Nearly 500 years ago Spain’s colonial expansion would be the first wave of Anglos in the Southwest. With them came disease, destruction, horses, guns and a fair share of rumor. Among many notions motivating Spanish presence in the area were that seven cities of gold were located somewhere in lands north or west of the Rio Grande. Men pursued these desires as duty and carried out they’re mission like moths to the flame. Say it; Colorado. It stimulates images of a ranching, outdoorsy, young, rich, mountainous sanctuary. Yet the name is distracted from its personified origin. We tend to think of Europe’s first foothold in the U.S. as those quaint Eastern colonies rattling at the shackles British rule but no. Colorado’s name steams from Spain’s conquest of Mexico and beyond. It was here in the Southwest that Europeans first contended with a world and people the likes of which they had never seen. In they’re struggled Catholic search for golden cities and soles they repeatedly encountered a great river. A river that for years, for eons swelled with the winter snow seduced by springs music. Early Spanish names are many but follow a descriptive theme: Rio Vermejo, Rio Jaquesila, Rio del Tizon, El Rio de Buena Guia, Rio de los Martires, Rio Grande de Buena Esperanza, Rio del Cosnina and Rio Colorado.
Winter snow covers thousands of square miles in these mountains like blankets of assured trust. Studies of numerous disciplines are dedicated toward its nature. Economies both acute and obtuse rely and forecast its future quantities and conditions. It generates a lifestyle and image full of different flavors. Its a fundamental component of our regions ecology. Without it, our soceity would never even be here. English has one definitive word for this complex, deeply interrelated and cyclic organism. Snow. Rocky Mountain snowpack is the largest reservoir in the West.