Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your yard. Climb that goddamn mountain. – Jack Kerouac
Last week, I decided out of no where that Brady and I needed to get away for the weekend and head towards the mountains, and it was all thanks to the above quote.
Red River, NM is an old mining town turned ski village nestled in the mountains at an elevation of 8,750 feet. In both the summer and winter months, visitors will be tempted with many things to do from skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing to OHV and Jeep trails, trout fishing, mountain biking, and rafting.
We drove up on Friday evening arriving around 8:45 PM. We quickly retreated to our room at the Ponderosa Lodge for the night. After driving about 3 hours, I received a phone call from our original hotel, the Alpine Lodge, who said they had a water line break and would not be able to accommodate us for the weekend. Panicking, they quickly put me in touch with the Ponderosa Lodge and we were able to get a suite with a fireplace.
Note: Do not let Brady operate the wood-burning fireplace. As a result of him not opening the damper after I had asked him if it was open and he said yes, all of our clothes now smell like smoke.
And to think that I signed a waiver that we would not burn the place down…
The next morning, we made our way to Old Tymer’s Café for breakfast and then over to a bar to binge watch college football.
Around 1:30, we decided to hop in the jeep and ride some trails. In the 3-hour time period that took, we experienced rain, hail, sleet, and more rain. Our first stop was for a photo-op with the color-changing Aspens (the whole reason I chose to go to the mountains).
The 3 trails we took were in the “Moderate” rating and just your standard jeep with no lift or oversize tires can easily make it.
Once we reached to top of Greenie Peak, it began to sleet and the clouds we so low we were unable to see anything.
After descending Greenie Peak, we took a turn for Midnight Meadow, which I was unable to get a picture of. By staying on this trail, it will connect you to a county (dirt) road and take you back to civilization. Instead of following the road back through Questa to get to Red River (about 30 miles), we opted to take the Sawmill Pass trail back up over the mountain, which is about 9 miles.
I had this genius idea to open my big mouth when I saw a large mud puddle. Before I could think, the words “GUN IT” came out of my mouth. And there we went crashing through the mud puddle and covering the jeep. That’ll teach me since I’ll be the one cleaning the mess.
You can check out all the Jeep/ATV/Motorcycle trails here.
That evening we ventured out to a pizzeria for some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. After that, we went back to the bar for a few beers and to finish watching some college football.
We had a great weekend in the mountains and at 5.5 hours away, it is an easy enough drive to do for a Friday-Sunday trip, although maybe not in the Jeep next time. For anyone who enjoys the outdoors, whether it be for skiing, hiking, or everything in between, I recommend a long weekend in Red River!