600 small boats over gorge aimed to send message of hope

Chris Ramirez and Richard Estrada
January 01, 2018 10:26 PM

TAOS, N.M. -- In the dark and cold, Jack Millard placed 600 boats -- not under the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, but over it. Each one contained a small bottle with a message inside.


To get ready for Monday morning, Millard found tree pods, cleaned them out, and attached a sail made of a feather to each.

"My idea is that whoever is in need of a little hope will find one of my boats and feel that it may have been sent for them," he said.

It wasn't that long ago, Millard was the one who needed some hope. Five years ago, his wife was battling cancer when she was killed by a drunk driver. He turned his own grief into inspiration for others.

"What they should get out of this is that someone put a lot of love and care into making this, and that's part of our grief," he said. "Often people lose their children and their loved ones, and they have committed so much effort and love into that person. Each one of these represents my voyage through grief."

Millard intentionally chose the Taos gorge bridge, which is known for suicidal jumps. It's a place where someone may need a new message.

"Maybe I can help someone else or inspire someone else to not give up hope," Millard said.

Millard has already taken his boats to other cities that could use some hope, such as Paris and New York.  It's a reminder that even the smallest of gestures can have the biggest of impacts.

"This is the most beautiful bridge I've ever seen, yet there is such a sadness attached to it," he said.


Chris Ramirez and Richard Estrada

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


Relay Media Amp



Governor calls for diversifying economy, crackdown on crime

2018 legislative session underway in Santa Fe

Two killed in multi-vehicle crash caused by weather

Police: Suspect injured in deputy-involved shooting

Small plane crashes near Santa Fe, pilot taken to hospital