We have added a handsome deck to our visitor reception area and put up a new sign that makes it much easier to spot us from Hwy 68. The deck was mostly built by guide Ben Rainchild, with help from Operations Manager Britt Huggins and guide Jesse Mogler. The sign was done by Creative Edge, in Taos.
First Annual Guides Mothers Day Raft Race on the Racecourse section of the Rio Grande river, near Taos, New Mexico
The Racecourse rapids on the Rio Grande river got their name because, starting some decades back, annual raft, kayak and canoe races were held every Mothers Day on this stretch. The races were always very well attended and much looked forward to, and would usually attract boaters from out of state as well as locals. But, alas, the boating club that organized the races finally gave them up. So, in the interest of reviving this event, the New Mexico River Outfitters Association (NMROA) this year sponsored a guides raft race. 15 rafts were entered, with a winning time of 38 minutes. A party followed, and everyone got a big kick out of the event. NMROA is so encouraged by the turn-out that we are planning for a bigger event next year.
We were on the way to the Taos Box put-in, north of Taos, when I saw a car flashing its headlights at us, from behind. I pulled over, and a friend and river guide by the name of Antonio walked up and told me that we had completely lost one of our trailer tires! He stuck around and helped us change the bare rim for our spare. The weather in Taos today was threatening, with fresh snow right down close to town. It was a tad warmer down at the river, but still brisk. The trip consisted of two guests and a training crew. Returning guides Shane Atkinson and Jesse Mogler were going to share a center-mount oar raft, with trainee Ben Rainchild paddling along with our guests. The paddle boat was captained by NWR Operations Manager Britt Huggins. Needless to say, everyone was bundled up!
It’s practically an annual event – a season-starter trip to Arizona’s fabulous Salt River. The river rises in the White Mountains of Arizona, and runs southwest, eventually to pass through Phoenix. The snowmelt starts early, providing whitewater action to Class 4, and one can expect to see the desert in bloom. The rugged scenery is spectacular.
It never disappoints, and this year’s trip, from April 1 -8, was as good as it gets, albeit the river was pretty crowded. Rafting enthusiasts came from all over to catch this year’s abundant run-off, which was in the 2 – 3000 cfs range for our trip.
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It was mentioned in an earlier post that our friend Martha and friends were visiting, for the purpose of obtaining and processing New Mexico chile for her Mexican restaurant in Haines, Alaska. Peeling chile is a very labor-intensive activity, and it testifies to how well-regarded Martha is, that she has so many folks willing to help.They hope to finish up today (before it snows).
Many more family and friends (than seen here) attended, including Martha’s 94-year old father-in-law. Martha and company produced some wonderful riverside cuisine, and we all enjoyed sitting around the fire in the evening. It was quite a shindig, and we are already looking forward to next October.
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I’m posting this photo so that those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit us can see the layout. We’re located at Mile 21 on Hwy 68, in the spread-out village of Embudo (“funnel” in Spanish), about equidistant from Espanola to the south and Taos to the northeast. Our more precise location is known as “La Bolsa” (the “pocket”, in Spanish), which consists of a few homes located between the highway and the river. Additionally, our place is located on the “Bosque” stretch of the river, which begins at the County Line (3 miles upstream of us, and the take-out for the Racecourse stretch), and concludes at the mouth of the Rio Grande Gorge, at Velarde (about 8 miles downstream of us). “Bosque”, in Spanish, translates to grove of trees, most usually cottonwoods in New Mexico and the name “Millers Landing” was bestowed on our piece of shoreline by the BLM, who regulate river use on the Rio.
This photo was taken on 10/20, as it began to rain. The storm (which is now clearing out) provided the first good snows of the season at the higher elevations, which includes Taos Ski Valley. They got at least 4” at the base, and our rafting colleague John Weinmeister has reported (on Facebook) that he and crew have begun snowmaking operations there. Yeah!
The New Wave gang that headed out to raft the Green through Canyonlands NP about 3 weeks ago returned last night. They had a great time, and saw a lot of fantabulous scenery. It was the first trip on that portion of the Green for all of them. The crew consisted of: Britt Huggins, our NWR Operations Manager (and contributor to this blog): Neil Oberheide, longtime NWR guide and nephew of Kathy Miller; Patrick and Jenni Chandler, who arrived back from their Honeymoon in Italy, Turkey, Greece and Egypt just the day before leaving on this trip (they are, respectively, NWR guide and NWR Office Manager); Jesse Mogler, NWR Rookie Guide of the Year and Sara his girlfriend. You can look forward to seeing a post from Britt on this trip, featuring his usual great photography. And, he was shooting his brand-new Nikon D 90!
Also, this morning, our friend Martha Clark Stewart and husband Thad arrived. She just got off a commercial Grand trip. She’s been a Grand Canyon guide for umpteen years, and before that, she, Kathy and I worked together for the Southwest Outward Bound School, in Santa Fe. We all did a Grand trip in 1979, which preceded (and perhaps led to) her decades-long career. Thad also was a Grand guide for many years. He had just arrived from a 3500-mile car trip from Haines, Alaska. They own and operate a Mexican food restaurant there, in the summer, called Mosey’s Cantina, and they came to New Mexico for the express purpose of buying a summer season’s worth of roasted green chile, peeling it (with the help of friends), freezing it and then, ultimately, driving it and themselves back to Haines for the summer season. Wow! They spend the winter in Springdale, Utah, at the mouth of Zion Canyon, where they own a home. They and friends will be camping with us for the next few days while they peel the chile.