La Veta Pass

Thirty six years ago I moved to Alamosa, CO which is in the center of the San Luis Valley. “The Valley” is the world’s largest Alpine Valley. I would call it a giant terrarium that sits one and one half miles up in altitude. It is 60 miles wide from East to West, and 120 miles long from North to South. Of the three routes into The Valley, you get to choose between Wolf Creek Pass from the west, Poncha Pass from the north and La Veta from the east. By far and away La Veta gets the most traffic, as it is the pathway to the front range.

Over the years I made hundreds of trips over La Veta. Most of our family lived in Pueblo and it was not unusual, between personal business and all things ministry, that I would go over the La Veta thirty or more times a year. It is a stunningly beautiful journey. Often there will be elk and mule deer everywhere. I once saw a battle between a mother deer with her fawn and three coyotes. I had no idea that the spin kick was perfected by a deer. I watched the battle go on for at least 10 minutes, then I decided to intervene. I walked right to the coyotes and scared them up the hill. Momma deer took her fawn and ran up the north mountain while I kept Wiley and his gang at bay. I have no idea whether or not they escaped, but it gave me a sense of satisfaction.

I have seen bear, fox, bobcat and antelope on my times up and down the pass. I was once in the most horrendous spring blizzard where I followed a snow plow at a snail’s pace for miles. Two years ago there was a huge fire that swept over thousands of acres surrounding the pass. In two years nature has already begun a rather spectacular rehab project, as new life is popping up everywhere.

A few weeks ago at the top of the pass I watched a real cowboy riding his horse—hat, chaps and all. However, there was something different about this scene. Upon a closer look he was talking on his cell phone. It just did not fit. What would John Wayne say? “Pilgrim, put that thing away lest I blow it out of your hand”!!!

Onward and Upward,


1 thought on “La Veta Pass

  1. I’m not familiar with LaVeta Pass,,,, but our family has held several family reunions in the town of LaVeta. Nice out-of-the-way place for a group of 90 or so.

    Liked by 1 person

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