Rio Grande West

Long Weekend, Short Lives

Memento Mori

July 19, 2006 in Rio Grande West | Comments (0)

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It was Sunday and I was standing by the Chama River in its sandstone canyon in northern New Mexico below Christ in the Desert Monastery waiting for the boats. My plan was to take a picture of the colorful rafts and kayaks when they floated around the bend. I did not want a picture of the red sheriff’s tape quaking on the piñon pines. That one would be about death – a news picture. But a picture of river runners, that would be about life. I had seen them enter the meander up stream before I turned off the road at the point where, a monk at the Sunday reception for guests told me, a body had been found the day before. I would take a picture of the colorful boats and leave, that was the plan. (more…)


A Besieged Government Agency Goes “Wild”

The National Park Service Takes The Lead At The Dunes

May 1, 2006 in Rio Grande West,The Rockies | Comments (0)

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Great Sand Dunes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the newest full national park – and also probably the most fun. People run, jump, hop, skip, roll, and frolic down the steep slopes of pure sand. They play in the strange surges of Medano Creek. They hose off happily at the headquarters parking lot. Surely some of these happy visitors are conservatives. (more…)


Government By Property Owners Association

A legacy of 1970’s land speculation

July 25, 2005 in Rio Grande West | Comments (0)

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The 30,000-acre addition to Great Sand Dunes, the newest national park, abuts a goofy 1970’s subdivision called Baca Grande in the upper San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. (more…)


You Ask Why I Live On This Green Mountain. . .

My report, which appeared in the Crestone Eagle

June 1, 2005 in Rio Grande West | Comments (0)

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“Global Citizenship and Peace,” the theme of Shumei International Institute’s third anniversary, was expressed with artful diversity during the weekend celebration. (more…)


Word From The Mountain: Natural Law And Taylor Ranch

Wood Cutters, Grazers, Loggers. . . Not So Fast There, Peak Baggers

July 13, 2004 in New Mexico Politics,Rio Grande West,The Rockies | Comments (0)

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The 80,000-acre Taylor ranch in the south of Colorado’s San Luis Valley has birds, mammals, fish, fresh streams, high lakes, tree-lined meadows, and tall pine forests, all crowned by 14,047-foot Culebra Peak.

Last month in the town of San Luis a district court judge issued an order opening the mountain ranch to a group of local people for livestock grazing, firewood gathering and timber cutting. (more…)


Cargo Planes At Midnight. Right. . .

Somebody call the National Inquirer

May 10, 2004 in Rio Grande West | Comments (0)

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Here’s how UFO legends get started.

In March on a no-moon night up in Colorado, in the San Luis Valley just north of here, I was having pizza in a little restaurant when a big jet sound, a huge rafter-rattling mother hovering, brought almost everybody in the place to their feet. (more…)