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Between Two Chollas- Interview with Jake Walker, River Guide

August 24th, 2017

JM: Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Jake Walker, NMRA’s head boatman and SUP Extaordinaire. Jake, what was it that brought you into rafting? JW: Well, I guess it was always just meant to be… I’ve always been on the water. I took two weeks, and went up to Arizona with a buddy. We stayed at a rafting company out there, and all of a sudden, I was getting paychecks! It started as a visit, and turned into a job. I didn’t want to make rafting a job, or make anything on the river a job, because I didn’t want to take the fun out of it. But, it’s still fun, 25 years later.                        JM: That was my next question. Is that how long you’ve been guiding? 25 years? JW: Yeah… since ’92, however long it’s been since then! JM: Tell me, what’s the best part about being a guide? JW: The best part about being a guide is the freedom. To pull up [stakes], and go to the next place, no questions asked- without it being weird like it would be for other people. Also, the interaction with the people, with the guests.             JM: So […]

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Green Chile: A Taste Of New Mexico

August 11th, 2017

The New Mexico River Adventures crew are huge fans of green chile. We incorporate it into our signature lunch dish on our full day trips, because what are fresh fajitas without the true flavor of New Mexico?                                                                                                                                    Here in New Mexico, everyone’s mouths start to water right around the beginning of August. Why? Because the green chile is being harvested and roasted! There’s nothing like the spicy steam coming off of the green chile that’s being roasted outside of almost every grocery store in the state for the next month. It’s mesmerizing to watch the huge grated barrels being turned over the fire and sprayed down with water to create the giant steam clouds that we all look forward to, so it’s common to see a small crowd gathered around a chile roaster outside of the local grocery.                                                                                                                           Roasting the chiles doesn’t just give them that amazing, smokey flavor; it also blisters the skin of the fruit to make them […]

2017 Gas Pipeline Project on Highway 68

August 1st, 2017

New Mexico Gas Co. is starting a gas pipeline replacement project on Tues, August 1st 2017, between Pilar and Rinconada, NM along Highway 68. The 6 mile stretch to be replaced runs above ground on the geologically unstable West side of the Rio Grande between mile marker 30 and mile marker 24.  This side of the river in this area is prone to landslides, and the ground is constantly shifting due to underground springs and geological activity. The existing pipeline is 8″ in diameter, to be replaced with 12″ pipeline and rerouted to the East side of the river next to the North-bound lane of Highway 68. This pipeline replacement project will run a predicted 4 months from August through November, and will hopefully be completed by Thanksgiving 2017. The road crews will be working on 1 mile stretches at a time, closing one lane of traffic on those mile stretches beginning August 8th. A pilot car will escort the traffic through the construction areas. Expected wait times are estimated at 15 minutes. If you’ve booked a trip with us and are traveling to our Headquarters from Taos, please allow yourself an extra 30 minutes of travel time. The typical […]

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FAQ: What If It Rains?

July 29th, 2017

    It’s late July, moving into early August for the 2017 Santa Fe and Taos rafting season. This time of year means monsoon season! We receive a lot of inquiries about our trips going out in rainy weather. Well, the show must go on! There’s just too much fun to be had out on the river, and we don’t let a few raindrops get in our way.         Our Rio Grande Headquarters is located in the unique ecosystem of the high desert. This means high altitudes with little precipitation. The New Mexico sun is hot, and for the most part, New Mexico averages 280 sunny days a year! That means around 100 days or less that we receive rain on average; making rainstorms a bit of a special occasion for us, even during what’s considered monsoon season. These rainstorms typically blow in during the late afternoon, providing a welcome relief to the warm, dry summer days. Rain on the riverside cliffs brings out all the beautiful colors in the desert landscape, washing the dust from the rocks and letting the thirsty foliage drink deeply. It’s also not uncommom to see a variety of beautiful waterfalls off the canyon rim as […]

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Between Two Chollas – An Interview With Luke Kriken, River Guide

July 10th, 2017

JM: Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Luke Kriken. Luke, what brought you into rafting?   LK: I was just looking for a summer job in between school, and found out that I knew somebody at this company. I had worked a care-providing gig for years, and decided I wanted to get a job for myself this time; I felt like I had played my part and donated to the community, so I really wanted to do something for myself. I found out about this, and had only been rafting once when I was 17-  I’m pretty sure we were being such little jerks [on that trip] that the guide flipped the boat on purpose… but yeah, that was the one time I had rafted before this gig, and I came out here, had never even been to New Mexico; fell in love with the area and boating, and have been back every summer since. JM: How long have you been professionally guiding?   LK: 4 seasons- 4 summers.   JM: So, what’s the most epic trip you’ve done so far?   LK: Cataract Canyon, 2015! 16 days, self-supported through the canyon, with Wendy Meyer as the awesome […]

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Happy 4th Of July, From NMRA!

July 1st, 2017

Our summer season is in full swing, and the 4th of July is right around the corner… We can’t think of a better place to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day than on the river! The water is getting warmer every day, and we have so many fun activities available this season. Let us take you rafting and camping on an overnight or multi day vacation in the gorgeous high desert setting along our rivers. Or, come hang out in the Rio Grande Gorge and explore the Dead Cholla climbing wall on one of our half-day rock climbing and rappelling excursions. This trip makes a wonderful full day adventure with our fajita lunch and scenic Orilla Verde float through the bottom of the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument  Interested in trying something a little different from rafting? Be the captain of your own vessel in an inflatable kayak, or team up with a partner in one of our tandem inflatable kayaks! They’re great for first-time paddlers, and even if you’re a whitewater enthusiast who’s previously experienced the Rio Grande or Rio Chama in a raft, it’s a fun opportunity to gain a new perspective on our multi day, full day […]

5 Things you’re likely to see on the Rio Grande

June 20th, 2017

There are lots of things to see on the Rio Grande while out on a rafting trip. Whether up in the rowdy class IV section of the Taos Box, in the mellow waters of the Orilla Verde Float section, or through the  popular Racecourse, there’s much to behold.   The High Gorge Bridge, spanning the gorge just Northwest of the town of Taos, is exhilarating to stand on and gaze down into the gorge below. You can get a less common, very humbling perspective of this bridge from below, on a rafting trip through the Lower Taos Box.   Birds of Prey and migratory bird species are abound on the Rio Grande. We’ve got a couple different species of eagles, a couple of different species of herons, geese, and ducks, as well as many other bird species. It’s a bird-watcher’s paradise!   The heritage and ancient cultures of the Gorge still echo along the banks and into the side canyons, as those who passed through centuries ago left their stories on the rocks in Petroglyphs for us to treasure today. Some of these glyphs are easily viewed from the rafts, and knowledgeable river guides can show you just where to […]

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Brand New Amazing Fajita Lunch, Riverside!

June 16th, 2017

Here at New Mexico River Adventures we’ve decided to step it up from the standard deli lunch out on the river, and fill our guests’ bellies with something special. We want to give our guests a meal that isn’t only delicious and nutritious, but is also an authentic taste of Northern New Mexico. This year, we’ve started making our hot, fresh chicken and veggie fajita lunch, right on the river bank- and this scrumptious meal is available on all of our full day trips! New Mexico River Adventures is the only river outfitter in New Mexico that features this delectable spread along both the Rio Grande and the Rio Chama.                                     We start by leaving no expense spared. Our professional guides pack everything into our rafts they require to prepare a tantalizing lunch; we carry all of the fuel, stoves, pots and pans, and utensils we need to achieve perfectly grilled chicken, and the mouth-watering veggie mix of sweet bell peppers and onions that really define the authentic fajita taste. Add in our savory black beans, and don’t forget the Mexican rice!                               To top it all off, our guides lay out a beautiful and inviting garnish spread, with fresh […]

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Between Two Chollas – An Interview With Brad Hooker, River Guide

June 8th, 2017

JM: Today I’m interviewing Brad Hooker, one of our guides here at NMRA. Brad, What brought you into rafting? BH: What brought me into rafting? I did a Wilderness First Responder course and a lot of the people in that course had some great stories; just about things they’ve responded to out on the river, and rafting in general… and I met Wendy Meyer and Jamie Viers. The two of them were just these awesome women who had a lot of fun stories about it, and they pulled me into the rafting world.   JM: So, how long have you been professionally guiding? BH: About 5 years now. A good 4 seasons out on the Rio Grande, and 1 season out on the Gauley River in West Virginia. JM: What’s the most epic trip you’ve done? BH: I did a 16 day Cataract Canyon trip; that was pretty epic, in terms of being really long, and out in the wilderness, it was just wonderful. It makes me excited to get out there more… It’s between that and the first Class V paddling I ever did, it was up at the Burnt Ranch Gorge in California, on the Trinity River. That […]

The Local Scene: Things To Do After Your Trip

May 28th, 2017

Here in our sleepy, mountain town of Rinconada, one would think it to be just a town to pass through (or to meet and go rafting!), but it’s so much more. Rich with eateries, galleries, and local watering holes that offer locally-made craft beer and wines, Rinconada and it’s surrounding neighborhoods hold a treasure trove of places to visit and explore after your day on the river.                                              Nearby tasting rooms and breweries are the first stop! Starting closest to NMRA’s headquarters (conveniently located across the street), The Blue Heron Brewery not only has their finest beers on draft- including their homemade root beer, they also serve fantastic local wine as well. They hold “Trivia Night” on Friday evenings for those who love a friendly competition of the minds, and live, local music on Saturday evenings. A little over a mile South on Highway 68 is Vivac Winery, who also host live music on Saturday nights in conjunction with their Happy Hour. Known for their award-winning wines, they also serve local beers on tap; for the chocolate connoisseur, a decadent array […]