This spot beside the Rio Grande is twenty minutes and a thousand feet lower down the road from where we live. Twenty minutes, that’s all it takes, and what a different world. [You’re looking downstream here.] The water yesterday was clearer than I’ve ever seen it. With the right angle on the sunlight, there was one place I could see boulders on the sandy bottom from the car. This is radical in my lifelong experience with rivers.
There’s a certain modest little campground in the Orilla Verde section of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument with beautiful old stone steps that lead down to a sliver of sandy beach. I was walking down the path carrying my Pentax with the telephoto lens and hood attached and a sling case over my shoulder when I met a man coming up the other way. He asked if I was a professional photographer, because the view upriver he’d just come from was exceptional. I thanked him for the tip and said this was a beautiful spot, all right.
“Stunning,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s all stunning!”
Of course this meant that I could trust him, but we parted ways.