Friday, August 20

Spanish Peak West With Moon, #4

This beautiful mountain is one of the Spanish Peaks, which we have seen before and I think one of the most beautiful spots I have known. The peaks are a pair of volcanic mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County and behind Bill and Martine's ranch. The two peaks, West Spanish Peak and East Spanish Peak, are easternmost outliers of the otherwise non-volcanic Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Formed by a massive igneous intrusion during the tertiary period, the mountains designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976 as one of the best known examples of igneous dikes. Geologists come from around the world study the unique wall-formations which frame the mountain; photographers set up on Martine's property to take photographs "every three minutes at sunrise and sunset" she tells me and it is easy to understand why: the mountain's personality changes with the light and cloud movement.

The peaks were an important landmark on the Santa Fe Trail, and can be seen as far north as Colorado Springs 133 miles away, and as far west a Alamosa (85 miles) points south to Raton New Mexico (66 miles) and points east of Trinidad (up to 15). I first spy my friends on the highway an hour outside of La Veta driving 75 mph (CO speed limit, dude) and, at first, dismiss them for being misplaced in my memory. We track them all the way in.