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There are a few Bed & Breakfast inns in the area. The one I recommend is Casa Escondida.
Casa Escondida is an authentic adobe, 8-room bed & breakfast that is located in historic Chimayo (only 35 - 40 minutes from Pilar). They offer a rural, secluded setting with great mountain views. A full, hot breakfast is included. Enjoy their relaxing outdoor hot tub after a long day of paddling. Rooms range from $99 - $159 / night. FREE Wi-Fi. Pet-friendly. Book online or by phone: www.casaescondida.com / 505-351-4805
Plan on bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner, as there are few eating places in close proximity to the river and campgrounds.
The Pilar Yacht Club is the exception. The Yacht Club makes a mean breakfast burrito, and has other basic conveniences; coffee, sodas, ice, sun screen and ice cream. The Yacht Club closes by mid-afternoon.
We'll pause for about 30 minutes during our lesson for lunch, but will not have time to leave the area.
At the end of an awesome day, we typically have a pot-luck dinner Saturday night at the campground. Bring a dish that can be shared with everyone.
Other options include going to Taos for dinner, or eating at Embudo Station or Sugars BBQ, both about 20 minutes away from the campground.
When it comes to lodging, I let everyone decide what works best for them. Some people like to stay in hotels in Taos. Others like to cut cost by camping out at the Orilla Verde State Park. Others bring camper trailers and RVs. In the past, some have stayed at Ojo Caliente, Sipapu, or found Bed & Breakfast inns in Dixon, Pilar, Embudo or Chimayo. There are a variety of options.
I will typically will get a campsite on the State Park Friday or Saturday night, depending on when I arrive. Campsites are booked first come, first served, so advanced reservations are not allowed. Anyone is welcome to stay at my campsite, provided we don't exceed the limits.
Campsites at the Orilla Verde State Park vary from primitive to full RV setups. Most have enzyme or flush toilets, and one campground has hot showers. Bring $2-3 in quarters. It's not necessary to stay at that campground to use their shower.
I'll have a variety of 'farmer john' unisex wet suits, which should fit most people. If you have a wet suit that fits, please bring it. Additionally, I recommend bringing a few of your own layers; fleece vest or jacket (that can get wet), polypropylene shirt, nylon trekking pants, Lycra spandex tights, mountain bike shorts, and a good waterproof wind breaker, just in case. Anything that is fast drying, moisture-wicking and insulating is good. It's not necessary to have ALL of that, but the more options you have, the more prepared you'll be for different conditions. It also helps to have a second change of clothes for Sunday morning....just in case your clothes don't dry out overnight.