17-22 July 2011
Santa Fe & Taos, NM, and Howard, CO
I think I'm about to lose control of my reporting of our trip. It seems like I'm missing days! Actually they're not missing, I'm just forgetting all that we managed to pack into the days! And I'm not making the time to write every day. That's what happens when you're having fun AND when the wi-fi connection is less than reliable.
Let's go back to Sunday, 17 July, when we were in Santa Fe. It was a slow and relaxed day. We needed that. Honestly, I don't even remember what we did other than shop for groceries. That's what happens when you don't write every day.
Monday, 18 July, was another Taos day. We drove up to Taos and took the Trolley Tour. It was a three hour ride that gave us an overview of the town, a bit of narrative, and, most importantly, took us to the Taos Pueblo.
There aren't any pictures of the Taos Pueblo since we didn't pay for the license to take pictures. On the way home, however, we passed by Camel Rock on one of the other pueblo's reservation.
Tuesday, 19 July, was our last day in Santa Fe. We went back downtown to pick up a few souvenir gifts, wandered around, looked at the city one more time and found a delightful little place called Maria's where we had a marguerita (choosing from 170 different varieties, with the most expensive costing $58.00 per glass ... and that was NOT the one we ordered) and a delicious New Mexican meal. Maria's may have been the best meal we have had all trip! Gotta love those green chilies!
Wednesday, 20 July, was a driving day. We left Los Rancheros de Santa Fe RV Park, and headed north to Colorado. We had our fill of heat and smoke in the air from forest fires and decided to look for cooler heights. So we drove to the mountains of central Colorado. We drove north on US 285 across Poncha Pass giving me my first experience of crossing a fairly significant mountain, climbing up, over, and down the pass (not a terribly high one although it was over 9,000 feet). We are camped outside Howard, CO, at Bandera's Bunkhouse and RV Park. It's right on the Arkansas River.
Thursday, 21 July. Today we drove from our campground in Howard, CO, back into Salida. We visited the Visitors' Center and the San Isabel National Forest office and then went to the historic Salida downtown. We took the walking tour of the town and spent a lot of time watching the kayakers playing in the rapids of the Arkansas River. They are definitely WAY above my class of kayaking! Although we did watch one kayaker get flipped over who couldn't right himself and who had to slip out to the kayak underwater to get free and who then got separated from his kayak and washed down the fast flowing Arkansas River, much to the horror of his girlfriend (or wife) who was in another kayak at that rapids. Obviously they were taking a lesson because the guy teaching them took off like the proverbial shot, paddling downriver the fastest I've ever seen a kayaker paddle. They went a long way down river before the teacher caught up with the floating student (wearing a life jacket and special cold water kayak clothing) and it was 15-20 minutes before we saw the two returning walking up the shore carrying their kayaks. We also saw a dog playing in the water who had to get rescued from the undertow of a "hole". He just wasn't strong enough to swim out and was getting sucked underwater. Fortunately one of his owners was able to reach him to save him. No pictures of the dramas since we were too busy watching them unfold.
Friday, 22 July, was a hiking day. We went up the road to Monarch Pass, not quite reaching the top, and headed up the trail to Waterdog Lakes. It is a short trail, 2 miles or so, UP! And UP! And UP! And we actually got started on the wrong trail, but it joined up with the Waterdog Lakes Trail so we were fine.
|Lower Waterdog Lake|
(notice the snow in the peaks?)
|Upper Waterdog Lake|
(and here the snow comes right down to the lake)
|Upper Waterdog Lake|
looking up at the Continental Divide
|My favorite hiking partner|
|Mary at Upper Waterdog Lake|
Today, Saturday the 23rd, we are going to ride the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway up the gorge from Canon City (pronounced Canyon City) and see the Royal Gorge Bridge.