This last weekend we spent three days on a raft trip down a wild part of the Rio Chama in northern New Mexico. The trip was sponsored by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance., who are working to preserve the river. The river and its immediate environs are currently a federal wilderness study area. If the Congress approves the plan, this beautiful river and the surrounding mountains will be designated a Federal Wilderness Area which will ensure protection of the unique, fragile, and beautiful environment. We tagged along for the adventure and to see the scenery The Wilderness Alliance is working hard to obtain wilderness designation, so their staff also wanted to look at the river.
The raft trip was run by an outfitter from Taos, New Mexico, named Far-Flung Adventures.They brought a virtual flotilla for our trip, including three paddle boats, a supply boat, and four inflatable kayaks. There were three boatmen and a single boatwoman, all of whom were extremely friendly, helpful, and competent. The trip was filled with relaxing floats, shite water rapids, sunny skies, and spectacular scenery.
What we were not expecting was the food. All of the supplies, including the food itself and the portable kitchen had to be carried with us on the river and through the rough water. Our anticipation was that we would get a lot of cold sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Wow, were we in for a surprise.
Our first lunch was a delicatessen spread just an hour or so after we first boarded the boats. That evening we had a wide selection of cheese and dips to go with wine or beer. Then there were grilled chicken tacos with fresh-made pico de gallo along with fresh spinach, almond, and mandarin orange salad. To top it off, there was a chocolate cake with icing, baked in a three-legged Dutch oven.
Then there were tabbouleh, pasta salad with artichoke hearts, tender steaks, grilled salmon, and a cherry cobbler – again done in the Dutch oven.
I wound up gaining 3 pounds on what I thought was a wilderness expedition.
On top of all that, we had live music and poetry recitations from the multiple-threat boat crew.
This turned out to be a memorable trip, and one that I would highly recommend. You are pampered as much as you would like, or you can be strenuous in the kayaks to work off all those good calories.
- ½ cup bulgur
- 2 cups fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ½ large red onion, chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cover the bulgur with boiling water and let stand for ½ hour until soft. Place the soaked bulgur in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as dry as possible
- Combine the bulgur with all of the remaining ingredients, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and serve.