I need nature. If I’m not out among the trees my soul starts slowly decaying (those of you who know me just said ‘what soul’ and I hate you -__- ). I got into a slump where the monotony of life sort of took ahold of me and started squeezing. I was doing wood burnings and building things, but I longed to be in the wild. One Thursday afternoon I was sitting at work wishing to be traveling when I impulsively booked a river rafting trip for that Saturday. I booked the Taos Box tour through Los Rios River Runners and everything about this trip was worth it… even the epic sunburn.
I got off work at 4:00 on Friday and packed up my CRV ‘camper’ then drove the four hours to Taos, NM. I downloaded the audiobook The Woodcutter by Kate Danley which was not only long enough to last the drive up and home, but it was actually quite entertaining too.
My buddy took my puppy Thursday night… I thought the company might frown on me attaching my pup to my PFD (lifejacket). As I was leaving the brown of Clovis I drove into a beautiful storm and I felt the tension of life begin to melt away.
I was driving through the mountains when was nearly murdered by a deer. The creature was standing in the middle of the winding mountain road and I barely noticed it in time to slam on my brakes. I skidded to a halt and just before I completely stopped the deer launched at me. Fortunately, I was going .2 mph when it assaulted my vehicle. After she kissed my bumper she turned and walked towards my window. I was expecting her to either pull out a nine and bust a cap, or flip me the hoof… she did neither. Although I’m pretty sure she was letting out a string of profanity as she walked away. I was about to let out my own string of cusses toward her from my open window but I decided against it and continued down the curving road. I did level a glare in her direction though. My stress levels were slightly elevated at this point, but I pressed on, scanning the night with my eyes open to Gollum size.
I pulled into the little town at around 10:00 and located my hotel aka the Walmart parking lot. I made a quick stop at the Wendy’s to grab dinner then prepped for slumber.
I still have a little residual Gollum eyes in the selfie. I took the trunk… I mean camper pics the next morning.
I woke the next morning and grabbed a gas station coffee. I then drove back and forth past the entrance to the boat house about twelve times before I admitted defeat and called the company to get directions… curse my female predisposition to be crappy with directions! I finally made it to the boat house (you turn at mile marker 40 and follow the dirt road to the busses). That’s when I discovered that in addition to being directionally challenged I also don’t know how to read a calendar (I’m not sure how I’ve made it this far in life). When I checked in they said I was booked for the 10th not the 3rd. I let out a pathetic puff of air; my quest for soul balance was about to end in ruin. The lady just gave me a sideways look. In her defense, I may have been mumbling about how my chakras would never be aligned. The people at Los Rios were amazing and got me on one of the rafts in spite of my dunce-ry.
We took a bus 40 minutes to the launching point where we were split into our groups. I had an amazing guide, John. He’d been with Los Rios for over 25 years and had so many incredible stories! The trip was exactly what I needed. The river was great, the rapids were a ton of fun to navigate, and the lunch they provided was delicious. I even got to see mountain goats and rams! I recorded the rafting on my Campark Action Camera. (Linked to Amazon). This rafting trip was the first time I used the action camera and it worked out really well. I got it on Amazon for $50 (I had to buy the sd card separate and it holds up to a 64gb micro sd). It has good reviews on YouTube too. My downfall was that I attached it to my paddle so when I was going over the footage I got really motion sick in the parts where I was paddling hard. I am playing around with editing it using the free version of VSDC and when I watch my footage at half time I don’t get nearly as nauseated. I’m really excited to take it out on a hiking trail and see what other applications I can find for it.
Here are some stills I grabed from the footage. As you can see I had my paddle at a slanty angle.
When we returned to the boat house I hung out with some of the staff for a little while. They are the coolest, most down to earth group of people. I highly recommend Los Rios if you decide to go rafting in Taos.
I decided to drive back to Clovis that night. I felt the peace that comes along with inhaling nature. As I was driving back into the mountains the truck in front of me came to a stop and I thought the murderous deer was back with a posse. A woman leaned out of the back window with a camera and pointed to a clearing below us. There was an enormous brown bear just casually strolling through the clearing. I was simultaneously awed and thankful that I was in my car a hundred feet above it. Homie don’t mess with bears. I did pull over a little while later to take a picture of the beautiful mountain scenery.
I made it home that evening and unloaded the car. I reflected on how amazing my Friday evening and Saturday had been. I felt serenity and a calmness in my hyperactive mind. I look forward to returning to Taos and taking my far flung amigos rafting with a fantastic company and group of people.