67 Moon over the Gunbarrel, San Luis Valley, Colorado

(Image, June 1976, © 2005 M. Childers)

Sangre De Cristo, the range forming the eastern side of the San Luis Valley, rises to around 10,000 to 13,000 feet in elevation for most of its length. Crestone Peak, halfway down the visible chain in this photograph, rises to 14,294 feet. Mount Blanca, just left of center, reaches 14,345 and is just 94 feet short of Mount Whitney (the highest mountain in the lower 48 states).

Here we look down what is known as the Gunbarrel, a narrow twenty-mile long horn on the north rim of the much larger San Luis Valley. The view can be better appreciated when you realize that the white-capped peak in the extreme distance under the moon is 11,209 ft. Mount Ortiz, over 110 miles away.