Taos, New Mexico What am I to even say about you and all your beautiful smells, sights and magical people.
I said goodbye to Arizona to hitchhike into New Mexico, with a goal of getting into Northern New Mexico in one day.
The stretch is about 7 and a half hours long. The people of Flagstaff, AZ and all those around me told me that I should plan a half way point on my trip to Taos, as there was no way I could find a ride there in one day from where I was.
In accordance to this I organized a couch surfer host in Albuquerque, NM, though I knew I would not need it, as my little heart had set out into the universe with a goal of arriving at the town I was told by many that I would love, and most probably, overstay my welcome.
Nick, my couch surfer host in Flagstaff dropped me off at 8 am on the exit leading to the 40 which would take me almost all the way to Taos. I waited not 30 minutes as it started to rain on me, the first person to stop was a highway patrol officer, checking up on me, to his astonishment I was Australian which seemed to make him worry even more. I assured him I was fine and could take care of myself and he was off. A few minutes later a man stopped and started talking to me through the window.
He had been driving all night, starting from Los Angeles and still had ways to go to Colorado. He needed someone to help him stay awake.
So in I got and away we went. His name Jawed, a 50 something-year-old black man from Indiana.
We made a stop 2 hours in at a small diner somewhere near the border and Jawed bought me some food, (thank god, I was starving but had planned to wait till I got to NM because I knew a meal would be provided for me there).
We got back in the car and 1 hour later we were soaring through New Mexico and a whole new light of possibility and wonder washed through me.
Discovering new states in America is like discovering old notes in the pockets of your jeans when you put them on; your eyes light up and gleam and you think to yourself Fuck yeah!.
When arriving in Albuquerque, Jawed had a look at the map and told me he could take me all the way to Esponola, which is where my couch surfer host in Taos said he could pick me up from (approximately 30 minutes from Taos).
I smiled and laughed at myself as I thought of all the people who said I wouldn’t make it to Taos in a day.
A couple hours later I arrived at my designated spot, Noah (my couch surfer host) picked me up as well as 3 others he had planned to meet, and we started driving back to Noah’s farm.
We arrived there around 8:30pm, Noahs land is covered with old RVs, buses, and trucks that have been turned into homes. Imagine an old car junkyard, with sustainable living resources in practice. Due to the only major lighting system being the moon, I could not see all that much In fact I could hear more than I could see, coyotes in the distance barked loud enough for me to think they were closer than what they actually were. Noah assured me they would come nowhere near his property, they are afraid of him and his guns, this lead to a conversation regarding everyone’s concern about how I had never shot a gun before. It was then decided that in the morning, first thing, that is what I would do.
My first night’s accommodation in New Mexico.
So this happened.
Noah’s mother and I drove into town, picking up a hitchhiker along the way, who lives in one of the incredible earth ships that are spread out in the fields just before you enter the town. His name is James, James informed me that he could get tickets to shows at the local venue in Taos, plus one. We exchanged details so I could come to one this weekend.
I spent the rest of that day in a local coffee shop, reading and waiting for replies from the many couch surf requests I sent out.
You see, right now, I am actually supposed to be Wwoofing for a Goji Berry Farm, located 30 minutes from Taos. But as soon as I saw what this town had to offer, I just couldn’t bare to leave. So I decided to stay in town and explore instead, as long as I could find someone to host me And so the universe introduced me to Shawn!
Shawn is from Philadelphia, he is 23, has dreads, and works at Taos Mountain Energy Bar. He so graciously welcomed me into his home, as he loves Australians and didn’t want to pass up the chance to converse with an Aussie accent. Shawn lived in Australia for a year and did the Wwoofing thing there.
Shawn picked me up after work and upon arrival handed me a gift. A cardboard box filled to the brim with bars from his workplace for my travels. The bars this company makes are all GF, vegan and organic. If anyone knows me well enough, a gift like that to me is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to a leprechaun. Safe to say, I liked Shawn right away,
That afternoon we drove up the mountain to the ski resorts for a little tour. I got to see more earth ships on the hills as we drove up, and without sounding too much like Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle, the serenity up in those mountains was something unexplainable.
Today marks my third day in Taos, and I just cannot get enough of this place. New Mexico has been known as the Land of Enchantment and Taos marks the start of what is known as the Enchanted Circle. This circle loops around New Mexicos greatest points for outdoor activities and spectacular scenery.
It is no wonder why so many nomadic Americans and many other foreigners pass through this state, this town, and get stuck here, or vow to come back if it is the last thing they do. I for one, feel the magnetic magical pull this town has. I felt it all the way from San Francisco when I was first told about this place, and how much I would flourish here.
My time here is limited, that is not to say, however, that I won’t return, if not in the next coming months then most definite in this lifetime, to explore more and return to a sense of well-being, only Taos can make you instantly feel.
Exploring this town and this area I have felt ecstatic energy releasing out from me and making me continuously smile and savor each moment.
Red River, NM.
The beginning of our little hike.
Today, Shawn and I drove little whiles out of town, to hike through an extremely overgrown pathway along the Red River, to go fishing. After about an hours walk Shawn threw his hook into the rushing water bed and waited for some fish, I laid on the rocks and read.
The Red River is soothing and calm. It’s somewhat bizarre to me to be near a different kind of water source, and feel the same way I do whenever I find myself near Australia’s oceans. Growing up on Sydney’s Northern beaches, whenever I felt confused, unsettled or just needed some time to myself, I would turn to the beautiful beaches I grew up on.
Today as I walked along the side of the river, stopping here and there, jumping rock upon rock and listening to how quick the water rushes through, I felt that same wholesome wholeness I feel whenever I am near the ocean. It was magical.
I plan to stay here until next Tuesday, as that is when Forrest (my travel companion) will be arriving here from San Francisco. From Taos, we will hitch together into Austin, Texas.
But for right now, I am going to walk to the local second-hand bookstore, trade in my book for a new one, then walk to the park and soak up Taos last rays of sunshine before nightfall.