Red River

Tuesday night, Hal and I had a discussion about the rest of the trip. I am more spontaneous than he is, but because there are so many other people around now, and all of them usually on vacation at the same time we are, there has to be some planning done. Unless we are camping, hotel reservations have to be made in advance. Gone are the days of traveling until you feel like stopping, then checking in at the next hotel you come to.

Our plan was to move on to Ruidoso, NM, then on Thursday night, Silver City, and then two days in Alpine, AZ, a favorite place, to finish the trip. However, I love Taos, and I was lobbying to stay one more night. It all hinged on whether or not there were rooms available in Taos, and if the Ruidoso reservation could be moved to Thursday night without penalty. After checking, we found we could do it, and so we stayed one more day in Taos. Yay!

As I thought about it, I was hopeful that we could stay in Taos because every time I am here, every September, I wish for more time to stay, and not feel pressured to leave because of returning to work. Here was my opportunity, and to miss out on it would be terrible, in my opinion. Hal agreed it would be nice to have another day in Taos for the same reasons I did

Breakfast was great since I knew we were staying. We made plans to ride to Red River, NM, a small ski town northeast of Taos. It would also mean riding more fun twisty roads, and give us another 100 miles of riding pleasure. I thought, this bike probably didn’t know so many serpentine roads existed in the world, much less on one trip! It was slowly dawning on me as the trip went on that the bike, Katarina Maria, was the ideal bike. If I thought my two previous BMW touring bikes were the best, well, this one was starting to feel even better than those! The more I rode, the more I liked it. It was really going to be difficult to come in off the road after this trip.

Hal and I got on the bikes after we took our time getting ready; extra time to do that is such a luxury. Then, we went to our usual Phillips 66 gas station that we always go to when in town, and then rode north a short way to a bypass route that got us out of town and onto NM 64 headed toward Eagle Nest. 64 passes through a lovely mountainous, pine-studded area, and best of all, the road is made up of twisty sections! At Eagle Nest we picked up NM 38 and rode it into Red River.

Street in Red River:

We parked our bikes on the street as we had done the last time we’d been in this small town, and took a walk up to the ski area. People were renting inner tubes and sliding down the mountain with them on some kind of plastic material. Some people were spinning around as they flew down the mountain. It looked fun! The sky was very overcast and I was thinking about the possibility of rain. It would be my luck to get up on top and the sky would open up.

We watched for a while, then walked back onto the main street. We looked in a few little shops. The only weird thing about this place is all the “Jesus stuff” that is all over. I don’t like that, but to each his or her own. I don’t want it in my face, though.

As we walked back to where our bikes were parked, rain advanced over the mountain from the northwest, and we had just enough time to grab our stuff and run into a little building marked “Café.” Luckily, the restaurant inside turned out to have great coffee, and yummy sweets!

The Café building where we escaped the rain:

Hal and I split a muffin and each got a cookie. We also talked to a lady whose husband had done some beautiful artwork that was for sale in the restaurant. She also showed us some paintings that had been done on ceramic tiles that supposedly came from one of the space shuttles. It was interesting. There was also some beautiful jewelry, but all these things are trinkets for the rich. People like us who travel on a budget don’t get to buy whatever we want. Besides, I don’t like a house full of “knick-knacks” anyway! Clutter! Yuck! (My weakness is necklaces and bracelets, mostly bracelets.)

It was early afternoon by then. Hal and I got back on the bikes and took the same route, but in reverse, back to the hotel in Taos. It has a beautiful, quiet green area near it, and we sat there later in the afternoon, chatting about our trip so far, planning the rest of it, and getting sleepy in the gentle sun that was so unlike the blast furnace sun at home in Phoenix. After a while, we took a short walk, and by then it was time for dinner.

Incoming storm:

Our dinner that night was mostly veggies, but then we added a dessert of chocolate cake that was to die for. While we were eating, a big noisy thunderstorm came through town with heavy rain and frequent lightning and thunder. Later, we saw and heard many firetrucks racing south out of town. It was possible that something had been hit by lightning.

At the end of the storm, there was a vivid double rainbow arching against the dark clouds over Taos. It was a dramatic evening for our last one in Taos, at least until September. I already can’t wait to come back.

Next: the road to Ruidoso


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