Magazine article Sunset

Weekend Escape

Magazine article Sunset

Weekend Escape

Article excerpt

1. Eat like a iocavore

On Saturday mornings all summer, the Taos Farmers Market (8 a.m.-1 p.m.; 575/751-7575) buzzes with northern New Mexico growers and ranchers. Rent a bike at Gearing Up (from $25 for a half-day; 129 Paseo del Pueblo Sur; 575/751-0365] and ride to the market, located in the town hall parking lot next to the library. Cody and Co. head straight for Tina Leonard's stand for homemade carne asada breakfast burritos, then pick up organic grass-fed beef from Colorado rancher Lucas Salazar. Once you've been to the source, you'll want to go to the school: Chef Chris Maher's Cooking Studio Taos (from $98; cook' offers private and group classes in northern New Mexican cuisine. The longtime Taos restaurateur will school you in the fine art of wrapping sticky masa dough in cornhusks for tamales and in baking faizcochitos, aniseflavored cookies.

2. Head for the hills

Get an alpine start to beat the afternoon thunderstorms on the gradual 2-mile hike to Williams Lake, at 11,300 feet in the high country above Taos Ski Valley. (Says Cody, "Eva can make it to the lake, no problem.") The trail parallels the Rio Hondo upstream to the lake. From there you can look up at New Mexico's highest point, Wheeler Peak; if you're feeling ambitious, follow the faint goat path that scrambles up the scree field on the north side of the tarn to the summit above, with views 60 miles north to Colorado. Afterward, lounge your legs on the cushy chaises outside the Bavarian Lodge ($$; 100 Kachina Rd., Taos Ski Valley; 575/776-8020), at the base of the trail. "Stay for a pint of hefeweizen wheat beer and the sausage platter," says Cody. They're served - in a scene straight out of Austria - by waiters in lederhosen.

3. Paddle the river

Fuel up for the day at World Cup Cafe (102 Paseo del Pueblo Norte; 575/737-5299], a micro coffeehouse just off the plaza where, says Cody, "everybody knows each other and the owner is a connoisseur of the perfect pour." Then pack a bathing suit and get picnic lunch from Cid's Food Market (dosed Sun; 623 Paseo del Pueblo Norte; 575/758-1148] for a morning on the Rio Grande. Stake out a shady spot beneath a cottonwood on a sandy stretch of shoreline in Orilla Verde Recreation Area ($3 per vehicle), where the river's mellow enough for Cody to take Eva out for a ride on his stand-up paddleboard. …

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