We rolled into Taos, NM, packed some groceries around the kids in our already strategically packed Subaru, met a lady named Ilse in a parking lot to exchange money for keys, and made our way to the ski valley.
The ski valley is not a valley, it is a mountain.
The town of Taos sits at just under 7,000 feet of elevation. As you snake up through the valley to Taos Ski Valley, you find yourself at just over 9,000 feet of elevation in fairly quick order.
Our home for the next three nights was the Edelweiss Cabin, a cozy home with a stream running through the back yard within walking distance of the ski area.
Little did we know that when we made the questionable parking lot exchange to get the keys, we had just met one of the founding members and visionaries of the Taos Ski Valley. Turns out Ilse and her husband built the first hotel in the ski valley, the Edelweiss Hotel. (If you are Brian, you pronounce it, “eddel-wise”. If you’re me, you sing it like Julie Andrews.)
Of course the kids and I were anxious to explore the ski area and it didn’t take long to get settled into the house and walk down the short path to the base area.
The kids found their favorite spot right outside of Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina, an old chairlift that they insisted on a photo opportunity every time we walked past.
On the second day in Taos, I couldn’t even think about getting into the car, so a hike to William’s Lake was on the agenda. A four-mile in and back hike to a high mountain lake was just what the doctor ordered. As Brian talked it up that morning, we could see Colin getting grouchier by the second. He wasn’t so into this plan.
We trudged on regardless and I kept hearing my friend Barbara’s voice in my head speaking of the “forced marching” that she requires of her children. Climbing to over 11,000 feet certainly qualifies as a forced march!
William’s Lake was absolutely breathtaking! So worth stopping every few minutes to catch our breath and the silent treatment we so obviously deserved from our first born.
The following day took us back down into Taos to explore the town, but first! We had to go back to the Rio Grande Gorge. You could spend an entire day here…
Artists line the roadside, there is a visitors center, school bus coffee and ice cream shop. We saw our first (& only) big horned sheep, who the locals have nicknamed Chuckie.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in town exploring shops, galleries, toys stores. Deke thought he had died and gone to heaven with the abundance of rock and gem stores.
Brian and I took the opportunity to meet some locals that evening back in the ski valley while the kids caught a new SpongeBob episode. It was so fun to catch the local gossip, find out more about the schools, job prospects, housing. We learned a lot in a short amount of time.
Before we knew it, it was our final morning in Taos. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? We spent our last morning in the ski valley taking a ride up the scenic chairlift.
It. Was. Freezing.
But well worth the trip. Deke and I decided we’d much rather ski down a mountain than ride a chairlift down, especially when it was a pretty steep descent.
The lift behind those two handsome boys is the Kachina Peak lift which just opened this season. Just past the ropes, a family of marmots was playing on the rocks.
Mixed motions settled in as we left Taos. The wonder of if this will be our future home, the excitement of discovering what was around the next corner. This was the first time in the trip that I felt settled and peaceful. The first time since June 2 that I was able to start up my meditation practice again. What does all of that mean? I don’t know…
Regardless, it was time to get back into the car, headed for our next destination, only 45 minutes down the road, the town of Red River, NM.