Looking upstream here. Yes, that’s the Rio Grande.
Turn 180° from where I shot the previous Rio Grande image from an ancient trestle bridge in Costilla County, Colorado and this is what you get. Hard to believe, isn’t it? The mountains in the background make up the Mount Blanca massif and probably have names, but everyone I know just calls the whole thing “Mount Blanca.” The higher peaks are over 14,000 feet. Its fearsome presence always shakes me.
The air was hazy to the north that day, which softened the view in an unusual way for such a powerful wild place. This scene breaks all kinds of perceptual boundaries for me. I feel like there should be hippos here, maybe zebras on the plains, or grazing dinosaurs.
Sign up for email delivery of JHFARR.COM posts via Substack! Same content sooner with bigger photos! ⬇︎
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.
Wow. Gorgeous. Thank you.
You’re welcome. Population in that county is about three people per square mile, but where I took that photo has gotta be under that.
What a great birthday present to yourself! And many more, my friend.
Thanks! It certainly was a most amazing day. I’ll post a picture of where we ate lunch shortly.
Sounds like a great birthday appreciating God’s creations! Just gorgeous!
And virtually alone most of the time. That’s what’s incredible to me. You can’t do that everywhere.
One of my favorites, too. Thanks for the post! My late friend and colleague who grew up in Texas would often tell a story of his first encounter with a wonderful tributary of The Río — the Rio Conejos. He went into a small convenience store in Antonito and asked “Can you tell me the way to the ‘Reee O Coney Joe!'” I now laugh and shed a tear as I cross it a few times a year going to and fro. Somehow we made it to the to top of Blanca in 2000. Little Bear Peak next door is one of the most difficult and dangerous 14ers in CO.
Blanca is very scary from a distance. I can’t imagine it would be anything but dangerous up close. All those fourteeners between there and, say, Crestone—talk about another scary place—are damn impressive. I live living in a landscape that can kill you, though.
“Ree O Coney Joe,” I love it!
When I lived in Colorado Springs, I used to always take US-160 through Durango whenever I headed back to California to visit my parents. I remember well both the Blanca and Spanish Peak mountains – they’re both really “in your face” as they thrust up out of the flat countryside 🙂 Beautiful area.
Speaking of “animals that should be here”, if you ever make it a bit further north to Colorado Springs, and have a chance to head west on US-24, make sure to stop at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. At 8200 ft elevation, it was a wonderful surprise when I first stopped and saw their semi-fossilized redwood tree stumps, and the insects embedded in amber. Turns out that before the Rockies went through their teenage uplift years, it was all a swampy area next to the inland sea. Makes me not feel so old 🙂
Hi Tim, thanks for the fossil beds tip. That’s just the kind of thing I stop for! I love knowing about the geology of an area I’m exploring.