Today our dear friends Pam and Bruce brought us on a sensational hike down into the Rio Grande Gorge, the goal being a soak in the natural hot springs nestled along the banks of the river. With the wind whipping across the mesa, we wore warm hats and many layers, but the New Mexican sun and the exertion of the hike warmed our bones as we descended into the gorge.
The two natural hot springs (probably ~99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) are situated right along the bank of the rushing Rio Grande, and after a brief soak, we each took a turn dipping our bodies into the freezing water, returning to the hot spring to feel the tingly numbness and rush of sensations as our bodies again acclimated to the dramatic difference in temperature.
Along the walls of the gorge high above the surface of the water, the remains of an old stage coach road can still be seen switch-backing along the steep incline. Stage coaches used to bring riders from Santa Fe so that they could soak in the healing waters of the natural springs. Our friends also told us that these springs are where a scene in "Easy Rider" was filmed.
Leaving the gorge after fortifying ourselves with fruit, nuts and dark organic chocolate, we returned to our car where three men and two young children were doing target practice with a .22-gauge rifle and a shotgun. Texan that she is, Mary sauntered over and asked if she could take a turn with the .22, and after only a few tries, she hit a beer can at 50 feet. She's her father's daughter, after all. Keith had a try with the shotgun but didn't manage to hit much of anything, which might be expected from a middle-aged nurse with bilateral astigmatism. At least he didn't shoot anyone.
At any rate, while the natural beauty and friendly people of Taos continue to beguile us (even though we're each taking turns being sick for the last 2 weeks), on Sunday we head to Mora, New Mexico to visit Hummingbird, an intentional community that we have heard a great deal about. After Hummingbird, we'll visit friends in Las Vegas, New Mexico before heading to the Santa Fe area.
Stay tuned for further adventures from the road, and greetings to all from magical Taos.