Ahhhh, the first full day of vacation!! There’s nothing like it. Waking up, we were full of anticipation and determination. We had a river to conquer! White Water Rafting was on the agenda at 12:30 pm!!! We left room for the possibility of sleeping in .. well, that didn’t happen. Since we were up early, we got a head start on the day, and decided our first stop would be the fish hatchery (never heard of such a thing) but, apparently, it is a family tradition for Gretchen’s family. In the middle of nowhere, were buildings with different life stages of Rainbow Trout. A few pictures, and a quick history lesson of the hatchery, and off we went.
Next stop, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, or so we hoped. Gretchen’s GPS was sending us in circles, and mine was trying to send us to Colorado. On one of the trips around the circle, Gretchen decided she would take over the directions while stopped at a light.... BAM! She may or may not have rolled into the truck in front us. (that poor Camaro will never be the same lol) Now Gretchen will tell you her flip flops slipped off the pedal or something, lol (I personally think it was her excuse to no longer wear shoes while driving). We pressed on toward the gorge once we determined that both vehicles were basically damage free.
Our next right turn proved to be a good choice, as we started seeing signs for the gorge bridge. As we drove across it, Gretchen commented that it was the first time she had ever ridden across that bridge with her eyes open... thank you Gretchen for keeping your eyes open while driving! It really was no small feat considering her fear of heights. We got to the other side, and decided to turn around, and find a parking spot. I wanted to get a closer look.
It was odd how as we walked closer to the middle of the bridge you started feeling “funny”, like maybe the ground/bridge was moving under your feet. Gretchen conquered fear again, and took some amazing pictures of her standing somewhat close to the rail. As we drove off from the bridge, the song “No Longer Slaves” (to fear) came on... how fitting!!
Time to head to the White Water Rafting location...crap. We needed the GPS again and guess what, it failed us,...again!! By the time we found the number to the place we were going, and sat through the 5 minute construction stop, we were almost late, lol. Hanko, our guide, gave us the quick version of what to expect, signed a few papers, and off to the the Rio Grande River.
Due to the recent fires and lack of snow through the winter, the river was very low (approx 20 ft below normal). Hanko instructed us that because of the low levels, there were many more rocks visible that we had to dodge, and that made it more dangerous than when the water levels were high. They split the group into three groups, and we loaded up and headed down the river.
“White Water” was a stretch, to be honest it was much more like a canoe trip, but the weather was beautiful, water was refreshing, and Hanko kept us well entertained with stories, and occasional paddle high five with a shout of “coconut” . ... the rafts nickname. Gretchen and I giggled when Hanko told us the name of the raft, because Gretchen is allergic to Coconut.
When she made a comment that she had been healed of her Mast Cell Disease, but was still allergic to coconut, the gentleman in our boat was shocked because his wife, niece, sister in law (all in the raft behind us), nephew (in the boat with us) and father in law, have a Mast Cell Disease. Out in the middle of the mountains, floating down the river God threw a door wide open for a testimony, and we got to pray with one of them!!! It was definitely a highlight of our time in Red River.!!
I’m pretty sure the enemy was mad at Gretchen for sharing her testimony, because when we left there, we stopped by a snow cone stand and G ordered a banana ... yuck... snow cone and the lady accidentally gave her one with Coconut flavoring... no joke.
With the top down and music playing, we finished the gorgeous 2nd half of the Enchanted Circle, traveling through Angel Fire and Eagles Nest. We did make a pit stop at the Golden Eagle RV Park for a quick picture for our friend, Pati, who often camps there. It had been a fun filled day, an awesome first day of vacation!
Written by Jody Brown
If you would like to ride along with us through the rest of our trip you can click here.