One of my goals on my recent trip to the United States was to see parts of the country I had never seen before. To that end, a drive along State Highway 149 brought me through a part of Colorado I was visiting for the first time. I began the 117 mile trip where SH 149 turns north off of US 160 at South Fork in south central Colorado. The first part of the journey took me through the Rio Grande National Forest alongside the upper reaches of the Rio Grande River, which has its headwaters in Colorao’s San Juan Mountains. With a length of 1760 miles, the Rio Grande is the fourth longest river in the United States, following the Missouri, the Mississippi and the Yukon (which flows through both Canada and Alaska in the US).
This image of the Rio Grande was taken some 30 to 40 miles from where the river originates in the San Juans. I arrived at this spot on a crystal clear, late summer day at around 3:30 in the afternoon. With the sun moving towards the horizon, the light was just beginning to get soft. There really is nothing quite like Colorado’s high country on a day like this.