Wild Ride

Rio Grande in Costilla County, CO

That’s the Rio Grande! Looking downriver here in Costilla County, CO.

This was my birthday trip. I thought of it a long time ago, taking the back roads in southern Colorado through some of the emptiest territory I’ve ever seen to an old trestle bridge over the Rio Grande and beyond, ending up at a brew pub in Alamosa before driving home via Antonito, San Antonio Mountain, and Tres Piedras. We took all day to go about 240 miles, and every one of them was stunning. On the way home we saw a llama stampede.

Much of this was on gravel roads. In this region we were all alone. I mean all alone. Being in such places energizes me. I feel like an explorer. If I had all the money in the world, this is still exactly what I’d want to do: seek out special places where I’ve never been as if I were the only member of my tribe to ever go there. What could possibly be better? The beauty on the route we took would sear you. The quality of the light and air. The clouds! The dark emotions radiating from dead homesteads. I got lost but knew the Rio Grande was “over there,” and that is all you need.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de 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.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Stephen Slottow August 9, 2017, 10:45 PM

    This is probably elementary to sophisticated folks, but why is the Rio Grande at land level here but carves that humongous gorge in Northern New Mexico?

    • JHF August 9, 2017, 10:51 PM

      You know, I’ve never asked myself that question. On the face of it, what you describe does sound kind of nuts, doesn’t it?

  • Judy Copek August 10, 2017, 12:20 PM

    More photos! The one you posted was stunning. I really miss the West when I see your photographs.

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