Taos and Santa Fe exploration

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

After three weeks on the road, we needed a bit of a rest. So after driving down to Santa Fe from Taos, we spent most of the afternoon relaxing in our room. Though we did manage to get out for some nice food and a bit of a browse in the local shops. And Mike even went for a wander at one point, which means that tomorrow, I'll be the one oohing and ahhing and he'll have already seen it all!

But before we left Taos, we managed to do a bit of sightseeing and some paddling. On Saturday, we headed over to Taos Pueblo, which is a 1000 year old (continuously inhabited) Indian village with some amazing architecture which has influenced most of the buildings in New Mexico. We went on a bit of a strange guided tour, led by a bizarrely unfriendly tour guide, but the history of the place was very interesting and it was amazing to imagine that 1000 years later people are still living in these buildings, still adding new layers to the adobe walls. It did get us thinking--why isn't this place listed as the oldest building in America? At the very least, it should be listed as the oldest continuously inhabited structure in the country. It seems as though if something wasn't built by a European, it doesn't count.

Then, yesterday, we headed over to the Rio Grande gorge to do a quick paddle on the river and spend a night camping. Well, we thought it would be a quick paddle, but when we put in, a storm started rolling in and the wind kicked up, and we spent most of the trip fighting against a strong headwind. At least we got our exercise. The water was low so the river was fairly rocky, making for a few bits of excitement when we had to go over some big rocks or got stuck in the shallows. We also caught up with some kids from a local deaf school who were inner tubing, and had a bit of a hairy moment when we had to dodge one kid who floated right into our path--we couldn't shout to him, obviously, so we just had to paddle super hard to avoid smacking into him.

Last night, after a yummy camp stove dinner and a nice fire, we were fast asleep, warm in our sleeping bags, when we were woken up by the howling of coyotes which sounded far too close for comfort. Then, just as we were falling asleep again, we heard noises outside and realized they were passing right by our tent. Mike fell right back asleep but it took me a good half an hour to relax enough to sleep again!
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