Rio Grande, National Forest
Trip Start Jun 29, 2007
7Trip End Jul 15, 2007
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From fifty feet away, the muted rush of the Rio Grande river (fresh, young waters flowing from the resevoir 1/2 mile away) serenaded our campsite. Insert your mental soundtrack here--pick a track, any track, from the 'River Runs Through It' soundtrack and press play. Offering around 35 resevation-only campsites, Thirty Mile campground is secluded, rustic, and spectacularly beautiful. Our site offered a sheltering cove of lodgepole pines, a rusted firepit and well-weathered picnic table. Perfect. As we tested out the tent (thank you Matt and Heather!) the view from our pillows revealed the dying embers of light on the cliffs rising from the opposite bank of the Rio Grande. If God had sampled a box of Crayola's 64 colors, he would have used Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Brick Red for these cliffs. At night, the Big Dipper's pin pricks of light were framed by the pines and the mesh ceiling of our tent. Again, perfect.
Morning's light found us with some hours to kill before we had to tear ourselves away from this mountain paradise, and providence also provided two retired brothers who were volunteer campsite directors to point our way. If the Car Talk duo had decided that camping not cars was their thing, they would have been these brothers. Spry, eager, and zealous for this backwoods oasis, they encouraged us to tackle the continental rim before lunch. Mitch was especially helpful, leading us up the Fork Creek path and pointing us on our way with a map (National Geographic #140 - Weminuche WIlderness for those converts already planning a trip) and a garbage bag (makeshift rain gear for the almost inevitable rain squall around noon)
While the english-teacher gods may strike me dead for writing this, I'm not convinced words can accurately convey the depth of beauty and serenity we found deep in the Weminuche wilderness and the Rio Grande National Forest. We hope the pictures can offer one final altar call to this serendipitous treasure. Just remember--this is our little secret.
Next stop: Grand Canyon, AZ