Thursday, November 17, 2022

River Of Destiny: The Rio Bravo (Aka Grande)

 "Rio Bravo", was a best-selling western movie from 1959, and ever since, these 2 words have held the lure of the wild west. Gun slingers, cattle rustlers and vast expanses of the land on both sides of this once so mighty and wild river have captivated thousands of young hearts.

And I was no exception!

One day, I was still a boy, my grandpa gave me a book. It's title: 

"The Rio Grande" River of destiny.

Photos were in black and white and the text in English, which is the reason why I never really read it from front to back. But I kept the book. I just loved the words: "River Of Destiny".

I longed to see it and feel it.

Finally, my first encounter with the river was in the late 90s. I was up in the high country between Colorado and New Mexico where the Rio Grande is still a youngster, not much more than a creek, as it begins its long journey when leaving the high country of the San Juan Mountains and the continental divide.

Later, over the years, I have seen the river several times when traveling west. One year, it was 2006, we went to the Big Bend Nat'l Park. The Santa Elena Canyon has been one of my most memorable experiences. And from where it leaves Mexico until it runs out into the Gulf of Mexico it builds the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Now, that we have taken up camp close to its shore in the Falcon Village, TX I am close to the river again.

And here, I have the book from my grandfather with me. 

The author mentions the town of Roma as a historic place. There is still the crossing over the river.

The author was Laura Gilpin. Not only did she write the text but she also took all the photos. It was published in 1949. 

How did my grandpa get this book? My only explanation is that an American GI left it in Germany and it became part of a public library collection where it eventually was thrown out and Grandpa got it. Maybe it was part of a U.S. military library and left behind. Whatever the reason, it is back in North America and this winter, I will read it.

Today we went down to the shore of the RIO BRAVO as it always has been called in Mexico.

We had learned about a tropical bird sanctuary down by the river. It wasn't far from the county park. We had a great time and for a birder, like Bea, this is paradise.

A Green Jay

Ms Cardinal

Altamira Oriole

Double Crested Cormorant


  1. Oh my goodness! I am learning so much about the USA through you, my two Canadian neighbours! How GREAT is that! THANK YOU. :-)

  2. I see Bea has found those beautiful birds.

  3. Glad to see you are once again enjoying the American Southwest and its vast openness.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.


We like to hear from you. You can add your comment here: