Saturday, December 27, 2008

Town of Taos headed to Tournament of Roses Parade

Tourism officials with the Town of Taos are headed to the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California to unveil their new "Summer of Love" tourism promotion. It promises to be an exciting summer in Northern New Mexico with lots of film, art and outdoor events. We asked Town of Taos Public Information Officer Cathy Connelly to send us notes from the road. This is her first report.

A Blog Bit from Chat Cat -- Taos Road Trip 12.26.08

Every time I come back to Taos and come up over that rise into the valley I’m surprised. I get that same, smile-producing panoramic view of the Rio Grande Gorge cutting out across the valley every time. It speaks of endless opportunity to me. Milleniums of it. The wild west in physical form. The promise that nothing is finite. I suspect each time that I’m over it, but happily I never am.

It’s kind of the same with road trips. OK, hopefully not the millennium thing. But you get in the car (in this case one of the newly photo-wrapped Taos vans), and who really knows what’s going to happen? Endless opportunity.

Yesterday was bright, clear and enticing out of Albuquerque, road-eating rock and roll on the radio as I headed west toward the Tournament of Roses in one of Taos’ rolling reminders to get yourself there. These are big white 15-person vans that now are 85 percent ‘wrapped’ in giant, high-res images of Taos. They’re photos that hit on why Taos continues to be such an international tourist destination -- Taos Pueblo with a light snow, extreme skiing, white water rafting in the Rio Grande, a famous painting by Blumenschein, “Santiago the War Chief”, from the Harwood Museum (speaking to our art colony status), unique shopping, spa and spiritual rejuvenation, incredible outdoor beauty.

And bam. Amid the tunes, all of us on I-40 hit a snow storm that takes us down to 35 miles and hour, picking out semis and cozying up to them pretending that helps, and questioning the entire undertaking while snow builds up on windshield wipers and visibility drops. White knuckle time.

View a few minutes of Cathy's road trip video here.

Obviously I made it through, and the Taos van and I are now in Kingman, Arizona, resting for the night until we point again toward Los Angeles and the Tournament of Roses for leg two of the journey. The van’s filled with Taos information – press kits and vacation guides – to educate the audiences and press in California as to why they should immediately drop everything and get themselves to Taos.

Problem is, I can’t really put the full impact of that first view of the Rio Grande Gorge into the van. I guess the lucky ones will just have to get that on their own.

Wish me luck. 350 more miles to go. Who knows what might happen.

Note: I'll be flying to Los Angeles and covering the parade for 770KKOB. We'll have interviews with all the volunteers building the New Mexico Float and let you know if the state captures another top trophy for its Roadrunner and Coyote Float.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Federal Grand Jury Probe Featured on NBC Nightly News

Not what the Governor needs before his U.S. Senate Confirmation Hearings. NBC even shows him walking away from local reporters questions. Richardson has directed state agencies to cooperate with the "Pay for Play" probe.