Over the 4th of July weekend, we were able to go home to southern Colorado and actually ended up camping in the mountains near Chama, New Mexico, for a couple days. My great-great-great-grandpa bought land at a place called the Brazos in the mountains there. My great-grandpa then bought land in the same area called Chavez Creek. For generations now, we’ve camped, fished, hunted, and run cows there during the summer.

For those of you who may be agrarian-impaired, cattle ranchers will load up all of their cows at the beginning of the summer and just drop them off in the mountains (yes, there are fences) and leave them up there until the weather gets cold in the fall. The cows just feed off the grass which has extra protein due to the altitude and extreme temperature swings and drink from the creek. By the end of the summer, they are fat and happy.

The same concept works for humans as well (substituting fish for grass, of course).

While the fish (mostly brook trout) are not very big, they are certainly abundant and absolutely delicious when fried up with some butter, flour, corn meal, and parmesan. In two mornings of fly fishing, I caught 31 fish, and my cousin caught 28 in just one morning. It’s pretty great fishing.

That camping trip wasn’t completely pleasant, however. Late in the afternoon, a big storm came in a dumped rain on us for about two hours. We all got pretty wet and more than a little cold. Rain at 10,000 feet above sea level is very chilly.

But right as the rain ended, all heaven broke loose. An incredible rainbow appeared right on the other end of the meadow, and the lighting was more than any photographer could ask for. I grabbed my camera and immediately started sprinting around to take advantage of the few minutes of perfect lighting.

Unfortunately, neither of my two camera batteries were charged, so all but two of the photos below were taken within 25 minutes. The other two were taken the next morning…..and then my second battery died.

So, I may not have been able to take as many photos as I would have liked, but I think I got a few good shots anyway. Enjoy!