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Yvonne Pesquera

On the drive north to Colorado, first along NM 522 and then CO 159, Mount Blanca dominates my point of attention. She’s a 14er (14,361′) and not all fourteeners are on my list. But because of her proximity to the Land of Enchantment, she’s nestled in our beloved Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. And so that makes her one of us or more correctly, we belong to her. 

From the Gorge Bridge, her jagged, snowcapped peaks are visible in the far distance. When I drive closer to Wild Rivers, she stands as a friendly neighbor to Ute Mountain. I’ve heard it said that the Coloradoans pronounce her name in the anglicized manner, “Blank-ah.” But to me, she is just one of our many Hispaño princesses, so I call her “Blahn-cah.”

Here she’s pictured in April, rising above the San Luis Valley desert floor and an odd recreation pond (with facilities) along the state highway.

I’ve seen her hold some snow through July. It’s only in August that I see her bare, granite peaks. I’ve been saying for years that she’s been calling for me to hike her. Is this the year?