October 6 - 12, 2015:
The first order of business today is moving from loop A to loop C in the campground, unfortunately it’s almost as much work involved in moving 1/4 mile as it is in moving 100 miles. After getting settling into the new campsite, Twinkles is ready for some sewing and I am ready to search for street art, interesting signs and whatever else catches my eye. I have never been able to sit and relax much at the RV, as many campers do, I need to be out and about constantly running around.
A few more photos of Pueblo must be exposed !
|May be the best sign ever, the hand moves at night !|
|Lots of this stuff in East Pueblo|
|Overflowing trash cans too !, but it adds to the photo|
|Love the Patsy's Niteclub sign|
|The comic book hero's are all here|
|Expect hot times at the Grove Tavern|
|In contrast to the the pure beauty of a sunflower|
|Once an exclusive Hotel, now senior citizen housing|
|More space is needed for these signs|
Pueblo was once also known as the Steel City, but those days are long gone. The area where the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF & I) steel mill is located was originally the town of Bessemer. Bessemer was mostly inhabited by Steel Mill workers who came from many countries and cultures throughout the World. In the late 1800’s, Bessemer was incorporated into the city of Pueblo. In its day the CF & I Mill was the largest Steel Mill in the western United States. The Steel Mill went into decline after the market crash in 1982, changed hands several times with resulting huge layoffs causing much economic depression in the Pueblo area. The Mill was purchased in 2006 by the Evraz Group SA, a Russian Steel company and they now manufacture railroad track, seamless steel tubing and are the largest recycling operation in Colorado. The Bessemer area of Pueblo remains a very depressed area, but there seems to be an undying pride concerning their Steel Mill heritage.
|The old blast furnace |
I roamed around the downtown streets of Bessemer for a while taking photos and then visited the Steelworks Museum. The museum is located in part of the original CF & I office complex and has many artifacts from the boom years.
|Art work amidst the beer bottles|
|Behind the 8 ball at the corner cigar store|
|Veges Shoe Repair|
|An able bodied freedom fighter|
|Music Man shop|
|CF & I office building is a classic|
|CF & I Mine rescue car|
|No foreign vehicle parking in this lot !|
Pueblo has a most diverse ethnic population with several local food items such as the “Dutch Lunch” and the “Slopper”. You can always have locally grown Chili added to almost everything you desire.
|Gus's Place is famous for their "Dutch Lunch"|
While walking around Bessemer , I saw the “Steel City Tavern” with it’s blast furnace logo and decided I had to go in and check it out. It was a huge surprise, really nice, very clean and with a super friendly personable bartender. In a few minutes, I felt like I was at “Cheers” where everybody knows your name.
|The Steel City Tavern|
An interesting walk in Pueblo is the walking/biking path that runs along the Arkansas River through town. The cemented up river way has become an art project over the years. It is covered with murals, graffiti and about everything in between for at least a mile. This appears to have been done quite a while ago as much of it is well weathered and in many places no longer legible. This river trail actually is about 8 miles long and goes all the way to Lake Pueblo State Park.
|Groucho Marx view|
|Nice river view|
|Always good to be happy !|
|Very artistic and nice reflection|
Thursday night I return to the Rainbow Bar for another music event with an opening solo blues musician, Randall Conrad Olinger followed a band, Lorin Walker Madsen and the Hustlers. These guys are touring together and are pretty sophisticated in the promotion department, especially their poster which Twinkles hates. I have to admit it’s pretty crude. The Rainbow Bar wasn’t nearly the circus atmosphere of my last time there, a whole different crowd this time, who actually weren’t much interested in the music. Randall Conrad Olinger was a talented slide blues guitar player who I enjoyed, the Lorin Walker Madsen band was very likable, good musicians with stage presence, but the corny country lyrics were hard for me to take.
|Randall Conrad Olinger|
|Lorin Walker Madsen|
Pueblo is a hard drinking, hard smoking working man kind of town with many bars, real bars, not martini lounges. There also seems to be more live music than about anywhere else I have been to this year.
Friday night I start at “Smitty’s Green Light” for a band called “Rastasaurus” who consist of four young white college age guys trying to play reggae. They proved the point that white people shouldn’t do Reggae ! They played some rock also which sounded much better, but I decided to move on. Smitty’s is practically an historic site in Pueblo, you have to go there, was even featured in a Budweiser Ad. I then went to “J Michaels Brewing” where the Ashley-Raines blues duo was playing. This is a classier bar, with a tastefully restored interior. Ashley-Raines played acoustic blues with maybe a little bluegrass mixed, very original, creative and I liked it.
|The Greenlight Tavern and Budweiser|
|Inside Smitty's Greenlight|
Saturday night, I’m back at J Michaels Brewing for another blues musician, Ken Saydak, who has an impressive resume, as in playing and touring with Johnny Winter and many others all over the world. He is a very amazing honky tonk keyboard player who makes it look so easy. Sadly, he’s now playing in a quiet pub with about 5 people really paying attention. I take a break, walk a block away to Phil’s Radiator Shop and listen to a rock band who most likely haven’t played with anyone or anywhere of note. They are pretty good though and also have only about 5 people listening. It seems that live music, as played with actual musical instruments, has fallen out of favor in todays world.
|Ken Saydak on keyboards|
|The rock action at the Radiator Shop|
You might be getting the idea that I’m hanging out in bars all the time becoming an alcoholic, not to worry, I’m usually slowly sipping wimpy Coors Lites and spending an equal time in coffee shops drinking wimpy mild brew coffee.
This campground was very open and quiet until Thursday, Oct 9th, when the weekend warriors arrived in force with all their smoky campfires, boats, bikes, kids and other assorted toys. On Sunday most of them left with a long line forming at the dump station and quiet times again. It is unseasonably hot here, 93 degrees was the high, a record for the date.
Twinkles and I both read the book "Martian" and on Sunday went to see the movie in 3-D. The movie was action packed excitement as expected, even though so many of the details in the book were absent in the movie. You really do miss so much just watching the movie. The only edit in the movie that really bothered me was how they totally changed the ending rescue maneuver in the book to further sensationalize it.
Twinkles is back at the doctor on Monday for a scheduled followup visit, all is well, they trimmed the cast where it was putting pressure on her fingers, which was bothering her more than anything else. In another two weeks the cast can come off at any urgent care.
Next stop is Trinidad, Colorado,Twinkles and Slick