We had some time this summer to do a little exploring in a new place we've always heard great things about. Our crew had been itching to get out somewhere Southwest for a change and after scouring over some maps and google research, we kept coming back to an area that was different from anything we have back home. After a few emails and phone calls, we got linked up with some folks out in Taos, New Mexico. A place best known for its winter time skiing and iconic views, Taos offers a wide range of outdoor activities in the summer time. It felt like the perfect place to explore a few days so thats exactly what we did - scroll on to see what we got into out in the Southwest! (P.S. bonus behind the scenes video of our shenanigans at the bottom)
Day 1: A Grande Float
We tasked our new friends out in Taos with showing us a good time on our first day. We told them it didn't need to be fishing, just something fun we could get a solid group of folks together for. Our new friends Alex and Carla had the perfect idea in mind and told us they had a float trip all set up with some more of their crew on the river. Once we heard how chill this section of the Rio Grande was that we'd be floating, we already felt right at home with the laid back vibes (and the bottle of tequila that made a few rounds). It was an awesome way to kick off the week, getting to know each other and having some ice cold drinks as we floated down the river surrounded by the views of the gorge.
Day 2: Fish and Soggy Shoes
Of course we brought along a few fly rods, but forgot wading boots on our trip. We figured our normal shoes would be fine, and went down to the local fly shop for some intel. The guys at Taos Fly Shop were super accommodating and pointed us in the right direction of some small local waters about 45 minutes outside town where we could get into some good dry fly fishing. After grabbing a handful of flies, some extra tippet and studying the map we loaded up and rolled out. We had a pretty steep hike in down the rocky bank but the hungry wild trout in the small river made the trek easily worth it. The fish weren't big but we had a blast taking turns drifting flies through everything that looked good as we hiked up river a mile or two into the canyon. Eventually, the sky started getting dark, and heavy drops of rain and lightning drove us out of the canyon.
Day 3: City Boys
The town of Taos is super interesting although sleepy during the summer months. Even though most of the restaurants and bars closed before 9 p.m., we still found quite a few spots that became our favorites during our weeks visit. Almost all the architecture and store fronts are built in adobe style which makes for some very cool scenery, especially compared to the Lowcountry style that we're used to. One staple that caught our eye at almost every store were the countless bundles of chiles for sale. (We thought about flying home with some but better judgement prevailed) Even more scenic and totally different views and terrain can be found if you venture up the mountain into Taos Ski Valley. If you're ever in the area, we highly recommend grabbing a beer at the Bavarian Restaurant which stays open all year at the base of the slopes.
Day 4: Some Mud on the Tires
Our hosts had some pretty sweet trucks and told us of miles of trails that we could ride on the outskirts of town. On our last day, we wanted to switch it up and do something off the water and see the sights so hitting the 4x4 trail seemed like an awesome way to spend a few hours. After driving about 45 minutes outside of town, we took a sharp turn down an unmarked road and bounced our way through mud holes and rocky trails. The miles long path took us all the way to the gorge of the Rio Grande where we parked, took some photos and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in one of the coolest landscapes any of us had ever seen.
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