Monday, September 3, 2012

Taking the Low Road From Taos

We had put Taos on our list of "Must See" places more for the scenic round-trip drive and a visit to the Taos Pueblo than for the town itself.

As we drove through town, we passed homes (below), and many galleries, shops, restaurants, and historic sites on our way to the Pueblo.

We wondered if this display of pottery (below) on the roof of a building was the owner's "gallery" or simply an artistic display of a collection.

On the edge of town is the famous Taos pueblo, the largest multi-storied pueblo still in existence. It also has the distinction of having been occupied for about 1000 years.

Our plans to tour the pueblo had to be abandoned, because there had been a death of one of the tribal members of the village, so there were no tours that day.

We grabbed a quick lunch and headed along SR 68 beside the Rio Grande River to Espanola. The Low Road winds alongside the river and beneath the shadowed walls of the Rio Grande Gorge.

Soon after snapping this photo at one of the overlooks,

we saw this "flotilla" of rafts and kayaks on an excursion down the Rio Grande. The guides of New Wave occupied the three rafts, appearing at the lead, the middle of the group, and at the rear.

As the boats crowded together at midstream, the staff member in the trail guide raft (upper left) seems to be motioning to the trailing kayaker (upper right).

Within moments, all were headed downstream, basically straight downstream, but some were floating sideways.

They were headed for the rapids, directly below my position on the overlook above the river.

The first guide raft deftly avoided the rocks by staying close to the riverbank.

However, this lone kayaker could not follow the route of the guide raft and was headed for the rapids. It was unavoidable.

The young woman kayaker was unable to dislodge her kayak from the rocks in the river.

Fortunately, any possibility of injury was averted when the guide shouted to her to get out of the kayak and walk to the area by the riverbank.
She did so successfully, re-entered her boat, and continued downstream.

We, too, continued downstream--although on land.

We continued through the Rio Grande Valley to EspaƱola and back to Santa Fe.

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