We bolted north towards Taos, hoping to get a peek at Earthship Biotecture before it closed, but missed it by minutes. But, like the old story goes, good luck, bad luck, who knows?
We consulted with freecampsites.net, a crowd-sourced database of, well, free campsites, and found this little cherry of a spot overlooking the Rio Grande. It was about a 15 minute drive down a bumpy dirt road into BLM land, and we had it to ourselves.
It was the first time we got to really unfurl all the camping accoutrements on the trip. Michelle made us a delicious dinner (tacos with local seasoned beef, avocado, shredded lettuce and salsa in a grain-free tortilla for she and I, roasted turkey, avocado, shredded lettuce, and local pickles in a coconut wrap with sugar snap peas on the side for Zevin), I set up some chairs, and we all all just sat back and enjoyed the vastness in front of us.
This also gave gave me an opportunity to try put my new drone to use. Looking out through its eye as it cruised over the rim wall and down into the Rio Grande Gorge was spine tingling.
We took our time the next morning, chatting with a couple of locals that passed through (Hi Elana of Mudd and Flood!), drinking in the view and doing some sundry van rearrangement and optimization.
Getting ready to head to Earthship, we took a peek first at Alltrails and noticed that just a few minutes further down the road we were on, the Black Rock Hot Springs mixed with the Rio Grande to form hot and warm pools. Grimy from the road and always suckers for a hot spring, we shuddered down the switchbacks to the trail, just over the Rio Grande.
The hot springs were shallow this time of year and the temperature perfect for a soak, somewhere around 104. When the heat got to be too much, the slow moving Rio was there for a plunge. Crawdads, schools of minnows and a striped water snake made for some entertainment, and although the river was a tad on the cold side for Michelle and Zev, but we were all able to get in enough to clean ourselves from the road, with Zev giving his hair a good soak.