We wanted to have a whack at connecting a loop of two trails from river to rim in the
Rio Grande Gorge from the Taos Junction Bridge out along the rim and back down. We had each hiked sections of this loop many times.
This time, though, we wanted to make a loop of the Picuris Trail up from the bridge, then along the rim of Rift Valley by an intricate, though easy-to-find-your-way network of La Gijosta, Klauer and Rift trails to a memorial bench at the edge of the gorge at the tip end of the Trader Trail, and on a relatively new connector trail, to the Slide trailhead to take us back down to Taos Junction Bridge.
The BLM estimated the trail mileage at something like 13 miles. But after our hike we figured it to be more like nine to ten miles.
We made a go of it on a beautiful September sunny day — Larry Gray, my sister Joanie Kemsley from Florida and me.
It was one of those memorably beautiful days.
We started at 9:30 up the Picuris Trail and made it to the bench at the rim end of the Trader Trail at 11:30 for lunch.
Met some hikers there, took some photos, had a hearty lunch of freshly roasted turkey sandwiches and some delicious dried apple chips that Larry had cured in his oven from his apple tree.
Hey, lunch on the trail is one of my favorite hiking treats! Snacks for later.
Then off to the Slide Trailhead and back down to our car at the Taos Junction Bridge.
Super hike. We were, as Larry Gray said, “part of the terrain” by the end of the trek.
Or I liked John Muir’s view that
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown for going out, I found I was really going in.
We even happened upon a herd of thirteen bighorn sheep having their lunch on the craggy edges of the gorge walls.