John Dunn Bridge and Swimmers

Arroyo Hondo, NM ---- This area is also part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It is a mid-summer scene at the junction of the Rio Hondo (trickling in on the right) and the Rio Grande. So, cribbing from Wikipedia, John Dunn bought a bridge that crossed the Rio Grande at this spot in 1893 and made a business charging for the crossing. In 1908 the bridge burned down and was rebuilt in 1908. The toll was $1.00 per person and less for livestock. It was basically the only way to cross the Rio Grande this far north because of the deep gorge. In fact even today the road heading west beyond the bridge is a series of switchbacks on a narrow dirt road to reach the Taos Plateau above. In 1912, the year of New Mexico statehood, John Dunn sold the bridge to the government which made it a free bridge. Now is it often a "jumping off" spot for kayakers and rafters as they head downstream. And in the summer the small beaches here are a recreation spot for swimmers and fishermen. There is also a hot spring in the Rio Grande just south of the bridge, though I have never been.