We had our coffee in camp next to the creek that passed by our campground. We looked forward to Taos.
Taos was only 20 miles away. After trying to get breakfast in Questa and finding everything closed on Monday...or not open yet, we just soldiered on to the McDonnalds in Taos.
Traffic was a bit of a clog for three of four blocks downtown. There was lots of art for sale along the streets as well as galleries.
I had no idea of what Taos would be like, but it was clearly up scale. Up scale is good, just not for me.
Across from Micky D's was a custom motorcycle shop. We went in for a visit. Nip was more interested in the cruiser items inside.
Turns out Taos is 2 towns. The old Taos Indian Pueblo, and the commercial Taos that has grown up a couple miles away. The Indians are trying to maintain the old village ways with lots of booths and tables to sell Indian crafts and jewelry.
I think hard times have hit the Indian vendors as well as the rest of us. I'd heard there was a charge of 8 dollars just to get into the Pueblo. If so, there's no longer a charge as they don't want to drive people away.
On this day (Monday) there were only 5 or so tables and those were folding up by 1pm. There were Indians on top of the houses yelling a traditional chant. We were told there would be an Indian dance later.
It just wasn't our cup of tea. Although in the beginning....50 to 75 years ago....Taos Pueblo was a hell of an authentic Indian Village. There might have been a couple thousand inhabitants. Indians still live in the mud/adobe dwelling.
The houses now sport electricity and stove pipes sticking out of the roofs. It all seems a bit of a fleece job of the tourists. An hour in Taos and I'd seen enough. In all honesty I may have been getting tired from traveling every day.
I wanted to start working my way back to Dolores Co for the biker meetup next Thursday. Nip on the other hand had been trying to connect with a high school buddy that lived down east of Santa Fe a little south of I-25.
We agreed to separate. Nip would go south and I'd go east. Goodbyes were said, and then we were alone.
I had to go a mile north to find Hwy 64. I gassed everything up before I left town. I spotted a Natl Forest on the map some 50 miles away. There appeared to be camping there near El Rito. I was all over that.
I had scarcely got 10 miles out of town when I discovered, purely by accident, the Rio Grande George. What a grand surprise....
Of course the Indians had a large crafts concession on the east side of the river. That's a good distance down there.
just after the bridge, I turn south toward El Rito. El Rito is an old town...recently most of it's downtown has closed up. El Llano Bar sells some convenience store items and liquor....and there is a 15 foot wide Mex restaurant left in town....later I found a library.
They have to go 30 miles to get gas....Matin's general store closed a couple years ago.
I found the NF free camping not far from town and settled down for a couple days. I pumped up my air mat and got comfortable.
I had a few hours to kill so I got my Tony Hillerman Indian novel out and started storing up some energy. I had plans for tomorrow.
I had a little camp fire later...it was probably against the law....and went to bed about 9pm.