After I left Mark Corske, I needed to find a place to camp for the night, so I headed back to the Rio Grande Gorge. But this time I approached it from its tail end and worked my way upstream.
I knew there were campgrounds there, but would I be able to find anything on the Friday evening starting Memorial Day Weekend?
I wanted something as far upstream as possible, partly because I thought it might be more isolated, but also because there was a road there I wanted to use to leave in the morning.
Here you can see a map of the campgrounds.
I was looking to stay at the north end, in Taos Junction campground.
So, this is what things look like near the downstream entrance to the Rio Grande Gorge:
I got to the main upstream campground, passing numerous other campgrounds full of lots of campers. The northernmost one was full, too. Fortunately, they also had a primitive campground nearby. Hey, I’m a primitive kind of guy, and all I was doing was tent camping anyways. I got the very last spot (there were only 6 total).
With a couple of hours to get before sunset, I had a chance to look around.
There was a little hill I could climb, so I did so to take a shot back at my campground.
Western vegetation is different than the eastern stuff I am used to. For one thing, it is drier. Generally, if you step on something out east, it tends to bend. Out west, it crunches. There are also a lot more spiny things to look out for.
See if you can spot the danger in this picture.
No, it’s not the glass. That’s perfectly safe. Of course, it is the cacti. And I now see why Cody Lundin walks the way he does. If you are used to looking out for this stuff, that is the way you walk. I am learning quickly.
Here’s a close-up of one of the flowers.
The campground is right on the edge of another feeder gorge to the Rio Grande, the Rio Pueblo de Taos, which was just north of the campground. Here is the Rio Grande just after it is joined by the Rio Pueblo de Taos. You can see that that is volcanic rock (and it is my understanding that the gorge cuts through an old eruption). There are two fairly large (dead) volcanoes to the west of Taos.
Finally, here’s the view looking upstream. That gives you a pretty good size of this feeder river. They even stock it with trout (and I saw some trout fishermen driving in).
So, I’m spending the night here, and then it is on to other things. One trouble with a trip like this is that one could easily spend a week in any of the locations. There are trails here I really want to hike!
Heck, I’ve spent years just exploring the parks of southeastern Ohio. How can I possibly see much of anything here???