Pueblo, Colorado

IMG_0597Pueblo County seat, Pueblo, was incorporated in 1885 and covers over 45 square miles. Current population is about 108,000. For some reason I thought I knew what Pueblo was about until I actually did a little research and am amazed at some of the facts. In 1842 some trappers built Fort Pueblo as a trading post on the Arkansas river, which at the time was the border of US and Mexico. The steel mill in town was the largest employer in the state for almost 100 years, over 40 languages were spoken at the mill which was why there were two dozen foreign language newspapers published here. Pueblo is also the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients, more than any other municipality in the U.S.IMG_0596The County Courthouse is as it should be, brass top and all. There has been several bad floods here, culminating with the Great Flood of 1921 which destroyed the business district.IMG_0583Powerplant next to the new “riverwalk” downtown.IMG_0584IMG_0592Steel sculptureIMG_0614 I did not purchase a 1946 Modernaire teardrop trailer. There are a lot of cool junk store’s and I enjoyed rooting thru all the stuff. I met a lot of neat people and got good information about possible cheeseburger spots. This was my first attempt at a larger town and was a bit overwhelmed as most everyone I spoke with gave me a different choice but there was one that I heard about the most. Gray’s Coors Tavern for “sloppers”?IMG_0599Gray’s has been at this location since 1934, it is a lot like a bar that has been around since 1934. IMG_0609It seemed I was the only one on the planet that did not know what a slopper was. I was assured it was a cheeseburger so I ordered one. I went through the full range of emotion on this so I will just simplify. Meat, check. Bun, confirmed. Chemical based cheese product, yes. Condiments, slurry. This is a cheeseburger smothered in red and green chile sauce, fries and all, oyster crackers on the side. Served with my favorite utensil, long handled spoon and fork…… Best Cheeseburger I have ever had. IMG_0612I am not going to say anything else about this teardrop trailer. But if I was it would be that they are built from surplus WWII aircraft aluminum, so if I was towing this with my German engineered car there would be potential irony.

Hugo, Colorado

IMG_0558Lincoln County Seat, Hugo, was incorporated in 1909 but was developed in the late 1850’s. There seems to be a couple version’s of who the town was named after, this I find most interesting because one person was Hugo Richards, and the other was Richard Hugo.IMG_0553Interesting facade on the basic structure of the County Courthouse. The area of this town of 800 people is exactly one square mile.IMG_0556One of the most interesting things in town is this “roundhouse” where several train cars can be brought in for repairs and spun around when fixed. The roundhouse is currently undergoing renovations to be a community center and museum.IMG_0559State of the art medical facility has its own helicopter, it is 100 miles in any direction to the next closest hospital.IMG_0562Even the city park has classic rides. The community swimming pool here is on the National Registry of Historic Places.IMG_0566Once again I have learned a valuable lesson in “antiquing” I wanted a fish but it was to big to carry around so I told the proprietor I found something but did not tell her what it was, I figured it was safe with thousands of items and few customers. After checking a couple other establishments I decided on the fish and went back to the store to find a local woman completing the purchase of MY fish! I couldn’t believe it, we had a fun conversation and it sounds like I would be eligible for visitation if I choose to pursue it. I ended up giving $5 for a silver plated soap holder.IMG_0565Everyone I came in contact with here was friendly and interesting. It was the grand opening of a new Subway sandwich place so that seemed to be creating all the buzz. The only other restaurant in town was Jean’s which is where I went for my burger.IMG_0564Locally sourced Buffalo burger is the signature sandwich at Jean’s. The service was prompt and friendly (like every person I met here) The burger was just what you look for from standard local diner. Fresh condiments, grilled burger and bun with old school atmosphere.

Julesburg, Colorado

IMG_0530Sedgwick County Seat, Julesburg, is in the northeastern most part of the state close to Nebraska. The city was incorporated in 1886 but from 1860-1861 was on the Pony Express route from Missouri to California. The towns namesake, Jules Beni, was actually  known for stealing horses from the Pikes Peak Express Company and operating the original trading post in the area. The town was originally Fort Sedgwick, the location Kevin Costner was stationed in the movie “Dances with Wolves”. The Indians kicked a lot of ass here in retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre.IMG_0531Formidable Court HouseIMG_0543Everywhere you turn there is some type of Pony Express statue or icon, and porti potties.IMG_0536IMG_0535Not really sure why it is the “wickedest” city in the west, seemed quiet and friendly to me.IMG_0546I was interested to see a pack of Cormorants on the South Platte river, I guess I thought they were more oceany, just noticed a Heron in the background.IMG_0541IMG_0540I could easily spend all day here picking thru the neat stuff.IMG_0552The best junk stores I have been in to date, I have been looking at these damn canning jars every where I go and was determined to never get one. I did some research and learned Atlas jars were not made after 1965 so it will always be that old, if it has a seam through the lip it was made after 1915, this 1/2 gallon jar has a seam but also air bubbles and deformities, and hint of purple. I have been seeing the quarts priced about $20 and have not seen many 1/2 gallon ones. I gave 16 dollars for something I am never going to buy?IMG_0533The people of Julesburg are great, I had some good conversation and may have entered a verbal contract to buy the only restaurant in town. Since the local cafe was closed I needed to adjust my protocol for cheeseburger selection and at least keep it in the county. I had two choices, Lucy’s and PVH, no one had time to use the whole name “Platte Valley Hotel”, I had to figure that out on my own.IMG_0547I followed the detailed directions (go to the town of Sedgwick and turn left) to find Lucy’s. Of course I seem to have challenges at every corner and because of “technical” difficulties I was not able to get a picture of my cheeseburger deluxe so you will have to imagine a cheeseburger deluxe at this point. I am told Chicken Fried Steak on Thursday is best here.

Walden, Colorado

IMG_0477Jackson County Seat, Walden, was founded in 1889 and named after the postmaster Marcus Walden. I had my share of troubles on this trip starting with spending a couple hours in the wrong town! I was talking to a woman in the junk store I was in and was getting very interested in the history as she was telling me about how the county seat was determined by a gunfight. I thought it was odd because that was not the same as the very pedestrian story I had read about the town being named after the postmaster and being a coal mining town. I got back in my car and looked at the map and realized I had missed a turn and was not where I thought I was. I ended up driving another hour to get to Walden and start over.IMG_0510IMG_0497Still winter in the high countryIMG_0502I paid 4 dollars for a small glass wheelbarrow, absolutely the last thing a person would ever need. Luckily there was only one place open to get a cheeseburger in this town of less than 600, the River Rock Cafe.IMG_0469IMG_0465Occasionally you are asked how you want your hamburger cooked and rarely is it correct because it is difficult. It is either raw or well done, in this case I asked for medium rare and that is how it arrived. The meat was fresh and juicy, condiments just right and the bun was like an english muffin. An excellent burger. IMG_0492