Dinner with Donald Rumsfeld

11 July 2008

Dinner with Donald Rumsfeld

We were all sad to leave Santa Fe and I know we'll be coming back at some time in the future, but we were keen to move on to our next stop on the journey, Taos.

For the next part of our journey we’ll be heading north east towards the Rocky Mountains. We watched the landscape change again and when Highway 285 had slimmed down to become the 68, we found ourselves climbing into the mountains and staring in wonder at the spectacular scenery.

Part way through the drive, the Rio Grande river appeared below us on our left. As we crossed from Santa Fe County into Taos County and the weather was still hot and sunny, there seemed like nothing else to do in the world other than to stop, picnic and paddle our hot feet in the river. This part of the Rio Grande Gorge is a popular area for white water rafting and after eating the lunch that we had picked up from the Whole Foods store in Santa Fe and our feet were happy for the cool water, we watched seventy or so wet rafters finish their adventures on the river.

The road to Taos then twisted its way upwards and as I’ve become so more confident in piloting our RV around the narrower roads, the bends didn’t present any real problems. With every corner turned there was something new to see and as I can now drive and look around at the same time (my eyes don’t need to be fixed twenty feet in-front of the van), I could really begin to appreciate what is so special about New Mexico.

With one final turn the mountain road was behind us and we found ourselves high on the Taos Plateau, with stunning views in every direction as far as I could see. From there it was only a short drive to Taos itself. After checking in to the Taos Valley RV Park, a quirky, independent campground where every hookup has a name as well as a number (ours was Blackfoot) and picking up maps of the area’s attractions, we headed ten miles past Taos to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

This bridge over the Rio Grande is the third highest bridge in the United States and rises 650 feet above the Rio Grande river. Although the light was not at its best for photography, the views down to the river and the canyon below were breathtaking.

Taos itself seems a little more away from the tourist trail than Santa Fe and is (according to Wikipedia) now home to Julia Roberts, Val Kilmer, and Donald Rumsfeld among others. We did try to find Donald’s ranch several times and left more than one message at the White House and the Pentagon asking for his address, but rudely no one returned our calls. I guess that dinner with Donald Rumsfeld will have to wait until next time we’re in Taos, but I do hope that Julia has put the kettle on.

By Andy Clarke

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