RIO GRAND GORGE, New Mexico // A lot of things did not go as planned today, and we felt as if we had just wandered in circles.
We were all excited to rock climb in Taos, New Mexico. However, the information that we gathered from multiple sources sometimes contradicted one another. The guidebooks were published in 2005. The rock was rebolted in 2010, and some of the walls have since been renamed. The access to the walls are in the middle of the Rio Grand Gorge, so instead of hiking up to a mountain to climb, we were hiking down into the gorge trying to orient ourselves.
We spent 30 minutes hiking to the wall, and 30 minutes hiking back unable to find it. We tried a different trail, found the bolted routes, but didn't know which wall or routes they were. All of the pictures and maps didn't align with what we were looking at. We spent 2 hours wandering aimlessly and unsuccessfully trying to match the wall with one of the routes.
We were frustrated and tired. We hadn't even done a single route after hiking for hours. We decided to make lunch, enjoy the view, and clear our heads. At this point, neither one of us really wanted to climb anymore. Just looking at the maps, photos, and the wall gave us both a headache.
To justify the waste of the day we decided it was a "hiking day" since we actually did a back and forth / circular hike for the past 4 hours. At this point we just wanted to go into town and get groceries and go back to the hostel. Exhausted and in the sun, we now had to do an uphill hike with all of our climbing gear. As we turned to go, we looked down and saw something blocking our path and crawling toward us. It was a brown, hairy spider, about as big as the palm of your hand. A tarantula. We both freaked out and ran.
Once we got back to the car and calmed down we laughed uncontrollably. We realized that days like this will happen, and things don't always go as planned. You have to enjoy the journey even it is simply wandering in circles.
At dinner Jenny wrote some Haiku poems about the day:
- Unknown emotions // wandering the pebbled gorge // dangerous beauty
- Sport routes elude us // but it's hard to be angry // in this "gorges" crag
- Tiny spiders I // do fear, large tarantulas // immobilize me