At breakfast we discussed what we would do for the day now that ballooning was no longer in the picture. We decided to do horseback riding earlier and me, Sharon, Serena, Aimee, Stef, Betsy, Laura and Mel all took the 30 minute drive up the very winding road to Angel Fire (local ski town). What a beautiful, but scary/windy road to the trail! We could see clouds towards the top of the mountain and it was cool enough to wear a fleece. I think it was around 8,000 feet above sea level.
We all met at the trailhead, got our horses (mine was Willy Wonka) and headed up the trail with two wranglers, Bill and Brooke. Serena was very nervous as she is definitely a city girl and had only been on a horse once before and was thrown off. Well, within 5 minutes on the horse, it happened again. She was tense, the horse knew it and when another horse got too close, her horse trotted a bit and she fell off. Luckily she didn't hurt anything but her pride. Aimee stayed back with her and they ended up riding on flat ground with another wrangler. The rest of us took a 1.5 hour ride up into what can only be call God's country. Beautiful landscape and amazing forest. The smell was so fresh with juniper. We saw bear claw marks on some of the trees and ended up cantoring (scary!) Up to a pond so the horses could drink. I was a little nervous with my limited experience on horses but felt great once I was comfortable with old Willy.
Once we were done, we came back to the lodge and crashed for an hour or so. At 6 we heard from Betsy that she finished her accounting of the trip and we were under budget! So, to Joseph's Table we go. This restaurant has been on our minds all week because they had duck fat fries (among lots of other amazing sounding dishes) on their menu. We ate steak, scallops, beautiful salads and desserts. We reminisced about our week, we shared photos, we passed around our HFH hats for signatures, we presented Betsy with a gift (a beautiful painting of horses) and a card with two indian sisters on it, all signed by us. Betsy gave us each a certificate of completion.
Once we were done with our fancy dinner, Stef, Laura and I hijacked the van and drove to Walmart and Smith's to get a group photo printed and framed for her. We chose a picture from Madrid early on in the trip. She really appreciated it!
Anyway, this is my last email from Taos... We are up early tomorrow (5:45 am wake up call) so we can all get to our flights on time in Albuquerque. I have mixed feelings - happy to have finished our job, excitied to sleep in my own bed, sad to say goodbye to my new friends...I truly enjoyed sharing my stories with you...
I hope they were fun for you to read and maybe they even inspired you to do something for others, no matter how small. If we all do a little something it will all add up to something big.
Love to you all and see you soon,