We’re going stir crazy back home in Phoenix, Arizona. After taking care of necessary business, three months of living downtown has us yearning for travel. Somewhere. Anywhere.  And boy, we hit the jackpot. The drive from Phoenix to Taos, New Mexico provides a welcome diversion from the mundane scenery of the same old interstate. Twisty mountain roads take us through Payson to I-40 and makes driving pleasurable.


The town of Taos on the eve of Christmas fills us with warmth as we stroll down the sidewalks. This warmth could come from millions of artfully decorated holiday lights, wrapped around 100-year-old black willow trees in the town square.


Nah, most likely it comes from the complimentary hatch green chili stew back at the “El Pueblo Lodge.”


Rather than indulge in festivities downtown, we decide to head back to the room and enjoy an intimate evening, feasting upon complimentary green chili and tamales in front of our wood-burning fireplace. The El Pueblo Lodge becomes our favorite house in Taos.


Onward to the southern Rocky Mountains in the valley of Red River, New Mexico.


This area could be one of the best kept secrets around for those who like ski resorts full of casual, friendly folks and reasonable prices. There are slopes for every level of skier. During summer months, infinite hiking trails and trout fishing activities prevail.


This will be my first time ever on a pair of snow skis. It’s Marilynn’s second time, if you count when she tried it 40 plus years ago. So, we opt for cross-country skiing at the Enchanted Forest.


After close to two-hours of instruction at 10,000 feet altitude, my energy reserves are about tapped. I flop around like a crashing helicopter while freelancing for another hour. The naturally gifted “Nordic Marilynn” improves with every stroke!

Ahh, back to a bar where my natural talents surface.


I’m tempted to visit an oxygen bar, but opt to thin my blood with barley and hops.


We make friends with a “tweaking” Santa on one side, and an organic farmer from Texas on the other. Red River is no secret to Texans. “Pound for pound, Colorado has better skiing because the runs are longer,” a guy from Texas tell us. “But here the drive is shorter and once you park your truck you can walk to any restaurant or lift.”


Chillin’ and sippin’ tasty local brews, we watch downhill skiers fly through freshly falling powder snow.


Snow floats to the ground. The sun shines above it, and I mistakenly call the rainbow a snowbow. In actuality, snowflakes cannot make rainbows. They make ice halos. So, I see an ice halo directly above my Nordic angel. Who’s the lucky boy?


We could stay longer, content to devour grilled hatch chilis on steak or burgers for every meal, but it’s time to head back to the house in Taos for one more night.


Thank you, Abundant Universe!