& Free Trip to Margaritaville
Early one February afternoon, my BFF Wendy and I met for lunch, as we do quite often. After the normal catching up about the family and kids, we started thinking how badly we needed to escape; so, a fun road trip plan was hatched. After a rough 2020 and no travel for anyone, we wanted not just any trip, but one we could drive to–no flights, no rental cars, just two girls and the open road. Sounds like trouble, doesn’t it? Thelma and Louise? No, more like Ozzy and Sharon. We decided we were willing to risk it, so after a little research on a much-needed getaway, our plans came to fruition. A ski trip was born, with Taos New Mexico as the winning destination. We were very excited about the outing. Our reservations were made, and hubbies were informed (yes, in that order.) We knew they wouldn’t say no. It is a perfect distance from home–only 13-½ hours by car. So, we loaded up and set off on our adventure. The road had no idea what was in store for it.
(Using Ozzy voice) Wennnnnnnnnnnddddddyyyyyyy, All aboard, hahahahahahahahaha.
Taos is tucked away close to the Colorado border in northern New Mexico. It is a perfect getaway for folks from our area of Texas. The town itself has a population of 5,967 (2019). There is a lot of shopping and outdoor restaurants to enjoy, even in a pandemic. To say it was beautiful is an understatement. We were staying in The Blake resort hotel in the Taos Ski Valley Resort. We had a view of the mountain off our balcony, and we could hit the slopes at a moment’s notice. The staff were very friendly and made our trip wonderful. We were so excited upon arrival and ready to ski the next morning. The ski resort has 110 runs with 14 lifts, with ski areas for all ski levels from green to double black diamond. Elevation at the resort is 9,321 feet.
As fate would have it, the next day the trouble started. The beautiful view and excitement on our way up changed to heartbreak and pain for this skier. “Strap two pieces of wood on your feet,” they said. “Go fast down the mountain,” they said. “It will be exhilarating,” they said. I went back down the mountain in the little red bullet towed by the ski patrol, bundled in tight like a newborn swaddled to be put to sleep. Might I say the staff at the bottom of the ride were so friendly? They have a full triage unit with a doctor on staff and X-ray machine ready to go. My ski part of the trip was over, but it was still such a wonderful trip. The view from the balcony as I sat and read in the sun helped to take away the slight derail in my adventure. Who could ask for a better view to de-stress and people watch?
(In Ozzy voice) Wennnnnnnnddddddyyyyyyyyy, get me an Advil, please?
We went on a drive the following day to sightsee and photograph the area; there were so many beautiful things to see. After lunch of wonderfully flavorful Mexican food in Taos, we were off. First was the fish hatchery, with views of animals, teepees, mountains, and majestic log cabin homes. This is a view I could enjoy any time of the year. We ended up in a town named Red River. Upon entering the town, we could feel the warmth of this western town. Located north of Taos, the breathtaking views and a sunset to die for are a hallmark of this area. It’s a great summer escape to hike, UTV, canoe, horseback ride, or just unwind and reconnect with family and friends. In winter, there is an off- the-beaten-path ski resort right in the heart of the town. Visitors can also enjoy snowmobiling, tubing, and many other family fun things to do. We were truly taken with the western charm of the town and were so very happy with our afternoon drive and the breathtaking sunset on the way back to Taos Ski Valley.
Special memories were made on our trip. Wonderful views were experienced. We didn’t stir up too much trouble. This is a location that I would love to visit again.
(In Ozzy voice) Wennnnnnnddddyyyyyyyy, let’s go home and come back another day.
The English name Taos derives from the native Taos language meaning “(place of) red willows.”
Taos is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains.
Taos is home to more than twenty sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the home of Kit Carson.
North of Taos is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Roughly 600 ft above the Rio Grande, it is the tenth highest bridge in the United States.
The South Boundary trail, east of town, is consistently ranked the best mountain bike trail in New Mexico.
Nearby Wheeler Peak, at 13,161 feet, is the highest peak in New Mexico.
The Taos area has four ski areas – Taos Ski Valley, Red River ski area, Sipapu ski area and Angel Fire ski area.
The Kachina lift at Taos Ski Valley serves the highest elevation of any triple chair in North America, to a peak elevation of 12,481 feet.
An ongoing low-frequency noise, audible only to some, is thought to originate somewhere near the town and is consequently sometimes known as the Taos Hum. Those who have heard the Hum usually hear it west of Taos near Tres Orejas.
Red River had its beginnings late in the 19th century, when miners were drawn in by gold strikes in the area and trappers sought game. It was named after the perennial stream, Red River, that flows through the town, coming from the northern slopes of Wheeler Peak.
In 2019, the Christmas tree displayed at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. was harvested in Red River.