Anyone who's been to Taos, New Mexico certainly appreciates what a great escape it is no matter the season. In the winter, you can hit the slopes at Taos Ski Valley. In the summer, it's a variety of festivals and one mellow day after another.
This summer, the festival spirit will still ring true. It may be a bit more boisterous, however, with the Taos Summer of Love 2009 hitting town.
No doubt that Easy Rider reigns as one of the most supreme biker flicks of all time. The brilliance of writer, director and actor Dennis Hopper paved the way for "The New Hollywood" by sparking independent filmmaking fever in 1969. And, more importantly, the film showed the country what it meant to be a free spirit in the late 1960s.
Film and theme fanatics can re-live the psychedelic era as they blaze a trail to Hopper's home at the time of filming and the location of many of the movie's most famous scenes during this one-in-a-lifetime experience.
From May through September, the Taos Summer of Love 2009 will feature an array of events, art, film and music. Not only will you be able to indulge in everything artistic and free about Taos, but you'll also be able to ride the same roads filmed in Easy Rider. And you could potentially meet Hoper himself, as he'll be cruising around town throughout the summer.
Festival events actually include two Hopper-related shows - "Silver Gelatin Prints by Hopper" and "Hopper Curates." The latter features artwork by five artists who are also Hopper's long-time peers - Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Ronald Davis, Ken Price and Robert Dean Stockwell.
You can also join thousands of fellow bikers May 22 - 25 at the 26th Annual Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally & Run to Taos' Vietnam Memorial. The weekend will feature live music and food, and a mobile Matanza on the Taos Plaza that will commemorate the town's 75th anniversary. The Red Driver Classic Car Show will be held June 5 - 7 and the Toast of Taos Wine Festival launches July 3.
Events aside, any motorcycling fan will drool over the rugged, scenic landscapes and wide-open spaces that make Taos famous. Stretching more than 1,200 feet from rim to rim, the Rio Grande Gorge offers visitors views of astonishing lava flows that extend to the Rio Grande Canyon. At 806 feet, its bridge is the fifth highest in the U.S.
So dust off the love beads and pack your fringed leather jacket. Then roll on to Taos for The Summer of Love!