Meltdown on Pueblo, Colorado

The weather is still scorching hot.

Yesterday, we decided to wait it out at the coach all day long.  Some thunderstorms boiled up in the afternoon and provided some relief, but we mostly hung out under the air conditioning.  It was not the best way to spend the day, but at least we kept cool.

Today we were getting cabin fever and decided to venture out despite the weather forecast for more hot weather.  The heat would limit our outdoor activities, so we decided to take a drive south to Pueblo, Colorado.

The moment we got away from the mountains the terrain turned to rolling grasslands.  Pueblo is located in a shallow valley cut by the Arkansas river.  Like most of the high grasslands, there is little cover and buildings are directly exposed to the elements.  Today it was the blazing sun and by 11:30 AM it was already 101 degrees in the shade.

The town looked like it was just bumping along.  We’re not sure what the major industry was, but the university was certainly a big part of the economy.  Years ago a steel mill shut down and the rusting hulk runs along the freeway for miles.  On the face of it, a steel mill in this part of the country did not seem like a good idea; eventually economics settled the issue.  After several minutes driving around Pueblo in the mid-day heat, we decided it was not a bad town.  Real Estate prices were certainly reasonable, but it wasn’t for us.  It was just too run down and exposed.

From Pueblo, we turned west and headed along country roads to the small town of Wetmore and then north to the small town of Florence.  Surprise, surprise!  On the outskirts of Florence we discovered a brand new federal prison, which turned out to be a maximum-security facility.  Now we know who the major employer in Florence is.  All the businesses along the main drag were open and seemed prosperous and the neighborhoods looked well maintained.  However, as nice as the town seemed, we aren’t eager to live next to a major federal lockup.  We’ll take a pass on setting down roots in Florence, Colorado.

It was getting late in the afternoon and we decided to return to the coach.  After fueling the Jeep, we got back around 4:00 PM.  Much to our relief, a local thunderstorm cooled the air and settled the dust.  We spent the rest of the evening at the coach and looked forward to Bob and Suzy visiting tomorrow.