Skijoring in Red River in 2017

Red River Skijoring

Red River Skijoring


Literally defined, skijoring simply means “ski driving” and is commonly defined as being pulled on skis by an animal, motorized vehicle or other device. Equine skijoring refers to being pulled on skis by a horse. While skijoring spans back centuries in Europe, in our region it found its start in the 1940s when WWII vets in the Leadville, Colorado area tied ropes to horses to tow skiers in place of ski lifts. It wasn’t long before it turned into a competitive sport.

The competitive event often involves skiers being timed on a race course, which consists of navigating a number of jumps and obstacles. Many skijoring events include open class and sport class for both skiers and snowboarders. Each event venue has its own personality and flair that reflects the local culture, while still meeting strict safety guidelines. Courses can be straight, round, or u-shaped, and the course to navigate can vary. Some venues add a novice class, kid races, long jumps, shovel races, and other activities. The best and most popular skijoring events take place “in town” on a straight course.

The 2nd annual Red River Skijoring event happened on January 14th and 15th, 2017. Spectators packed in to get a glimpse of the skiers being towed by a horse running at a full gallop. The 2017 competition included four divisions: open (pro), sport (amateur), novice (beginner) and exhibition (“just for fun” for adults and kids).

Pet Tile Christmas Gifts

Pet Tiles Images used for Christmas Gifts

Pet Tiles Images used for Christmas Gifts


These are just a few of the images that our customers used for gift tiles during the Christmas season. We had images of dogs, cats, people, horses, golf courses, and assorted vacation destinations. The tiles included trivets, coasters, easel back art tiles, and hanging ornaments. We print on ceramic and porcelain tiles. Individual tiles can be up to 8×10 in size and we can also spread a single image over multiple tiles to make a mural. Whether they buy our own pre-printed tiles or have custom ones made, our customers have been really pleased with the results. See more at https://gardenandsoul.com/tiles/

Our Short Film about Animal Rescue Continues Playing at Film Festivals

Dogs at Stray Hearts Animal Shelter doing Agility Training

Dogs at Stray Hearts Animal Shelter doing Agility Training


The short film we made about the agility training program at our local animal shelter continues its film festival run. It will play at the SOMArts Center in San Francisco on February 3rd at 7 pm. This is part of the Bow Wow Film Festival, which is a festival that tours the country and raises money for shelters in the towns where it plays. This festival is based in Boulder, Colorado and plays all across the country. Our film is called “Will Work for Hot Dogs” and, with the Bow Wow Film Festival alone, it has played from California to Massachusetts and from Wisconsin to Texas, and many places in between. It has played in 10 other festivals and, in late 2017, it will start touring with Petco’s “Dog Film Festival”.

Ski Report for 1/5/17 for Taos, Red River, Sipapu, Angel Fire, and Santa Fe

Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos Ski Valley

Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos Ski Valley


Taos Ski Valley
62″ base
95 trails open
14 lifts open

Sipapu Resort
19″ base
34 trails open
6 lifts open

Red River Resort
35″ base
57 trails open
7 lifts open

Angel Fire Resort
25″ base
50 trails open
7 lifts open

Ski Santa Fe
35″ base
76 trails open
6 lifts open

Some Highlights of the Year Ahead in Taos

Annual Events in Taos

Annual Events in Taos


Here are some highlights of the Taos 2017 events calendar.

Taos Winter Wine Festival
February 1 – 5, 2017
Every January visitors and locals alike savor the ability to combine world class skiing with fine wines and great cuisine. The event includes seminars, wine tastings, wine dinners hosted by vintners paired with Taos chefs. Two Grand Tastings feature more than 75 different wines from 20 wineries and delectables from a dozen Taos and Taos Ski Valley restaurants. A silent auction of rare wines benefits the New Mexico Nature Conservancy.

Taos Shortz Film Festival
March 30 – April 2, 2017
2017 will be the 10th year for this exceptional, internationally known short film festival. It’s been buzzed as ‘the Sundance for short films’ and is ranked among the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’. The Taos Shortz Film Fest (TSFF) is a forum that unites short films and filmmakers with the community. TSFF strives in its leadership of presenting world class independent cinema, to keep the cinematic arts thriving in New Mexico and to put Taos back on the map as a cinematic destination.

Taos Lilac Festival
May 19 – 21, 2017
Festival goers can meet and mingle with more than 40 talented artisans and crafts people as they
display work ranging from ceramics, fiber, wood, leather and metalwork to jewelry and art pieces in Kit Carson Park. The Grand Festival Weekend, will include a pet parade and costume contest; live
entertainment; children’s carousel; bluegrass music nightly; food and crafts vendors and many
family friendly activities.

Taos Pueblo Pow Wow
July 7 – 9, 2017
Members of Indian tribes throughout the country gather in Taos to compete in traditional dance competitions. Crafts booths and food vendors ring the powwow circle during the three-day event. The Taos Pueblo community is very proud that this widely attended event has achieved this very significant milestone of 31 years in existence. There are only a handful of powwows in the United States that have reached this mark. A pow wow is a gathering of Indian Nations in a common circle of friendship. Indian Country is made up of many tribal nations, bands, villages, and pueblos, each with their own traditional tribal beliefs and practices. A powwow is the common fiber which draws Indian people together. It is a time for sharing with old friends and making new friends; a time for singing and dancing. It is also a time for trading — trading craft goods and trading songs.

Taos Fall Arts Festival
Late September, 2017
Founded in 1973 by a group of artists and gallerists. Over the years, other art events have set their dates to coincide with Fall Arts. The season has come to be known as “Grand Fall Arts” and it’s a most exciting time to visit. The largest arts event in northern New Mexico features works of art only from Taos County. This year, several distinct art shows will be held at six locations along a walking tour through Taos’ central core.

Taos Wool Festival
Early October, 2017
Immerse yourself in the more than 400 years of wool tradition as New Mexico, Colorado and Texas breeders and fiber artists celebrate at the Wool Festival of Taos. Join in at Kit Carson Park for two days of family fun. Take a look at traditional and contemporary fiber artistry, an opportunity to get up close and personal with sheep, goats, rabbits, alpacas, and llamas. Kids can try their hand at a fiber project.

Taos Mountain Balloon Rally
Late October, 2017
Celebrating its 34th year, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally has truly been a Taos community event. Every year on the last full weekend in October, as the trees in the high country erupt into a painter’s canvas of oranges, reds, ambers and yellows, even more color is added to the vista as the Taos skies are filled with dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons lifting into the clear, cold dawn of a Taos Mountain sunrise.

Judy Collins comes to Taos

Judy Collins in Concert in Taos

Judy Collins in Concert in Taos


Mollydog Productions is thrilled to announce “An Evening with Judy Collins” on January 19 and 20. The venue is the Taos Center for the Arts. Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. Judy Collins’ career has spanned more than 50 years, with hits “Both Sides Now” and “Send in the Clowns”.
Now 77, Judy is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

Songs and Stories at Taos Center for the Arts on December 30th

Songs and Stories Concert

Songs and Stories Concert, Dec 29th in Alamosa, CO and Dec 30 in Taos, NM


For the fifth year in a row, Mollydog Productions is bringing to Taos the soulful sounds of Barnaby Bright, Ari Hest, and Liz Longley for a night of “Songs and Stories” on December 30, 2016.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show, Dec 29th in Alamosa, CO and Dec 30 in Taos, NM

About Barnaby Bright
Both classically-trained, the duo has made some cool Americana records, lived in Brooklyn, Nashville and Kansas, toured coast to coast, run out of money, toured Europe, run out of money again, won high-falutin’ prizes for songwriting in New York, generally not argued, done benefit shows for prestigious US AAA radio stations, given away 200k+ tracks on Amazon, kept writing, built an audience, been named one of Amazon’s Top 100 albums of the year, eaten copious amounts of vegetarian food, attracted 17k+ listeners a month on Spotify and FINALLY made a record, Q2 2016’s “This is Life,” which speaks to where they’ve been, who they are, what they want and where they’re going. It’s smart pop with an authentic Americana stamp, not the other way round. Somewhere in there they got married, but they’d rather not talk about that.

About Ari Hest
Over his 15 year career, Ari Hest has released eight albums, three EPs, and “52” in 2008, an innovative project whereby he wrote, recorded and released a new song every Monday for a full year. Hest is also half of the folk pop duo The Open Sea with Rosi Golan, and half of the Brazilian music inspired pop duo Bluebirds of Paradise with Chrissi Poland. Hest’s music has been featured in media, most notably The Lincoln Lawyer with his 2011 song “Now” as well as TV shows Private Practice, Army Wives, and One Tree Hill. Recently, Ari’s song “The Landlord” recently appeared in an episode of NPR’s “All Things Considered”. Ari also scored a film called Dreamriders in 2008 which won several independent film awards. Throughout his career, he has toured worldwide tirelessly to support his records, sharing the stage with the likes of Sheryl Crow, The Finn Brothers, Judy Collins,, Suzanne Vega, Declan O’Rourke and The Fray. Ari has built the kind of loyal fan base any musician would envy. While his newest album, 2014’s Shouts and Whispers, is an excellent indication of what Hest is capable of, his live show leaves even more of an impression.

About Liz Longley
Liz Longley is highly regarded for her personal, emotionally engaging songwriting and has a gift for culling musical treasures as though straight from thin air. And now, the Berklee College of Music graduate and award-winning songwriter is set to share them with listeners on her self-titled album-her first after signing with Sugar Hill Records in December 2014. While Longley’s songs and vocals invite complimentary comparisons to Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole and Nanci Griffith-all artists she’s supported live-her latest effort spotlights a style and confidence that’s all her own. You can hear it in the subtle-yet-soaring vocals on “Memphis,” the dagger directness of “Skin and Bones,” the bittersweet farewell that drives “This Is Not the End” (featured in the 2012 season finale of Lifetime’s Army Wives). They’re all cuts that dare you to hold back the goosebumps.The new songs grew amidst a period of transition and travel in her life; moving between Boston and New York before finally settling in Nashville, and spending much of her life on the road in a succession of minivans. To that end, the songs have been road tested at Longley’s live shows, their power to connect with fans beyond question.

Taos Ski Valley is Now Open

Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley


Taos Ski Valley is now open for skiing. It was originally going to open on Thanksgiving. The high temperatures made it impossible to make their own snow and the natural stuff was not falling, so they decided upon December 16th. When temperatures dropped and accommodated the snow making process, they were able to open on December 9th. Now we’ve had several good storms and 16″ have fallen in the last 48 hours. There is a 32″ base and half of the lifts are open.

Santa Paws Animal Shelter Event

Santa Paws Animal Shelter Event

Santa Paws Animal Shelter Event


Garden & Soul helped out with a recent Stray Hearts Animal Shelter event called Santa Paws. We shot photos of pets and their owners with Santa. It was a beautiful day and dogs and people were all in good spirits. Santa (our new chief of police) was a good sport about getting his face washed by dog tongues. Besides the photos, money was raised through a bake sale and many people just dropped donations into the jar. It turns out this year’s event raised more money than ever before. The doggies and kitties thank all of you generous people!

Red River Ski Resort Opens Today

Red River Ski Resort

Red River Ski Resort


Red River Ski Resort opens today. This latest storm should add a lot of powder, but they’ve been making snow to make the opening possible.

Red River is deep in history. Ute and Jicarilla Apaches initially populated the area. When explorers, fur trappers and prospectors discovered the area, they put River City, as Red River was first called, on the map. Hundreds of gold, silver and copper mines were carved into the mountain with names like Golden Treasure, Silver King and Black Copper. Red River’s population soared. There were two general mercantile, a livery stable, two newspapers, a sawmill, blacksmith shop, barber shop, more than a dozen saloons, several hotels and boarding houses, a dance hall and a hospital. There was also a red light district with plenty of gambling and bar room brawls.

The mines played out eventually, but soon homesteaders outnumbered prospectors. The Town gained new momentum by renting abandoned mining cabins to flatland visitors seeking refuge from the heat. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Red River was designated the “mountain playground” that it is today.