Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When in Nucla, go to the park

We went to Nucla today for a birthday trip. We were hoping the Atomic Drive-In sign would still be on the side of the road but it was gone. I wanted to see the prairie dog sculpture in the park.
And here it is. A few years ago Nucla and the adjacent sad town Naturita were in the news because of a prairie dog hunting season they initiated that was quite controversial. Maybe they erected the statue to make amends. The town park seemed to be part cemetery-- there is a fancy gravestone right near the prairie dog.

When it comes to sorry towns, Nucla is right up there. Even the public school is for sale! The library is closed, there's a superfund site right out of town, and the town actually wants the uranium mine to reopen. In fact when I googled Nucla looking for a hiking trail it came up in a list of worst places to live in the U.S.

The respiratory center was one of the only places open, aside from the hardware store, the courthouse, and the 5th Avenue Grill, where we had lunch, which was a nice Ortega cheeseburger and fries.

Somehow I couldn't bring myself to take sorry pictures of the town, because the people in the town are so friendly. Everyone waves to you as you drive down Main St! People are standing in the street. Some of the buildings are old and charming. Most of the buildings are for sale.

The garage sign was in Norwood, which is a lively ranch town on the way to Nucla. I couldn't stop laughing.


Kevin Stafford said...

Best garage sign ever!!!! :-)

Namowal said...

I bet living in a small town is like working in a smaller office- everyone knows everyone else and it's something of a family. Maybe they're friendlier than city folk because they're used to greeting people that way?

Small coinkidink:
A graphic novel I read recently featured a brief section that took place in the mountainous west. It featured uranium mines and radioactive prairie dogs...

Jane said...

You have some wonderful pictures, Sally. Keep them coming, I say!

Linda said...

Asshole's garage is very handsome, I must say.

So how was dinner? Did you eat cake?

stray said...

I grew up in a pretty small town (maybe 10,000; everything's relative): it was a secure environment for growing up because most people knew and looked out for each other; one sometimes longs for more anonymity and privacy; it can become important to get out and see the bigger, more diverse world at some point. You are more trusting; in a larger city you probably can't afford that luxury.

Sally said...

Yeah, Kevin, I agree!

Namowal, where do you get your graphic novels?

Dinner last night was at home, cooked in crockpot and not so great.

Tonight it's a restaurant dinner.

There was a sign driving into Nucla that said 1000 friendly people and one grouch. My town was 10,000 too, stray, but 1001 is a tiny town.

Namowal said...

Hi Sally,
I actually don't read/own many graphic novels (I find most of them distracting), but the the one I mentioned (and really liked) can be found at most bookstores.