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.