad I decided to check it out.
The Bridge, of course, was pretty cool. In 1961, it won an award for being a beautiful steel bridge. However, it is a bit dilapidated and having some construction done, so I wasn’t particularly taken by the bridge itself. But the Gorge was something to behold! I didn’t know something like that existed in New Mexico. Not like that. I’ve seen many photos of it here (a blog I have worked on in the past, though someone else is doing more of the legwork these days), but didn’t really think it seemed real, because so many of the photos are edited to make it look really crazy! I was amazed by the view from the bridge, but a bit disappointed to walk away from a view like that.
On my way back to the car, I saw a break in the fence with a sign that announced the beginning of the west rim trailhead! So I trekked on out into the middle of the freshly-powdered desert, where there were no other humans or animals or technology in sight. It only took me 20 yards to get far enough for that. I noticed then that there were several ad hoc foot trails over to the actual rim of the Gorge- and I was pleasantly surprised by how close I could get to the edge without feeling as though I might fall. So I sat quietly, enjoyed the cold, sunny desert, took a few photos, and left.
The rest of the weekend is a blur, to be honest- plenty of drinking (Mardi Gras, and, well, Zack around, necessitated both) and plenty of sleep. But I made sure to take Joe and Zack to the Gorge later on and it freaked the both of them out. Zack can’t stand the height of it, and Joe was quite worried by my being so close to the edge. I felt perfectly safe, and want to go back there any time I need a moment to myself! It was just gorgeous- I highly recommend the Gorge to you… but then again, I’d be happy if you didn’t go also, so that it stays nice and empty.