“Stunning, It’s All Stunning!”

Rio Grande near Pilar

Canyon walls, not mountains. Aieeee!

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.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” See BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed). This JHFARR.COM site is the master online writing archive. Links to all current sites including NFT collections at linktree. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • M.J. October 26, 2015, 7:18 PM


  • judyinboston October 26, 2015, 7:36 PM

    It truly is stunning. You are fortunate to live everyday in such beautiful country.

    • JHF October 26, 2015, 7:46 PM

      It’s not all like this. But when it is, look out!

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