Tag Archives: San Luis Valley

The Sangre De Christo Mountains

In the 1800’s, when the Spanish dreamed of conquest, they wanted it all from the native peoples – their land, their gold, their soul. Spanish entradas, entrances, into the lands almost always included armor and friars. It is during one of these early explorations into present day San Luis Valley that a legend was born.

Virginia Simmons in her book, The San Luis Valley: Land of the Six Armed Cross, recounts the legend.


An exploratory party had reached the mouth of the Rio Grande. Father Francisco Torres, a missionary from the Pueblos, looked on to the majestic valley and called it, El Valle de San Luis, after the patron saint of Seville, Spain. As was the custom, the Spanish brought with them natives who were essentially slaves. Weary of their treatment, they rebelled and in the process wounded the dreamer, Father Torres.


Wounded though he was, he and the Spanish party fled down the mountain through the great sand dunes and onto the lake, which is today San Luis Lake.

The party quickly produced a makeshift raft and sailed onto the lake for safety, but it was too late for Padre Torres. His wounds were too deep, and he lay dying on the raft. In his last hours, the sun was setting on the beautiful mountain range. He, no doubt, saw Mt. Blanca and the other peaks that towered over the giant sand dunes. The setting sun hit the snowcapped mountains creating a burst of red – as so often happens to this day. With his dying breath, the Padre soulfully exclaimed, “Sangre de Cristo, Sangre de Cristo” – that is, “the blood of Christ, the blood of Christ.” This is the legend of the naming of the beautiful mountain range which spans southern Colorado into New Mexico. This information came from http://sdcnha.org/js/ website.

Sangre De Cristo Mts at dusk1 flat
The Blood of Christ Mountains at Dusk

Sangre De Cristo Mts at dusk flat


Saturday Afternoon Drive

The San Luis Valley is filled with all kinds of natural beauty which makes driving around the valley so worth it. These shots were taken just outside of South Fork on our way back from Creede.

rolling hills black and white flat
cloudscapes with rolling hills in black in white
cloudscapes flat

isolated rain flat
I grew up on the east coast and when it rained it rained everywhere. It wasn’t until I moved west that I actually experienced Isolated rain storms. It’s actually fun to see where in the valley the storms are happening.
rainbow with barn flat
Did I mention my wife has an eye for photography!!! She is also an artist she likes to paint and draw. We were driving home saw the rainbow with the barn and we both were thinking the exact same thing (I guess we have been married long enough to do that) we just had to stop and capture the moment.

rainbow in HDR flat