The Rio Grande in Rocks

Just downstream of Taos Junction Rapid, on the Rio Grande of northern New Mexico, is a group of basalt rocks that, at high water, are vigorously washed by strong currents. The sediment carried by the high water sculpts and polishes these rocks. To my eye, the sculpting of the rocks model the river’s waves, while the polish on the rocks model the river’s gleam.

These basalt rocks are derived from the lava flows that the Rio Grande has cut through, in excavating the Rio Grande Gorge. Here, the river follows a very large systems of faults which, together, form the Rio Grande Rift. In New Mexico, this rift stretches north to south from the Colorado border, in the north, to the Texas border, in the south. It is these faults that spewed out the lava that covers much of this area. This north-central part of the state is now contained in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico, which makes us very proud. The Rio Grande Gorge is the centerpiece of the Monument, and it is neighbored by volcanic cones that stand above the flat lava-covered plateau, with herds of bighorn sheep, elk, pronghorn antelope and deer that graze there. The gorge also provides nesting habitat for raptors such as the golden eagle and peregrine and prairie falcons, while a winter retreat for bald eagles. One will see beaver, muskrats and even otters in the river, along with plenty of waterfowl, including wintering flocks of canada geese, goldeneyes, buffleheads, widgeons and gadwalls. And one can catch brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike and carp in the river.

Here are some of the critters mentioned above, all photographed along the Rio Grande.

Otter

Bald eagle

Mule deer

Coyote

Beaver

Bighorn sheep

What else? Well, of course, there is world-class whitewater available in the summer months, which includes the Taos Box run (and Taos Junction Rapid) that carries you 16 miles through the wilderness of the Rio Grande Gorge. Come visit us summer or winter!

Taos Box

America Outdoors Association Marketing and Management Conference, Dec. 2017

America Outdoors Association Marketing and Management Conference, Dec. 2017

The New Wave crew does not take all winter off. Kathy and Steve Miller, President and VP of New Wave Rafting Co. respectively, attended the America Outdoors Association Marketing and Management Conference, held early this December in Reno, NV. This is, as you would suppose, our industry group, with the membership consisting of river guides, canoe liveries, dude ranches, horse packers, fishing lodges etc. Forward-looking outfitters attend this yearly event to discover new ways to upgrade their service to the outdoor-loving public.

While there, we made the acquaintance of Greg Mills and Steve Densley, of Maxxon Outfitters, who offer a line of high-quality, but yet very affordable, rafts, fishing craft and fly fishing equipment. Having, of course, little sales resistance, we purchased a one-person fishing raft and fly rod outfit, and await their arrival and a warm day to test them out. Here I (Steve) am, at their booth.

Me and Greg Mills (right)

Greg, me and Steve. I have the 38 lb. fishing raft on my back.

And speaking of fishing, we combined attendance at the Conference with a fishing trip to Pyramid Lake, NV, which lies less than 40 miles to the north of Reno. This lake is known for its population of Lahontan cutthroat trout, which grow to extraordinary sizes. The fishing was tough this year, with few fish caught and none that large. But last year was another story.

Huge Lahontan cutthroat trout, caught Nov. 2016

Ethan Miller, with a Lahontan cutthroat trout caught this late November

As to the Maxxon line of equipment – if we are as pleased with the equipment as we think we will be, we might wish to offer it to the public, through our online store (in development). It’s our belief that fly fishing equipment, in particular, is way over-priced, and that there is, therefore, a market for affordable equipment. What do you think?

Fall Along the Rio Grande, 2017

Fall colors, bighorn sheep, brown trout and beautiful days! All photos were taken in September, October and November of this year.

It is the riverside cottonwoods that provide most of the color at this time of year. The Spanish word “bosque” means riverside grove of trees.

The Bosque stretch

The Bosque stretch

The Bosque stretch

The Bosque is a “float” stretch, which passes by our riverside headquarters. In 2018, we will be offering a 3-mile long dinner float that will end at our cottonwood-shaded barbecue and dining area, beside a tranquil stretch of the Rio Grande.

At our landing – the destination of our Bosque float. Kathy Miller, NWR Pres., is seen in a funyak.

Lone Juniper CG, in the Orilla Verde stretch of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Rio Bravo CG, in the Orilla Verde stretch

For the first time in memory, a large group of bighorn sheep spent a number of weeks along the river, road and campgrounds in the Orilla Verde stretch. As can be seen, they did not at all mind the close approach of people and slowly moving cars.

Bighorn sheep ram, Orilla Verde

Bighorn sheep ewe, Orilla Verde

Bighorn sheep lamb, Orilla Verde

The lower and clearer waters of this time of year makes for good trout fishing. My favorite fish is the self-sustaining brown trout, which, although originally brought over from Europe, is not now stocked.

Brown Trout, Orilla Verde

Brown trout, caught on an outlandish-looking grasshopper imitation, Orilla Verde

NWR raft and fishing guide Todd Emerson, Orilla Verde

NWR raft and fishing guide Todd Emerson and his drift boat, Orilla Verde

Fall is over when the wintering bald eagles and diving ducks return (which include goldeneyes, buffleheads, ring-necked ducks and mergansers). Other waterfowl seen are the year-round mallards, Canada geese (some of which are year-round) and an occasional gadwall.

Bald eagle, along the Racecourse stretch

Goldeneye ducks, along the Orilla Verde stretch

Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon

Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon, 7/29/17

“On Wednesday Susan and I took the most wonderful raft trip down the Rio Grande south of Taos. Our guide, for the second time, was our friend Britt Runyon, with New Wave Rafting. Britt has such a great love for this area, along with deep knowledge of the plants, animals and the river itself (and is such a great guy), that the trip was a total joy! We highly recommend him and the river itself.”

Britt Runyon

Britt is our Operations Manager. Every once in a while we try to figure out how long he has been with us – it’s been SO long! He started in 1985 or earlier!!

And he is our video and  photography producer. You’ll see his work on the website.

Past the drop, with a big smile on her face!

Here, he photographed Kathy Miller, NWRCo. Pres., running Powerline Falls in the Taos Box this season.

Bighorn sheep and channel fill

and Bighorn sheep in the Taos Box, also this season.

Come rafting with us, and request Britt. He represents our vision of providing the most valuable river experience possible. And … help us save the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (which includes the Taos Box) from the clutches of the current administration, which wants to downsize or eliminate National Monuments completely. Drop a line to:  @SecretaryZinke.

Thanks!

 

 

(Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon)

(Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon)

Guide Testimonial About Neil Oberheide, AM Racecourse July 18

Guide Testimonial About Neil Oberheide: “Our rafting experience was AMAZING due in part to the expert guide we had.  I can’t remember his name but his aunt & uncle have ownership in the rafting company.  We rafted in the AM trip on July 18th and had a blast.  I had rafted before but my significant other had not.  He being from Chicago and me from Montana made the difference.  I am recommending your company to others and will continue to do so.  Thank you for a wonderful morning.  Chris Danner and Bob fisher”

Neil had been away for a few years (in school in California), but came back to guide again this summer. He brought his dog, Lenny, and, after work, they go out together on a stand up paddle board. While Lenny doesn’t confide much to anyone, we know that he’s having a great time. Neil is too, and you can tell that from the testimonial above.

What distinguishes us from other companies? It’s our guides, who always give our guests the best time possible. They love the outdoor life and love sharing it. Ask for Neil for your next trip. And you can do it online, while at the same time getting the “Online Special” (that’s the promo code) 10% discount. There’s still plenty of summer to go, and there is no better place to spend a summer morning or afternoon than on a river – the Rio Grande, I mean!

Neil and Lenny on SUP

Testimonials Keep Coming In

Testimonials Keep Coming. What can I say? Our guests love us!
Here are some of this season’s testimonials:
Lauren Kylee Buttrey reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star
15 hrs

My family rafted and camped with New Wave over three days. Our guides feel like family after this trip! They went above and beyond, not to mention they were just amazing people to be around in general. My favorite rafting trip thus far and we owe it all to new wave. 10/10 recommend. Cathy and Karen were the best!

Michelle Murphy reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star
19 hrs

What an amazing and awesome rafting trip down the racecourse. Our guide, Orlando was knowledgeable about the local history as well as instructing us on surfing the wave. Great fun! 

Katt Sanders reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star

My family and I went rafting today with New Wave Rafting company. Orlando was our guide and we had an absolute blast!! He provided geology, NM, and Rio Grande history to make the trip interesting and to provide knowledge of the local Gorge. We attended the full day Rio Grande Gorge adventure and was provided a delicious lunch at half day. Thanks Orlando for making our trip memorable!! We will definitely be back and will request Orlando for our guide again!! For future rafters, my family and I would highly recommend this rafting company!! 

Elizabeth Lindsey reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star

We love Orlando and Britt! The most awesome guides ever! Thank you, Orlando, for an amazing experience rafting The Box! You need to name our rock! Will never forget, “HIGH SIDE!!!! Let us know if you make it to Charleston, SC 

Matt Crye reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star

Great trip with Britt on The Racecourse. It was the first whitewater experience for Hank (age 12) and Gip (age 9). They’re hooked and can’t wait to come back!

Gail B. Werbach reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star
May 13

Great day on the Chana with Brit and Joe. Expert guides lovely scenery and great lunch!

Jennifer Pittman reviewed New Wave Rafting Co.5 star

Orlando was an absolutely fantastic tour guide — an area native, he had so much knowledge to share with me and my family. The racecourse was a safe, easy, and sometimes exciting ride for us all.

Testimonials Keep Coming  … New Wave Rafting Co is very proud of our tradition of giving our guests all we got! Kathy is mentioned in the top testimonial. Who is Kathy? She is the President of NWRCo, she is 66 yrs old and still at it! And, she just loves the Rio Chama. Here she is, on the Rio Chama.

Testimonials Keep Coming!

Kathy, on the river

 

Testimonial July 20 2017 No Wave Float

Testimonial July 20 2017 New Wave No Wave Float:

“To Whom it May Concern:

Today our daughter and our 2 grandchildren went on your New Wave No Wave Float Trip.

It was a wonderful experience.  The kids LOVED it.  Our guide, Jessie, was delightful.  We would ask for him again.  The lunch was delicious, and the presentation was picture perfect.  We felt like we were the Rockefeller’s. Thank you for offering this option for younger children.  We will spread the word.

Vanette and David Harris”

 

When potential customers ask what distinguishes us from other companies, there’s just one answer: our customer service, which really means our guides. Jessie continues to get rave reviews and requests. Come and meet him!

The New Wave No Wave Scenic Float in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area

The gentle New Wave No Wave Float trip traverses the scenic Orilla Verde section of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument of northern New Mexico, and is perfect for kids of 4 or 5 years of age and for those who prefer a float to whitewater. Currently, we are trying to protect this National Monument from misguided attempts by the administration in in Washington to either eliminate it completely or alter its present configuration. This Monument is the product of years of advocacy by New Mexicans from every walk of life, and went through the designation process unopposed. Help us save it, so that you too can bring your grandkids to this beautiful place. Please tell your Congressional representatives to leave the Monument as is. Thanks!

Orilla Verde Recreation Area, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA