Thursday, August 31, 2006

Build Just What You Need, No More, No Less

This building was obvious built to satisfy the exact needs of the tenant. No more, no less. Now, I don’t know if Simmons is the original owner, but he does use every square foot of the place most optimally. More importantly, he is a master at his craft, his prices are absolutely reasonable, and he will bend over backwards to make sure you are taken care of. One Saturday a few months back we called at 8am to have the keys changed out on 6 locks. He was done by 9:30am! Near as I could tell, there was no extra charge for the weekend work, the fast response, or the house call. Delta Colorado has not outgrown good service, and this is just one of many examples.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And Then There Was None

Since 1896, with one exception in the late 1990’s I think, there has been a hardware store on Main Street in Delta. Today that will change, possibly for ever. The local ACE hardware is moving north to the edge of town. Now I know it will be the same great people who love to help you out. I know the store will be bigger and brighter. I know the selection will likely be better, and parking will definitely be better, but I do have a soft spot for old hardware stores. I love to hear the wooden floors creek as you walk in the store. I love the narrow isles where you must make eye contact, and exchange greetings as you squeeze past each other to get by. I love the creative ways that they find to squeeze everything they want to stock into the limited space. I love the old hardware stores, but they are becoming a relic of the past, bowing to the financial realities that result when the “big box” stores move into town. Main Street is one of the special assets that Delta has going for it. It is my sincere hope that the town council & Chamber of Commerce don’t loose sight of that. Hopefully the next tenants of this corner will light a spark in the down town……..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

City of Murals

As you drive through town, especially from the north, one thing you will notice is the rather large number of buildings that have murals painted on their sides. This could explain why Delta is known as the “City of Murals”! Now at first, the cynic in me figured that a very savvy traveling mural salesman must have come through town a number of years back causing mural envy amongst the businesses unlucky enough to have exposed sides, but after talking to a few of the local folk, that is not the story at all. All the murals seem to have been done by local artists, and near as I can tell, most of them still live here. The murals appear to have been done between 1987 and 1992, but none that I have talked to know how this got started. If you know, please add a comment! These murals are all in good shape, which got me thinking. With one exception, none of the murals face south, and I suspect I know why. The sun here at 4500 feet is very intense, and has a habit of burning off paints and sealers, especially on southern exposures. Am I on the right track Connie, Dennis, Emanuel, or W.R.? In any case, you have not seen the last of the murals…..

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dominquez Canyon

Around 20 miles to the north, just west of highway 50 and due west of Grand Mesa, sits Big Dominquez Canyon. The canyon is around 14 miles long, and 800’ deep. If you awoke in the canyon, and did not know where you were, Colorado would not be at the top of the list of guesses. It is a different world that includes mountain goats, bear, mountain lion, lizards, cactus, scrub oak trees, pine trees, aspens, waterfalls, natural arches, Petra glyphs, abandon gold mines, old grazing fences, and deteriorating stock pens. The rocks are all sandstone, and the river loves to clog filters. A couple of years ago I was filling up my water bottle by a pond, and noticed a cat print the size of my hand. It was fresh, and the hair on my neck immediately stood up. When I was there last month, it was 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and the only movement we saw was from a family of Mountain Goats and the blisters rising on my feet. September/October is the best time to hike this very special place.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Peaches For Sale

It’s that time of year, and small businesses spring up everywhere. The produce must be sold, and time is of the essence, but it is not spent creating signs! When most people think of Colorado, they think snow, but that is not the case here. A few inches of snow in this area is a big deal, and that makes for a good area to grow crops. It is not a wide band of fertile soil, but it does produce well. Olathe Sweet Corn is known far and wide as some of the best available. Now if you do like snow, head an hour or two to the south and there is World Class Skiing at Telluride, or an hour to the north slopes of Grand Mesa for a smaller operation, or you can cross country ski on top of the mesa, but not for a couple more months! For now, the afternoon rains will keep the crops coming, and there is nothing like fresh locally grown produce. The Gala should be coming soon, and I can't wait!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back In Time

Imagine if you will that you found yourself transported through time some 90+ years, landing today in Delta Colorado. Further imagine that as you stood on the street, the sound of all the new fangled mechanical horses was more than you could stand, but there on the corner you spied a familiar site, the Davis Clothing Store. You wandered in, and immediately the sounds of the street went away. You felt at home again. They still sell hats, boots, belts, pants, shirts, and blankets, and they can repair much of what they sell as well. The proprietor is still a Davis, the display cases have not changed, the floor has not changed, and the cash register may be the same, but you’re not quite sure. The service and products are both still top notch. Your hat does not fit? Not a problem. Your hat got caught in a rain storm? Not a problem. The brim fell off your favorite hat? Still not a problem. Need a new hat, formed just so? Not a problem. Don’t want your hat to loose its curves lying on the front seat of your mechanical horse? Not a problem, they have ideas and products to handle that! Just want to sit a spell, pull up a chair. They do still sell many other items as well, but you know, time travel was hard on your old hat, and a good steam cleaning might just do the trick… When you get something right, don’t change it!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fire In The Sky

Like clock work, every year as summer begins to wane, the morning sun and blue sky give way to thunderstorms that prowl the hills and valleys of this region. This storm from July 26 could be seen for a couple of hours before it began its assault on Grand Mesa. The bolts of lightning came every 5-10 seconds as the storm covered Grand Junction, 40 miles to the NW. As darkness came, those bolts would illuminate the valley to the north of the Mesa, revealing just a dark silhouette. As it progressed, rain breached the top, and it quickly came our way. When it hit, the rain came in sheets, but it only lasted a short time before the storm continued its charge to the south east. If you look carefully, you can see the top of Grand Mesa to the right of the strikes.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Kaleidoscope Of Color For Young Eyes

From midsummer through September, there is a farmers market of sorts every Wednesday, just off Main Street in Delta Colorado. Third Street is barricaded for this weekly event where music is performed, the smell of kettle corn fills the air, the Kiwanis club sells hamburgers, gift certificates to local shops can be won, and farmers and crafts people ply their wears. Two of my daughters were enthralled by the colorful materials up for sale.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sunset over Delta

I have never tried to publish a daily Blog before, but it sounds like an interesting challenge. Delta is a small community situated in Western Colorado. I actually live East of town a few miles, and can see the lights of the city at night down in the valley. To the west is canyon country, which is basically high desert with deep canyons. To the North is the 10,000 foot Grand Mesa, the largest flat top mountain in the world. To the East are the Elk Mountains, which rise to 13,000 feet, and to the South the San Juan Mountains reach over 14,000 feet, and have snow year round. Nature kind of collides here. The sunsets are stunning, almost routinely so……..