It's already mid-June, that bittersweet tipping point when you realize that unless you start getting some adventures on the calendar, summer's going to whiz past in a blur. But here in Santa Fe, as in many parts of the west, we've spent the past three weeks living in a ring of fire. Forest fires are blazing in the Jemez Mountains to the west, the Pecos Valley to the east, and the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the north. It's been smoky and hot, and much of the high country in the national forest is closed indefinitely due to fire danger.
As we closed in on the solstice, we found ourselves craving high peaks, big trees, trails, and water. We needed a weekend fresh-air fix fit for the whole family, and fast, but we didn't have a lot of time to devote to planning or driving. So we pulled out the map, sent a few emails, and came up with a plan: Use Durango as our hub for 48 hours of rafting, hiking, and riding in the San Juans.