For the weekend, we drive up to Carole’s friend Mike’s house up in the Carson National Forest north of Taos past Arroyo Seco.
Mike is an architect whose house, which he designed and built, is situated on a hillside for the most expansive views of the valley below, the Rio Grande River Gorge area, and further distant mountains. Entrance is by way of a steep drive, followed by a short walk and, then, wooden stairs up into a multi-level home with more than one grand view from its rooms and multi-level decks.
The first night, I sleep downstairs in the “study” area, with its own bathroom and wooden deck balcony out to a hot tub and upper decks. The bed has a thick memory foam topping to the mattress, so I fall into a deep, restful sleep upon arrival.
Next day, Mike gives a personal, guided tour. The top-most level consists of the master bedroom and a large, room-size bath with open closet area. Open storage along one wall makes the closet contents readily available.
The master bath contains a vintage massage tub of unique design and, of course, there are views—of the forest floor upon which the house stands. Adjoining the bath, the bedroom houses a raised bed that even the royal princess of “The Princess and the Pea” fairy tale might have found elevating. It rests upon a wide frame underlit and covered with pebbles.
Along the facing wall, windows look out upon the upmost deck. From there, the best views yet feature the broad valley below as well as, on either side of and behind the house, the mountain forest filled with blue spruce, firs, and pine.
We were shortly joined by new guests for the weekend, friends of Carole’s, on their way home to Arizona, along with their 4 year-old son, Jonah (Jonas by birth, but favoring the Biblical nickname). They’d just spent time at the Lama Foundation in spiritual retreat for healing community and meditation in connection with a deep personal loss.
On Sunday, we all went for a hike to a waterfall a little way up into the forest. Along the way, Mike looked for mushrooms and told us how to recognize different species and which were poisonous, which not. Jonah turned out to be a very good mushroom “spotter.”