Like U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, we raced up the mountain with anticipation and determination burning in our gut. But our prize wasn’t a low-down dirty outlaw, rather the most famous scenery from the beloved 1969 Western “True Grit”.
When I discovered that most of the legendary John Wayne movie had been filmed around Ridgway, Colorado, I knew tracking down the movie locations was a no-brainer.
We tackled the movie trail backwards, finding the end-of-the-movie scenes first. Locating the stunning meadow where the final show-stopping firefight takes place between Wayne’s character Rooster Cogburn and Ned Pepper’s gang of misfits topped our list. Locals called it Katie’s Meadow.
And what a glorious meadow it was! The sun backlit hundreds of golden corn lilies in the meadow as a lazy, crystal-clear stream meandered toward the road. Chimney Peak and Courthouse Mountain soared high above the field adding drama and the “wow” factor to the scene.
At the end of the day, we’d joined hundreds of other Wayne aficionados in taking a piece of movie history home with us in the form of pictures. We couldn’t wait for the next day’s “True Grit” adventures.