Hello! I hope you’ve had a good week. As promised, I will share about the second half of my birthday trip to New Mexico. Mom’s only experience with Taos was in the 90s, and dad and I have never been, so off to Taos we went.
The road to Taos from Angel Fire is super curvy with lots of switchbacks. I hunkered down in my kennel for the 30 to 40-minute commute, and mom enjoyed the fall colors. The 64 takes you through the Pecos National Historical Park. From Angel Fire, we were heading west.
Unlike Angel Fire, Taos is a tourist town. It was hustling and bustling! Dad is a total history buff, so they started off with a quick visit to the Kit Carson Museum. They were back in a flash, and Dad was upset. “A total rip off,” he said. Mom agreed, “A waste of money and time.” Apparently, it is the house Kit Carson once lived in way back in the day, but that is about it. They show a bad recording of a History Channel show and had very little else for the $10 per person.
Mom was not disappointed in town, though. The Taos historical district is full of cute shops, restaurants, neat architecture, and beautiful flowers. The temperatures were mild, and we enjoyed walking the streets. Lots of other humans had their dogs with them as well. We found the John Dunn / Bent Street area and decided to eat lunch there at the Bent Street Café. They had a very nice outdoor patio. The food was great, so mom and dad said. I got a bowl of water. Wasn’t this MY birthday trip? Hmmm.
When we got back to the car, I thought we would be heading back to the hotel, but instead, we continued on north again, hooking up to the 150 toward the Taos Ski Resort and Village. Even though they share the same name, they aren’t close to each other. It takes another 30 to 40 minutes to drive to Taos Ski Valley.
I could tell we were climbing higher in elevation, and when we stepped out of the car, I really felt it. We were huffing and puffing walking around the area. I guess we were close to 10,000 feet, thus why this was a perfect place for a ski resort. Taos Ski Valley has a reputation for being difficult to ski, and we can see why. It didn’t look like it was for beginners, unlike Red River. Nice to have options, I guess. We saw lots of Texas license plates and heard that this area is popular with them. Howdy ya-all!
We wanted to check out the Williams Lake trail, which is right off the main parking lot. The trail is in Wheeler Park and goes through the gondola area. I’ve been on an enclosed one before in Steamboat Springs, but these were outside seating. Folks were loading up their bicycles so they could ride down. Whoa! They are nuts, but it was a creative way to use the ski resort in the summer.
Once you pass the gondola, you will see the Wheeler Park sign and trail that crosses a bridge. We didn’t go any further because the day was getting away from us. This trail is heavily trafficked, so I don’t think we would have liked all the people. Should you opt to try it, it is a four mile out and back (eight miles total). It is a steady climb, and you gain over 1,000 feet! It is definitely a high-altitude hike, so be sure you are acclimated, in shape, and equipped with plenty of water. In New Mexico, it is the law to wear a mask at all times, so you would need to wear one hiking. Mom thought that would be so dangerous, so that was another deterrent for us.
The sun was getting low, so we headed back to the hotel. It was a good hour back to Angel Fire. Mountain roads with switchbacks just take time. At the hotel, mom had a birthday bag waiting for me that included treats, a new toy and cool bandanas she made just for me. Okay, this was a great birthday!
Thankfully, our drive back to Phoenix via I-40 took only 9 ½ hours instead of the 12 on the way out. It was a long day but went smoothly. I must admit, I was happy to be home to my own stuff! I may have missed my brother, too. I am one lucky dog and have a great life! I can’t believe I am 12 already, but I look forward to more adventures with my family.
PS – For those fans who enjoy my monthly column in 85086 Magazine, the publisher is discontinuing it. Never fear! They are moving my column to Foothills Focus starting with the November issue.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!