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Into the woods

Today, I skipped yoga, and I have no guilt whatsoever about it.

I slept 10 hours last night, which is ridiculous, but it's also probably needed, especially after I practically dared my body not to sleep that long with what it went through yesterday.

I got up at around 9:15 and ate breakfast. Again, Fusilli was so enamored with the outside that he missed breakfast, and Celosa was the only one around to help with the washing up.

We wandered around the back yard a bit, and played chase.  Graham and I "talked" via a text app that we've downloaded called "whatsapp", and I learned that he'd successfully made it to Oxford. His first gig was tonight, and apparently it went well.

After a bit of writing, I got myself organized for a solo excursion to town.  I'd been to the shopping area several times already this trip, but always with the puppies.  I wanted to go at least once on my own. The puppies were deeply suspicious when I got my things together, but they were ok with everything when I pointed out that they get treats AND the house to themselves for awhile. And I promised them fun when I got back.

I didn't have any particular in mind when I ventured out. I knew I wanted to stop at Steppin' Out, which is one of my favorite shoe stores anywhere. I have a pair of black ballet flats that are falling apart because I wear them all. the. time., and I need to replace them.  None of the potential replacements in Houston met up with all of my picky criteria.  Other than that, I had no agenda.

It's a little over half a mile from the house to the center of town, but there are shops and restaurants and other establishments almost along the entire way if you take the main road.  I took my time, and I stopped where my fancy took me.

I was sad to see a few establishments that had been there for years were gone, but it seemed that Taos had more going on than it had in the last few times I'd been here.  The recession hit the town hard, and it's never been on par with other resort / tourist towns, because it's not an easy place to get to.  But it seems to be bouncing back a little.  Certainly there seemed to be more new places open than old places closed. I took that to be a good sign.

I wandered through a few shops, noting a few "stop back later if I don't find anything else" spots.  A pair of pants in one place, some cashmere fingerless gloves for Graham in another, a polka dot skirt in a third.  When I got to Steppin' Out, the perfect pair of ballet flats happened to be on sale only in my size.  The retail gods were smiling upon me.   Having already checked out the square with the pooches, I headed to another area of the town center and wandered into Spotted Bear (no website), where over the years I'd picked up some items that are still in my wardrobe.  Again, I had no particular agenda, but the owner spotted me fingering a top, and she decided to help me. The store has a LOT of clothes, but she knew every item in her inventory, and she steered me to items that seemed to be cut especially for me.  EXCELLENT customer service, and I ended up buying a top that I probably will wear for the next 20 years.

Having spent more money than I had really anticipated, I finished my journey through town without stopping much.  I did check out the menu at Adobe Bar at the Taos Inn, as I think their patio would accept puppy dogs, but otherwise, I just sort of wandered without stopping.  My journey  from start to finish was roughly about 2 and half miles, but it didn't feel all that long, as I paused a lot along the way.

When I got back to the house, I ate some leftover green curry chicken, and I informed the pooches that since they've been very, very good, they get to go on another excursion.  We hopped in the car, and drove to the mountain.

Taos Mountain is just a stunning piece of geography, and I always feel like it is a sacred space.  The south face is owned by the pueblo, and as a result, it's undeveloped.  Unlike other ski towns, when you look up at the mountain at night, it's not dotted with lights of homes and other developments. It's unblemished.  The ski valley is on the other side of the mountain, and it's a nearly 20 mile journey from town to the ski area.  The drive is quite beautiful, across the mesa, through a few small communities, and then following a mountain stream up three thousand feet to the base of the ski area.

The puppies and I stopped at first along the stream, and we got out for a small hike, maybe half a mile or so, along the stream until the trail went over the water and to the other side.  We weren't geared up for traversing water, so we turned around and went back to the car, pausing for a moment to admire the stream.  There were mushrooms all over the place, and they were HUGE.  I wish I knew enough about fungi to have known what was safe and what was dangerous, but I was terribly excited for the upcoming farmer's market on Saturday, where surely people more expert than I would have mushrooms for sale.  Celosa is better at going forward, but Fusilli is more adventuresome on hikes. Celosa just wants to GO, no dithering; Fusilli wants to see EVERYTHING, and makes some side trips.  It was fun.

After we got back to the car, we went to the ski valley itself.  Not that many people were there, though a few of the shops were open.  We walked through the commercial bit, and then went towards a trail that I always loved to ski back in the day.  It's a long, long trail that isn't very steep but gets you from the back side of the mountain back to the bottom.  Skiing it, you always have to get up sufficient speed to make it through some of the flatter parts of this trail.  As a result, it's a fairly decent trail for hiking, because it's not hideously steep, especially given that we're now at 10,000 feet.  And it follows that same mountain stream, so it's really beautiful, especially frozen over in winter.  Since I was last skiing over a dozen years ago, though, they'd put in a chairlift along this trail. I don't know why I was so surprised, except in the yearly excursions from about 1992 until 2002, I don't remember them doing any real major additions to Taos.  I mean, I'd heard that they finally allowed snow boarders about two or three years ago, but a new lift? Ok. (Looking at the map now, it doesn't look like the lift goes that far.)

Anyhow, the lift didn't really mar the beauty of the trail, and the pooches followed it up for a quarter to a half a mile before Celosa said she was getting tired.  We stopped for water, and then made our way back down again, stopping to answer inevitable questions from some tourists.  When we went back down again in the car, Celosa asked if I could open the back window a bit. Since her daddy wasn't around to object, I acquiesced, only a crack, but she was pretty happy about that.

We stopped in Arroyo Seco, a small town at the base of the mountain, and walked around a little, before heading back down to town. I stopped at Cid's for a piece of trout I'd seen in the display earlier in the week.

I now have two pooped pooches.  I took a bubble bath when we got home, and Celosa slept next to the tub while I bathed. Fusilli barely had the strength to go outside.  They helped me with the trout (especially the skin), but it's been pretty quiet since our adventure.

Tomorrow, I'm going back to yoga, but I've decided not to go to the flea market in Santa Fe.  I just don't really need anything (especially now that I've purchased that top and those shoes).  I probably will walk to yoga and then stop along the way back at a few places, and I've really gotten used to my rhythm here.

In the meantime, an evening of quiet relaxation is just the right thing for tonight.  And so I relax. 


( 2 comments — Say something )
Aug. 9th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
what pictures you paint with your words. *happysighs*

and HUZZAH for a successful shoe hunt! i'm having to send a pair BACK...i was terribly disappointed. oh well. life goes on, right?

this sounds like a well needed beautiful rest for you and the doggies. :)
Aug. 10th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
your trip sounds so wonderful and joyfilled <3 <3
( 2 comments — Say something )