I had never been to New Mexico until very recently. I expected deserts and cactus and... you know. That kind of stuff. What I didn’t realize is that New Mexico is just as varied as any other place. From old growth forests with raging waterfalls, to some high peaks, to yes, deserts. Jon had been wanting to take me to the Taos area for a long time, so we hit the road and explored some NM wilderness!
We drove over the Rio Grande River as we entered the state. Little shanty towns dotted the landscape and sparse trees decorated the rolling mountains. A wonderful contrast to the deep valleys and gorges. We drove on to the small town of Taos and had some tasty burritos. Really, super tasty. Like you guys. Really. but aside from that taste explosion, the little city was a bit to crowded for me- tourists everywhere. Shopping everywhere. Super cute town; way too many people. So we dipped right outta there to find our lovely camp.
Where we ended up pitching home was on the side of a very steep gorge where the Rio Grande runs. It was somewhere on the edge of Carson National Forest and holy smokes, it was rad. Sparse trees, sharp vegetation, sand and dirt. And then the gorge- rocky and wide with a bright green river raging. We ventured down the gorge to the river, which was clear and beautiful. The rock lining the shore were slick, black and old. I’d not seen rock like that for a very long time, and never such huge boulders. Bivy loved it too. I think I forgot to mention that camp dog extraordinaire was with us.
Some of the trees in the area were changing from green to yellow in the autumn air and it was super pretty! I had no clue that this changing of seasons was colorful in New Mexico. Mostly because I was unaware NM had trees with leaves... I don’t think I can express enough how much I did not know about this state. Like a true American I guess.
We mostly ate oatmeal at camp. On our longer trips, we always try to save on money by eating really easy and simple foods. This means oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, protein powder, uhhh... not much else.
Our first couple days here were relaxed. We went for some drives to see the sights and threw a couple trail runs in for good measure.
In the evenings, we would watch the sky. The sunsets were small and slow. Colors and clouds lighting up and shifting, transforming color and shape as they danced across the sky. The photos below are from the same night, same sunset. It was beautiful and peaceful to witness the changes happening. A perfect example that nothing stays the same. The gorge filled with pastel versions of the colors in the sky. The Rio Grande stayed bright green.
We slept well on this tiny patch of earth somewhere in the very strange landscape. It was quiet and dark. The air was crisp and clean. New Mexico adventures awaited and we were so ready.