3 day holiday weekend – rest & relaxation.  Huh?  I don’t think so.

Ran a 10 mile race Saturday 7am, back home showered at 9am, drove north to Longmont & dropped off Ro at Windstar Kennels by 10 – then hit I-25 South for a long weekend in Taos, New Mexico.  The plan?  Food, art and…hiking of course.  In particular, New Mexico’s highest point – Wheeler Peak – a 13er approx 30 minutes from the Colorado border.

Woke early on Sunday & drove north to Taos Ski Valley for ‘hike day’.  Added 30 minutes to my journey thanks to iPhone directions which pushed us on Indian Service Route 700 – a 3 mile dirt road stretch thru an Indian reservation.  Scenic sage & yellow mustard dotted the native NM landscape.  Nice diversion; sometimes best to take the road less traveled 🙂

Driving UP through Carson National Forest, was surprised by the lush New Mexico surroundings.  I had pictured cactus & desert in NM – not so, this place overwhelmed with bursts of colour and earthy scents of spruce & pine.

Parked, geared up, then hiked 3 miles to Bull-of-the-Woods meadow before veering onto Wheeler Peak trail.  Another mile past treeline was welcomed by stunning colour – yellows, greens, dull orange & vibrant patches of red wild flowers.  Wildlife tally – marmots & bighorn sheep. What an amazing panorama!

Up the initial false summit, caught my first glimpse of Wheeler Peak.  3 or 4 more ‘false’ summits later, had climbed not one but 2 13ers (Mt Walter and Wheeler Peak).  (unfortunately) Stopped no more than 20 minutes for pics & a food break before trekking down, darting from immense clouds carrying rain, thunder and streak lightning.

HAPPY MOMENT – Not far past Mt Walter on my hike return, the sun peeked out creating a double rainbow – literally we were hiking ‘over’ the rainbow 🙂  Finished the last mile bushwhacking in & between mountain roads before stumbling upon Taos Ski Resort (mighty fine luck – sometimes good things happen to good people).

Sunscreen, salt residue & a little dirt didn’t stop us for filling our stomachs soon after.  Washed in a bathroom basin and ended the day with dinner at Sabroso – HIGHLY recommended!

SHORT DETOUR – Traveled home via San Luis – Colorado’s oldest town, established in 1851.  Walked the Stations of the Cross to a small Catholic chapel built high above the local village.

Perfect end to an outstanding weekend!  Big FAN of Labor Day!

 

 

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