Taos, New Mexico: 1/11 – 1/23/20

We arrived in Taos late Saturday in the dark, something we said we weren’t going to do anymore. We had previously alerted the office manager at Taos Valley RV Park & Campground that we had a new rig that would require a larger site than we originally had reserved. It was after hours, but they left us papers with our site number. Unfortunately, someone didn’t do their job because the site was way too small for our fifth wheel. We walked around in the dark until we found an empty site that was big enough. In the morning, we were lucky to be told that we could stay in our selected site #78.

Our friends, Gail and Charlie Brunner, were arriving today. They rented a condo close to Taos Ski Valley. We agreed that we would meet at the mountain in the morning. I had been told that Taos was known for its back country skiing and double black diamond runs, as evidenced in the trail map below. Kachina Peak, the highest elevation, is located on the top left.

Monday was a sunny but cold, windy day. Hence, we only have one picture that Gail took. Check out the warning sign. Never saw this one skiing before.

The next day, Scott had to go back Amarillo to sign the title for our Coachman Trailer that we traded in. He made the 11-hour, round-trip drive in one day. Meanwhile, I went skiing with Gail and Charlie. It was a beautiful, bluebird day! Kachina Peak was closed and the trails open were fast and hard.

Scott made it back in time to join us for dinner at Guadalajara Grill. As we entered the cafeteria style restaurant, we were hoping that we had made a good choice. You had to order and pay for your food at a counter, and then they bring the food to your choice of table. Never judge a book by its cover. The food was delicious. I ordered the 7-piece Shrimp and Salsa dish. Delish!

On Wednesday, the four of us took off for the slopes. It hadn’t snowed in about a week, but the conditions were still pretty good. We had found a fun, short mogul run that we returned to with Scott. You had to ski across the trees and come out above the moguls.

It was our second run of the day, and Gail had taken the lead. The guys were behind me. By the time I came out of the trees, she was halfway down the mogul run. She was rocking it! I was encouraged by her to give it my all and go for it. As I got to the halfway point, I stopped and looked ahead. Gail was lying on the flat ground, and she was not moving. I quickly skied up to her and knew immediately that she was hurt. The guys were at our sides in a flash, and they quickly got her skis off. She caught an edge stopping and simply fell down. She hit the side of her head and landed hard on her right shoulder. It was only a short distance to get to a First Aid Station. As tough as she is, Gail was able to ski slowly, while Charlie held her poles. She eventually took off her skis and walked where she could. They did an initial examination at the First Aid Station, and prepared her for a sled ride to the base of the mountain. Charlie stayed with her and Scott and I skied a few more runs. It wasn’t as much fun anymore. We soon checked back with them and found out that Gail had fractured her collarbone. Bummer.

The next morning, Scott had to drive up to Durango by Molly to drop off our toys. She would be storing them for us for the remainder of the winter. He would be spending the night. On his way out, he dropped me off at the Brunner’s condo. Gail stayed at the condo while Charlie and I went out skiing. It was cloudy and snowing lightly.

I let him be my private instructor. He was very patient. We went back to the moguls where Gail had gotten hurt.

We had a fun day, but I had reached my saturation point by mid afternoon. Charlie took a few more runs. I waited at the base and took a still photo.

I am not even sure if he is in the above picture. So, I tried a video. He is wearing red pants with a black jacket. Watch closely. He is the second skier at the end with red pants.

After a great day of skiing, we headed back to the condo. Charlie and I made dinner, and he did what he could to make Gail comfortable. She is such a trooper. The next morning it was snowing, windy and cold. We woke up Friday morning to more snow.

Charlie and I headed out to ski. It was colder today, and the visibility was nil when we got off the chair lift on top of the mountain. Charlie took the lead and before I knew it, I could no longer see him. For me, the conditions were too challenging, coupled with little to no visibility. And now I was alone. I made a very quick decision to quit for the day, and I skied down to the base. It wasn’t long before Charlie found me. I encouraged him to keep skiing if he wanted to. I was quite content just hanging out until Scott and Gail arrived. Scott would be back by early afternoon, and he was going to stop at the condo to get Gail and bring her to the mountain. She was beginning to feel well enough to get some fresh air. As you can see, she was prepared for sitting outside on a snowy day.

Gail and Charlie had to leave on Saturday. Since we weren’t into the weekend crowds, Scott and I went for a hike at the Rio Grande River Gorge.

This looks like prayer flags.
Look dead center to see the Rio Grand River.

On Sunday, Scott needed to work on the trailer so I went to yoga. I pulled a muscle in class, which kept me home the following day. Scott ventured out to ski alone on Monday. He reported that Kachina Peak was open but that he didn’t want to go without me.

It was snowing on Tuesday, our last day to ski here. We pretty much had the mountain all to ourselves. It was quite the powder day! The only bummer was that they closed Kachina Peak again. I guess we will not be able to ski that peak this season. We will certainly be back.

On our way back to the RV Park, we stopped for an early dinner at a local restaurant.

It would be here at The Alley Cantina that I would enjoy a new, local Mexican beer! Love the name!

On Wednesday morning, we were on our way to meet Molly in Durango. The most direct route required us to drive over a pass. The view on Highway 64 was breathtaking with clouds that looked like snow in the sky.

About two hours into our five hour ride, we noticed that the blacktop would soon come to an end. Great.

We had to turn around and head back east to go south and then east again. This added an extra two hours to our trip. By the time we arrived in Durango, it was dark. Didn’t we say we weren’t going to do this anymore??? We were able to park our new Fifth Wheel in the driveway at Molly’s friend’s parent’s house. It had snowed prior to our arrival and the driveway’s entrance was quite narrow. It is a pleasure to back in a 38-foot trailer into a narrow space for the first time in the dark. The pictures below were taken the next morning.

That evening, Scott and I went to a speakeasy in Durango where Scott had been with Molly and her friends this past week. From the outside it looks like a barber shop, which is also is.

The bookcase was a hidden door that takes you into the bar.

This is strictly a bar with a number of drink concoctions. Scott examined the menu and we made our choices.

Sue’s drink
Scott’s drink

Tomorrow morning, Molly, Scott and I will be boarding a plane to head back to New Jersey for a weekend family wedding in the Catskills.

2 thoughts on “Taos, New Mexico: 1/11 – 1/23/20

  • beautiful pics! this is why we don’t ski!! Give me a beach & palm trees Give me a beach & palm trees… lol luv you guys, KY & Pete:)

    • Hey Scott it’s Jim Huber. I was wondering why you guys decided on a fifth wheel. Debbie and I went to an RV show and they looked like they were too big too park and maneuver.

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