Alamosa, CO We headed south today through the Arkansas River Valley. The Arkansas begins as a small trout stream at the Continental Divide just south of Fremont Pass above Leadville and from there plunges almost 5,000 feet in its first 125 miles. It is the sixth largest river in the US, and discharges to the Mississippi River 1,460 miles from its start. It is also one of the most popular rafting rivers in the world, and has plenty of wicked whitewater. The upper Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater boating river in the US with roaring Class IV and V rapids to milder Class II and III sections. The valley though which we drove was broad but surrounded by plenty of tall mountains, a number of which were over 14,000’. Colorado has 59 peaks over 14,000’ high - we drove past 24 of them today. We are no longer in mountainous country, surrounded by pine trees and golden aspens. Instead we are in desert terrain with sand and sage brush. Quite a change.