Taos, NM. I hiked down to the Rio Grande Gorge once before when my husband and I first started dating, but that was over a decade ago. As I approached it this time, the task looked a lot harder than I remembered. In the end the trail was actually pretty straight forward, although climbing back up after a full day of scrambling over boulders definitely gave my legs a workout.
The Mamby hot springs were at the bottom of our descent although it would have been nice to have ended up there at the end of the day. My guide, Nick and I shared lots of stories of our experiences with hot springs and nude beaches and what it felt like at different points in our lives. When my son was in the 8th grade we sailed in the Caribbean for 10 days and one of our destination points was a nude beach. The interesting thing about that beach was that everyone seemed over 70 – not exactly a time of life when the body is particularly sweet to look at – especially for an eighth grader.
Fishing on the Rio Grande this time of year can be a challenge because the water is often muddy and difficult to fish, but we lucked out. The water was clear and we caught more than our share of fish. The most exciting catch for me was a Rio Grande Cutthroat – another first. This trout has quite a history being the first trout in the New World written about in 1540 by a Spanish explorer – Pedro de Casteneda. I am quite sure that the one I caught had hatchery ancestors, but it was cool to see that fish for the first time.
I may have had one of the last good fishing days because the clouds moved in late in the afternoon and made for some great photo opportunities. After a whole year shooting photos on this journey, I feel like I’m just getting to the point where I know how much I don’t know – kind of like the fishing. We need so many lifetimes to know everything we want to know.