So, in acceptance of the challenge, Tucker and I took to Williams Lake in Taos, NM, just an hour north of Santa Fe. You want elevation changes? Go to a ski resort.
The New Mexico trail guidebook listed the hike as 8 miles round trip with a 2000 foot elevation gain. AllTrails app clocked it as 4 miles and only a 1000 foot elevation gain. It seemed the book had you start the climb in Taos Village proper, whereas the app had you drive to the parking lot of the trailhead. Granted the road to the trailhead warned “4-wheel drive only” I assume they only meant in the winter. The parking lot we arrived in had plenty of 2-wheel drive sedans, sport vehicles, and trucks. There was even a restaurant a quarter mile from the parking lot, so clearly people don't walk all the way from town.
Just the main road beyond the parking lot was stunning.
The ski lift went out of sight as we veered left with nature: a stream crossing under the trail.
“You’re almost there!”
“You can do it!”
“Not much longer!”
They all had something nice to say and a smile to fuel us onward and upward.
Because we tend to ignore warnings such as was on the board at the trailhead: “Do not start your hike mid-day. Weather is likely to change,” and everyone else takes heed, Tuck and I had the lake to ourselves this afternoon.
When we felt fulfilled, and Tucker’s big goofy smile stayed on his face, we started the trek back.