Sometimes I have the superstitious feeling that life is like a video game. You can’t “have” something until you’ve completed all the steps you need to, and the steps are arcane and mysterious. Then you can “level up.” Strange as it seems, as long as I’ve lived in Monte Vista, I have been looking for the Rio Grande. Yeah, yeah, I looked on maps and saw how close I was to it while hiking, but I didn’t get to it until today.
When I moved out here two years ago, I lived in a cabin near the river, up in South Fork. The first few times I saw the river in the middle distance, I thought it was a road. It looked black/gray and wandered through a golf course. Then, at 4 a.m. one Sunday morning which Lily T. Wolf (RIP) needed out, I found myself in the field in complete silence and I heard it. The river, and I knew it was no road.
I love rivers. As a kid in Nebraska, I lived by the Missouri and sometimes hiked along a railroad track that ran beside it. Visiting my mom during the many years she lived in Montana, my river was the Yellowstone. One of the things that drew me here was the Rio Grande. As of today, it is my river.