Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rambling Thoughts

To even have thoughts, at times even amazes me.  For the most part the grey matter operates in a vacuum.
Im not a person of resolutions, for I have no intention of being locked into something nonsensical.  I do like goals and try to set reasonable ones. Then I haven't figured out what reasonable is any more.
Politics is always a fire to ignite, only goal I have there is to go vote next year. 
I have been enjoying the Trump show.  Who knew a former Democrat could be so nasty to his former party.  Like Obama, Trump has polarized the country even further.  The amount of hate that spews out on both sides any more is amazing.  The Golden Rule is alive and well…… hate others so they can hate on me.  Well I really do not want to hate but I get upset over some of the comments directed at me. 

Then there is the issue of the Christian haters.  Not sure how to deal with that one.  Then I am reminded of the what the Romans did to the Christians with their lions.  hen there were the witch hunts, Christian on Christian.  So called Christian leaders taking on the role of God and executing people they labeled as heretics.   Burned em at the stake or hot oil.   An ugly chapter in history. 
Then there was the Babylonian exile of the Jews.  When a person looks at that story and reads the book of Joshua, a lots of answers can be found.  It is interesting how God has used the Ishmaelite to be a thorn in the side of many.
Like the Jews, God will not let Christianity perish, there will be remnant. 
Then that brings up the question, at church is the focus on God or is it on the pastor/preacher or self.  God has been booted all over and people have become so complacent that they ignore what is in front of them.
On thing, the world will continue on for as long as God wants it to.  It is God’s position that so many want to be in.  They want to judge people and condemn. 
Look at all of the laws that get passed by government, so many of the laws elevate the lawmakers to a god like position.  The government has the answer, seek them out, not God. 
Within the secular world, we have the capacity to change things but if God is not sought out, then Satan is the controller.

Like I said, thoughts from no where that go no where.  

Have a great twenty sixteen and God Bless You. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Climate Change ...... Two Things

            Changing climate, what are the influences? 
            Read an article the other day about the earth’s axis shift and how it is effecting the change of the global climate.  This makes more sense to me the carbon having impact on the climate.  The incident angle of how the sun strikes the earth has a tremendous impact.  If a person has paid any attention to the solar industry and how they tilt their solar panels.  How the sun impacts on the solar panels is the same impact of solar gain or loss on the good planet earth.
            Few years back I wrote along this same vein when I read about how the GPS system was being re-calibrated by the shift of the earth’s axis.  The satellites had lost their accuracy by seconds and things could get messy, such as ships navigating in to shallow of waters or planes in the wrong pattern.  Short little distances have a major impact on lots of things.  Something as simple as moving a shadow, which would change solar radiation. 
            The sun’s angle on how it strikes the earth probably has an effect on El Nino, a big impact on weather.  Changing weather patterns in turn impact the climate.  How these events affect the climate is seldom reported on unless they fit a person’s pre-conceived paradigm.  In that, is part of the problem with climate change.  For a tilt of the earth’s axis is a natural event, not manmade, kind of hard to manipulate people.      
            The other problem I have is the blaming of carbon being a guilty culprit.  Carbon is as essential to life as is oxygen.  Both of these elements are extremely critical to sustain life.  Carbon to plants is as needed as oxygen is necessary to animals/humans.  One can not live with out the other.
            The other thing is, carbon is called a greenhouse gas.  Think about that.  In a greenhouse, the life of a plant is enhanced and its growth is increased.  Since the critters of the world need plants for protection and food, one would think greenhouse gasses would be beneficial to have surrounding the good planet earth. 
            An agronomist told me, when he was going to college, they would add carbon dioxide to the greenhouse they were working in to stimulate plant growth.  The other thing is, these plants provide the oxygen we need to breathe.  Without plants converting CO2 to O2, we would soon expire. 
            So if people are blaming carbon for climate change……. Are they saying they want to kill plants and eventually kill life in general. 

            Photosynthesis is one of the very basic things one learns in High School science, which is not a requirement like it used to be.  The people that teach science now teach science in a way to fit their agenda rather teaching to learn, question and explore the things of life and how it operates.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bethune Lutheran Church

There are times when pieces fall together, when bits of information are accumulated.  The separate pieces by themselves are nice, and make good stories.  Then these relate to another piece and all of sudden the little piece has a bigger meaning. 
North of Bethune, CO was a small Lutheran Church that I had heard of.  I went looking for it and there it was, out on the prairie. 
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It had recently lost its pastor and was now empty.  The parishioners were now going to neighboring churches in the area. What had begun as a pioneer dream was ending.  It is my understanding it still sits empty. 
It had its beginnings in 1890 as a home bible study church that grew into a congregation and a church was built.  In 1892 it was decided to build a church.  Members were assigned to contribute different materials by families.  Rocks were hauled in and there was lumber.  In 1892 the little rock church was built and services were held at their new church. 
By 1920 they had grown out of their church.  A new church was built in 1926, which is the one that still stands. 
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It was a nice sized complex on the prairie.  Out back was the play ground and further was the cemetery.
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In 1955 a parsonage was built for the preacher.
This area was known as Settlement, where a group of Germans from Russia had settled in the 1880’s.  There were Post Offices in the area, general store and country schools.  It was a community more then it was a town. 

The people worked together and helped each other in times of need and raised their families.  Like so many things on the plains, the number of farms have declined and so has the population. 

today the prairie quiet lingers over the land, breezes of times past whisper into the attentive ear.  The white buildings a mute testimony of other days.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Governance of a Country


The pastime of politics, makes for some pretty good humor.  comedians get some pretty good scripts poking fun at the politicians.  The crop this year does not lack its moments of absurdity.  Yet the politicians is supposed to be about governing a country.  From the candidates pandering to the presidency I have yet to see any that have the slightest notion on how to run a country. 

Hillary is so wrapped up in scandals and the medias is gaga over her, I have no idea if she grasps the concept of a country’s stature and its citizens.  She seems more interested in making good sound bites for the news cast then taking care of a country.  Then there is the Donald, he has become the king of the sound bites.  If the presidency was based on making good news copy he would be a shoo in.  Yet does any one have an idea how a country operates. 

If you are a dictator, who cares, the rules change and the population be dammed.  Hum, kind of sounds like a current practice. 

But really, look at the candidates, who would you like to have running the country?  People that make good comments, that you want to hear or one that makes the tough choices for the good of the many.  The other thing about good management is staying out of the way and letting people do their job, not micro mangers. 

The democrats had a decent candidate but he got lost in the mire of the holy Clinton masquerade.  The Republicans, have no one that has really shown he can lead. 

So what do we do?  I have heard there should be a revolution and kick everybody out and start all over.  It makes sense because the politicians are more interested in cronyism and greed then taking care of the country and its citizens. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ghost Community



          Over there on the horizon a small building sits below the rise.  Looks like any other building on the vast expanses of the prairie.   The little building is a Mennonite Church.  The only reminder, that Mennonite’s settled the area at the turn of the 19th century. 



            The Mennonites had emigrated to the Volga region of Russia from Germany at the invitation of Katherine, the ruler of Russia at the time.  They along with numerous German moved to the Volga and settled in as farmers, merchants etc.  Later in the 19th century Katherine was overthrown by the Tsars.  This brought about violent turmoil in Russia.  The Bolshevik’s were at odds with the Tsars, the beginning of the Russian revolution.  The Tsars needing more soldiers began to conscript the Germans.  There had been an agreement with Katherine that there would be no military conscription of the German immigrants into the Russian Army.  The Tsars scoffed at that and began drafting the Germans.  Soon the Germans were fleeing Russia.  Many of them heading to the homeland and many more going on to the New World.

            Crossing the pond and into the New World, a small group of Mennonite’s journeyed to the prairie of eastern Colorado to a place called Pleasant Valley to settle.  Here they began their American dream, homes were built, schools and their church.  The church is all that remains. 


            There are a few descendents in the area that take care of the grounds and the building.  Some of the graves are fairly recent and the grounds mown. 

            Over that away was the Post Office, called Bakerville.  Not sure if one of the Mennonites operated it.  Like so many country Pot Offices, it appears to of been operated out of a farm house.  To the north is the fading village of Vona, which many consider as their hometown. 



            At a local library I was going through some local history books and found a story in one of the older books about the settlement.  I had a map from a history group of the county that showed the cemetery location and the area as being Pleasant Valley.  It wasn’t in any of the more modern books or on digital maps or old trail maps.  Just one of those things found by accident.  It took two trips, for the first time I was in the little van.  The church and cemetery are down a two lane path and the van does not have much clearance, so I got the pickup with more clearance and bounced down the pasture path to the dead end.




            There were a few bovines along the way and the buffalo lounged about.



            It is one of those fascinating little chapters on the prairie that is fading.  Pleasant Valley is pretty empty, there are some scattered abandoned homesteads.  Mostly it is livestock to converse with. 





Tuesday, November 10, 2015



Hillary Supporters

            What kind of person supports Hillary for president of the United States?


To get an idea of this kind of support one has to go back in time a ways.  When Hillary’s husband, William Clinton, came out of Arkansas to be elected president of the USA, they were under investigation.  Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in a land development that was under investigation for wrong doing.  It was known as the Whitewater Scandal. During the first years in the White House there were denials of any wrong doing by the Clinton’s, yet the investigation continued.  Eventually the Whitewater Scandal went away. 

During this time Hillary did not speak out in any way about what was going on.  Then allegations of sexual affairs began to surface.  Numerous women stepped forward saying they had sexual affairs with William Clinton.  These allegations were dismissed by the President as having never happened.  The allegations soon became back page news.  Again Hillary said nothing about the allegations. 

Then a White House intern came forward saying she had sex with William Clinton in the White House.  The intern stated that she had oral sex with the President while he was on the phone talking about the affairs of the state.  These allegations were investigated and were validated as being the truth.  Again Hillary said nothing about the sexual liaisons her husband was involved in. 

The implication is that Hillary accepted lying and cheating by her husband.  Even after President Clinton was impeached, Hillary did not condemn his actions.  It was acceptable behavior, the appearances that presidential candidate gave.  So just by actions one can assume that Hillary Clinton accepts that cheating and lying is acceptable.  So when looks at all of the allegations that surround her today, one can make a pretty good assumption that the allegations are fairly accurate.

So where does this leave the people that support Hillary Clinton for President.  Are they cheaters and liars?  It would appear that they accept cheating and lying as a moral value. 

Yet is that all bad. 

Consider if you need an attorney.  Find one that was a Hillary supporter and they probably will lie and cheat for you to win the case.  Then there are the tax people.  Come tax time find a bookkeeper/accountant that supported Hillary.  Let them prepare your taxes.  If they lie or cheat on your taxes, they will have a good contact in the IRS.  It seems like to deal with government one should consider cheating and lying as a modus oprendi.  For the parents that want their children to have good grades.  Find a teacher that supported Hillary.  Then cheating and lying in the classroom will be acceptable.  Out of the school will come students that are very proficient in lying and cheating.  They may not know much but they sure can tell a good story. 

So ask, what kind of person is going to vote for Hillary Clinton, is she presidential material? 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tuttle, CO


It was a pain to find because of my preconceived notions.  I was expecting it to be there but it was over there.  Then when I only read one part and ignore the other books that is what happens. 

The Tuttle Post Office Is advertised by a local group and part of a variety pack of interesting places they advertise for their part of the plains. 

Out in the pasture sit the remains of the Post Office and general store.  There are some foundations from other buildings next to it.  In the weeds they are are well buried.  There is no public access, just a long distance view from the road. 

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The sign they made for it had a good case of sunburn and will soon be replaced by another. 

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Being made of stone with a tin roof, it should withstand the elements for a few more years.  It appears it was a prosperous place at one time from its size.  Yet the neighborhood around it is pretty vacant today.  The nearest house are back that way a few miles and the same the other direction.  Even the horizon is a rolling void of homes, just waving grasses. 

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As the crow flies, the Tuttle Ranch is about 5 miles south.  By the modern country road of today it is about 9 miles around the bend and over the river.  The Tuttle Ranch had the mail contract during the late 1800’s and was the Post Office until the contract was awarded to another.  The Post Office moved to the General Store to the north but the name Tuttle was retained. 

There were a variety of Tuttle’s in the area and they were involved in some type of range war.  Information I have found has been very limited.  Hopefully one of these days I’ll turn over the right rock and find what I want. 

The two Tuttle ranches that show up on the map were with a couple of miles of each other and were on the freight road and Stage route following the Republican River. 

During the 180’s this area was hotly contested by the white invaders and the Indians.  There were more then a few Indian attacks on the ranch houses and the stage.  Some the locals I talked with, talk about finding all kinds of arrowheads in the area and other reminders of the when the Indians lived in the area.  Small caves in the area with smoke covered openings.

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The Tuttle Ranch is no more, it was washed away by the flood of 1935.  The Republican River was visited by Noah.  Flood waters a mile wide and 20-40 feet deep.  This massive flood changed lots of things and today the dry stream bed looks so innocent. 

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Back down this pasture trail a few hundred yards is where the Tuttle ranch had been.  Today very serene and peaceful and one can see why it would make a nice setting for a ranch.  Very contrasting where the stone Tuttle Post Office sits. 

Turning around a looking the other way a short distance is where station 21 for the Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Stage Station would have been. 

Like so many things in eastern Colorado, on private property and posted. 

Yet it is fascinating to drive the country roads and ponder what it would have been like to be riding over the country and see Indians ride up over the horizon. 

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Instead now days I find some neat old abandoned homesteads.  Yet this was the heart of the Plains Indian Wars during the 1860’s while the Civil War was going on. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shot in the Foot …… Christians


Shooting one self in the foot is pretty easy.  Best way is to be a hypocrite.  For Christians, these are pretty easy, if they don’t read the bible or understand what they are reading.  Have met so many that spew off sound bites but have no idea of the context.  Nastiest is what I heard from the librarian.  There are religious groups that go into libraries and check out books that are offensive to them, then never bring them back.  An indirect type of censorship.


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Yet this extended borrowing of books they deem offensive, should not surprising.  Look at history.  Back in the late 1800’s the Christian Temperance league began.  And eventually they got their way with the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.  The temperance people were notorious for going into saloons and bars and demolishing the place and breaking all the bottles of booze.  All this was done in the name of God, they used him to justify their actions.

They had set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner.  No longer did they trust God to deal with sin.  The temperance people wanted to be gods and mete out punishment.  The height of arrogant Christian hypocrisy.  Using religion, the temperance people forced the rest of the country to follow their beliefs, with an assist from government intervention. 

So when I look at that, I can understand why Christianity is under attack. 

Look at todays issues in the church,look at what some preachers say.  Some of the nastiest hate I’ve heard comes out of the mouths of some of these mega church televangelists.  The very thing they preach against, they do. 

Hardest for some is……. Love the sinner ……. The very thing Christ said ……. “The greatest commandment is, Love Your neighbor.”  Preaching hate in not loving your neighbor, that includes the gay people.  No matter what the secular law of the world says.  Homosexuality is still a sin in the laws of God, in the world of the Holy Spirit.   No matter how hard man tries, the laws of God will not change. 

So when hear about persecution of the church, I did some soul searching.  So many of today’s Christians are not citizens of the Body of Christ.  It is a tough pill to swallow, but God uses things like this to discipline His Children. 

A prayer, that God’s light be sought out for guidance in life’s tribulations. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Memories ….. A Mexican Frolic


There are some things in life that happen, that are retained forever.  Going through some old slides I relived a bit of one of them.  A winter trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a small island off the east coast. It was one of those trips to wander with very little care.  Temps were in the low 80’s and overnight, low 70’s.

An afternoon stroll down the beach was as great as could be.  Gentle rolling waves on the white beach, almost no clutter with crystal clear water. 

Walking over a small rise we came to another sparkling white beach.  Out into the surf were poles with a net attached.  Inside this pen in the water, a giant sea turtle could be seen swimming along the pen’s edge.  Ahead was another similar pen with a small pier next to it.  Walking up, we saw another giant turtle lazing in the water. 

Stopping there to watch, a young boy comes running down the beach and wades into the surf, chattering up a storm.  Had no idea what he was saying but one of the biggest smiles ever.  My Spanglish is terrible and my Spanish is worse. 

Soon the water was churning and the boy was shouting and grinning as he was tugging on something back towards the beach.  This was the opening chapter of one of coolest episodes ever. 

The youngster had latched onto a small shark and by the tail was dragging it up out of the surf.  One could hear the delight in the boys voice as he struggled with the fish.  Getting into shallow water the shark tossed an flopped all the more vigorously. 

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That shark did not like getting into the shallow end of the pool.  Soon the water was boiling and with a couple of great twist, the shark got loose and back into the deeper water it swam with boy in pursuit.  Soon he had the shark by the tail again and towards the beach they headed. 

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While we were watching the tug of war, a boat with some boisterous Mexican had landed at the pier.  They were rattling away and empty beer cans were floating through the air.  At the little boy they were shouting and soon they were headed that way.  One of them men had to go visit a tree and make a wet spot. 

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There were two couples, one guy with two women waded into the pen and the man headed out to catch the shark.  Soon he had it in tow and towards the beach he went.  Shark a twisting and flopping and the guy just smiling up a storm a chattering away.

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In the surf they were splashing.  The two women joined him and the air was full of excitement.  Here was the shark, lets pet it, smiles bigger then the Cheshire cat. 

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Oh the chatter was a roar.  Wishing I knew more Spanish.  It was a kick watching the splash in the water, chase the shark and just having one hell of a good time. 

The other guy had finished watering the tree and joined them in the surf.  Out to the end of the pen they went and grabbed the turtle, bringing it up to the beach.  The conversation was loud and boisterous, happiness beyond compare.

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It was one of those days that was etched into the memory bank.  I have never experienced anything like it since then and probably never will.  The shark never attacked and they had so much fun with it. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Laws of Control


For whatever reason, lawmakers feel they can control people with laws.  Look at all of the laws they have passed to regulate the behavior of what is referred to as sin.  These are the alcohol and tobacco taxes and regulations.  Included in that is firearms.  There is a federal agency specifically to oversee alcohol, tobacco and firearms, ATF.   This agency has been around for more then a few decades.  What problems have they solved?

This type of government laws flow from people that have serious psychological disorders of “Power and Control.”  These people tend to want to be in positions of authority and when one looks at the members of congress, lots of psychological unstable can be seen.

With all of the laws and taxes that have been passed to stop a certain behavior, people still drink alcohol, use tobacco and shoot guns. 

Bootleggers have made a nice living off of these inane laws of the federal government.  Even when they are caught and punished the bootlegging goes on. 

Sometimes, I think the government lawmakers take stupid pills every morning and then have a contest to see who can think up the stupid law of the day.

The scary part of all of these laws, is how freedom is eroded.  Every law that is passed, restricts someone's freedom in some manner.

Now look at the constitution and see what gives the right to lawmakers to restrict your freedom……….. to find the answer….. go look in the mirror. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Glenn, Colorado

This little farming community is along the county lines of Lincoln and Washington Counties.  There is not much left of it today.  There are a few vacant homesteads in the area and short distance away is the church and cemetery.  The barn that had housed the store and Post Office is an empty lot. 

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It is mostly farm country mixed with some ranching.  It is pretty empty country.  The homes are some distance apart and very few of the old homesteads remain.  If it was nice flat farm land, the buildings became a liability and down they came.  Where there had been homes on most road corners are now occupied by road markers.  Long gone are the days of community socials, card parties, quilting bees and the weekend dance. 

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There are occasional reminders of what used to be.

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In silent testimony a few buildings stand, harking back to other times on the prairie.  Today, many of the country folks are like the city folks, in a hurry to go someplace.  The dust whirlwind marks where the pick up is rushing across the land going somewhere.  Otherwise is is silence, occasionally the wind whispers and the grasses wave at the stroke of the breezes. 

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The church sits a distance away.  Here the early settlers met and gave thanks for being on their land.  Once a year, services are still held here.  A pastor from a nearby town journeys out into the country to help many remember their roots and their families that are in the cemetery.  It is not left to neglect, somebody gives it some good TLC at times. 

Here one can visit with the people that traveled miles across the wilderness to their own little corner of heaven  Many had gotten off the boat and made the trip cross country seeking out a new life.  So many did not make it through the dirty 30’s and walked away from their dream.  A few lasted and kept their land.  Their children went to the big city and no one to take over the operation and more farms were consolidated into one farm.  The population continues to decline today. 

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The building is nicely maintained, the pews await the next meeting.  Into the future in silence goes the little community now with more ghosts then critters. 

Here one can walk and listen to the voices of the past.  Look out over the land that held so many hope.  Look at a dream that was shattered by nature. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Big Bend, CO

Big Bend is one of those places that sits over there, way off the highway but the railroad went there in the early 1900’s.  It was at the end of a stub branch, no through trains, a dead end.  To lay tracks like that, Big Bend must have been a very prosperous village at one time.  Today it is a spot on a country road marked by not much of anything. 

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There is an abandoned store and garage that rest next to the road, nearby are some other empty structures and the forsaken grain elevator. 

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I found a local history book and it talks about the railroad that the farmers were building.  Sugar beets was a big business back then and small processing plants were popping up along these little towns and the railroad was a good way to serve the sugar plants.  The Ark Valley RR was formed to serve these villages. It stretched from the Kansas border to Rocky Ford on the north side of the Arkansas Valley in southern Colorado.  Along this right of way were bunches of little stops, some became towns, most were industrial sidings for the train operations. 

The valley was fertile and all types of crops could be grown.  Various canning plants opened to process vegetables, a pickle factory and other truck crops.

The little railroad thrived on the ag business of the valley.  Eventually the AT&SF Railway acquired the rail line.  It had been an original investor and soon owner of the whistle stop rail line.

When the sugar beet market failed, it marked the beginning of the end for many of these small towns.  Then farming changed and the little growers were leaving, again another changed in the valley.  In the mid 1960’s the railroad abandoned the line and soon the rails were pulled up.  Left behind were these little stops, most now dwindled down to ghost town status.   As farming continues to consolidate many more of these little bugs shrink into the land. 


after looking at a railroad time table I have a bunch of little ghosts to go looking for.  A few I have posted on before, such as Hasty Colorado, Lubbers, McClave but there a few dozen more to go looking for. It will be a kick for there are none of the old roads any more and lots of the ROW has been plowed over.  It will be to that corner, down the road a piece, curve over there and a left turn to the buildings over there…. maybe. 

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There will be lots of neat old buildings to see, ruts to dodge or bounce over but always something new around the bend.

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Abandoned chicken farm……. no…. not the chicken ranch. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

World Basketball Champions


A story that grew into a legend of mythical proportions.  The little town on the prairie beat  the big city boys.  In 1929 the little town of Joes was the Colorado state basketball champions and went to the national championship tourney.  They progressed though the tourney but not to the finals.  Because they had beat at team that had beat a team that had beat the national champions, Joes was declared the national champions. 

Here was a little school of less then 40 students in all of 4 grades in High school.  There were 20 boys and 10 made the team.  The tiny school was the goliath slayer of the 1920’s. 

Today about all that is left of Joes is the story, now in epic proportions.  Population is less then 100 souls and the streets get rolled up at night and the wide spot on Hwy 36 is host to an occasional truck passing through in the night. 

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Sore fronts, businesses sit silent along the highway, the liquor store shows some sign of life.  Peeling paint, boarded windows, tattered shutters on long neglected shops.  The school has long closed and consolidated with neighboring schools.  The roar of the crowds are silent.  Whispering winds of the past echo over the rooftops of yesterday. 

How does the little burg cling to life.  Back a ways off the highway sits a nice well kept modern office building.  The telephone company  maintains an office building in the little village, giving it life support.

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Here are a few jobs to keep things going.  The nearest shops are not near.  A town of any size is an hours drive or better.  Here the few dwellers learn to live without lots of amenities. 

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Then there is the guy that retired and moved to Joes.  He bought an old gas station and made it into hos shop.  Here he works on his dragsters and street rods.  There is a nice house next door and is well cared for.  Time marches on while he and a couple of friends tinker in the old gas station.  More hot air is generated along with some dregs of coffee.   In the wide spot on the empty highway life motors along. 

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On the east side of town is a Memorial roadside park, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits and well manicured pasture grass. 

Hwy 36 across the eastern prairie probably has one of the best collection of little towns and old empty buildings.  It is a road of past times, passing many a ghost of other years.  From Strasburg east it is almost all ghost towns and dozens more on the country roads. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fort Cedar Point

Fort Cedar Point, sits just off of I-70 about 80 miles east of Denver.  Nothing there to mark the site where the Colorado Militia had a fort there to protect early day travelers on the Smoky Hill trail and Benkeleman Cutoff.  For about 5 years Company F was garrisoned at the little prairie fort. 

At the crest of the hill is an exit off the Interstate for Cedar Point.  It is not close to the military post.  To the south down the exit road is where the railroad established the depot of Cedar Pint.  Here there were some houses built along with a RR depot.  The railroad had put in a turning wye for the steam engines that helped pushed the trains up the hill.  Elevation of Cedar Point is just over 6000 feet and is a pretty good climb for the trains.  Even with the high power of toady it is still an obstacle to deal with. 

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Today the railroad uses the siding at Cedar Point for a storage lot of surplus rolling stock.  Looking up from below it does not look like much of a climb.  The distance to the rails  is about 7 miles and an elevation gain of about 500 feet, a steep climb for trains. 

Devoid of trees, the land looks pretty empty.  Yet here the Indians roamed, hunting their buffalo and other game.  The hill is loaded with springs and there are pools of water in the area and small streams.  The Pikes Peak or Bust gold seekers traveled across this empty land on their way to the gold fields.  Here a trail from the north joined central plains trail. 

Cedar Point is the spine of the Palmer Divide, where the divide forks off to the Republican River Basin, separating from the Arkansas and Platte rivers.  The Arickaree River has its beginnings on the east face of Cedar Point from a series of springs.  It was this ribbon of water that early traveler followed as the Indians had been for years. 

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Along the banks of a small creek that tumbles down the hill is where Fort Cedar Point was located.  Here is where the Benkleman trail junctioned with the Smoky Hill Road.  Traffic on the Interstate whizz past the trees that are in the vicinity where the fort was.  Some old concrete footers have been found in the area, along with old military metal buttons and spent shell casings.  Nearby were a couple of state stops, One at Resolis and the other at River Bend, the old stop. 

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Nature has reclaimed most of these forgotten places, all within about 15 mile radius.  Old River Bend sits on the bend of the Big Sandy creek.  The railroad tracks curl around the hill and the old highway notch can be seen above the RR grade.  Here was  rough and tumble little town that did not survive.  Saloons, brothels and other establishments were a part of this little hell raining town.  Their boot hill cemetery is north of the River Bend exit.  There they were buried with boots on.  The old town is off the Kiowa exit and when crossing the tracks one can see the bend in the rails and where the town had been, now on private property. 

It is an area rich in old west lore, gunfights, Indian conflict and dreams lived out and lost.  Here were the buffalo hunters, going up into the hills camping on the Arickaree River.  Selling buffalo meat to the railroad, shipping the hides to the east.  Sheep roamed the hillsides, cattlemen wanted the grass land free of sheep.  The Indians lived in the woods of the Cedar Breaks, hiding from the reservation life. 

Today, trains still click on the iron rails and the cars fly by on the Interstate.  The high elevation creates nasty storms in the winter and spring.  Snow drifts of the land, burying the concrete slab in glazed white, closing the high speed roadway.  Baseball hail pummels the land in the spring and the uplift of the hills generates violence in the clouds, blasting the wind turbines with lightening.  It is a harsh land and for that reason few people live on it. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peoria, Colo


Much like a cat, Peoria, has had more then one life.  Today it is an exit on I-70 and a few empty building and some rubble piles mark the spot. 

Peoria had its beginnings on the smoky Hill trail during the 1860’s n 70’s.  The summer of 1870 the railroad passed through the site and they put in a depot and some section houses for a maintenance  crew.  It sits on a ridge overlooking the East Bijou Creek where there are springs and water. 

A store was built for the local settlers and later when the highway pushed through a gas station.  Peoria never became much of a town, mostly a stop on the railroad and a wide spot on the highway.  The railroad closed their facilities and the rest followed suit and soon it was an empty wide spot.

Then the Interstate was built.  Rather then isolating the area, it brought life.  Some dog people bought some land by the exit and soon the Byers race track was built.  Busloads of people traveled out the Byers racetrack at Peoria. 


The greyhounds brought the little junction back to life, well kind of.  There were a few homes built for the caretakers.  Nothing else but the race facilities.  The the racing dogs hit as pot hole and greyhound racing went into the history books.  For years the p;lace sat empty, collecting dust and tumbleweeds. 

For years it was an empty land mark next to the Interstate. 

Few years ago it was given a new life transfusion.  It was purchased and things were cleaned up, painted and new life as a race track of another type was on the horizon.

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The collector of tumbleweeds and dust was looking new and shinny.  Time rolled on and nothing more was happening.  Activity around it was gone.  The ghosts of greyhounds were free to roam again. 

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Today, machinery site quietly, fences are up and gates secured.  The prairie land mark sits in slow repose of nothing. 

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Even the house looks forlorn as waits for something.

The wide spot of Peoria is once again an empty wide spot.