Driving in the West

A road trip across southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico shows breathtaking beauty, but also astonishing devastation of the forests. Every magnificent scene–and there were many, from Creede to Taos–is countered with fire and blight. Three huge fire scars, running for miles and miles, and the almost complete loss of the conifer forests on Wolf Creek Pass are hard to look at. Long-term drought and dense forests make life tough. Even the aspen were compromised on the Tusas Mountains east of Tierra Amarilla. Here is the upper Rio Grande below South Fork, pure beauty:Rio Grande below Creede

And the Ute Park Fire scar:Ute Park Fire

And Wolf Creek Pass: miles and miles of this…DSC06505

But also, Prairie dogs, butterflies, and ravens:DSC06522Plebejus icarioidesDSC06525

Author: Samuel A. Johnson

This blog is about hiking, thinking, and writing.

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