Monday, April 13, 2009

New Mexico Trip - Part 2: Tres Ritos

After leaving Abiquie, I drove about 90 minutes into Tres Ritos, where the family cabin is located. It was surreal driving up the mountain toward the cabin as it had been over twenty years since I visited there. Places, bridges, and turns slowly came back to memory as I passed them and driving up the road to the cabin felt like coming home. The cabin is where I stayed for the next eight days of my vacation.

My parents were staying for the weekend, so it was good to see them as well as Uncle Mike and Aunt Donna. They all knew I wanted to spend most of my time alone, so they left on Sunday. Tres Ritos is so relaxing after running around for so long in NYC. The scenery is the opposite end of the spectrum entirely. Mountains, waterfalls and blue skies cannot be escaped.

We made our way into Taos, which is a normal pilgrimage when visiting the cabin. We had a great breakfast and walked around for a bit. Taos had changed quite a bit since my last visit. Instead of numberous galleries surrounding the square, most businesses had become gift shops with touristy trinkets made in China. That was somewhat disappointing, but the scenery was still beautiful.

Immediately after the family departed on Sunday, I bought a five day fishing license and hit the waters, fishing as much as seven hours a day. It was a tough time to fish because it was still fairly cold outside and the rivers had not been stocked since last summer. It was slim fishing, but I did catch five by the week's end. Two I released because of their size, but the rest I ate happily. I did have a stab at fishing in the Rio Grande River, but had no luck.

Of the time when I wasn't fishing, I usually spent it reading or walking around places I had been years before. The highlight of my trip to Tres Ritos was the walk up to what we call "The Meadow". "The Meadow" is about a mile up a trail behind our cabin. The first three hundreds yards or so is a tough climb. The altitude at the cabin is about 8,500 feet, so there isn't as much oxygen to be had. Needless to say, I was panting like a fifteen year old on prom night trying to get up that hill. The path evens out somewhat and gets easier as you hike. Much of the landscape had changed some, but the meadow was still every bit as lovely as I remembered.

I walked to the two broken down cabins and looked around. I drank from the stream when thirsty. I spent probably four hours up there just relaxing and reading my pocket Bible. I sat in one spot for awhile and when I got up to leave I startled about fifteen deer which were walking a couple of hundred feet away. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity then eventually went our own ways.

At the end of the week, I did have to unfortunately leave to catch the plane back to New York. There was a sadness about having to leave such a lovely place for a place of such filth and despair among its locals. When all you can see is the effects of man, hope seems gone. But in New Mexico, there is heightened sense of spiritualism by everyone when surrounded by such beauty. I can see myself living in New Mexico or at the least, visiting it at least twice a year.

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  1. Looks like an amazing trip! Glad you didn't get eaten by a bear...

  2. Nope, no bear this time. I guess God wants me to stay here for something.