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Old 03-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Status: "1 Foot in CO, 1 in NM" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
313 posts, read 318,877 times
Reputation: 409
Default Seeking a rural, SE ranch town w/grasslands & mesas?

My tiny, remote, cattle ranch-country town(Branson) at the southern end of Las Animas County just 2 miles from New Mexico, needs resourceful, self-reliant, entrepreneurial folks to join the community. The unvarnished truth is that it's windy, dry, hot in the summer, and it's 50 miles to gas, food, bank, health care, I-25, etc.,in Trinidad. Our elder population is dying off, and there are a handful of us forward-thinking types working to create a sustainable future. We've transformed the original schoolhouse into a gathering spot, mini-cafe, tourist welcome center, library, and more. We started up a recycle/thrift store last year, which was quite popular with people in the region, but scarce volunteers made it hard to keep regular hours. We're trying to get our community garden going, and are also looking to share a town milk cow. Someone just opened a guest house, there's home daycare, and we've got an amazing gallery of western landscape art. Yet with less than 60 residents, there just aren't enough of us to move things forward. We've got a K-12 school with dwindling student numbers, plus a public online school that's based here, a volunteer fire dept., a community church, and we can eat local beef and bison. I moved here after living in Boulder over 15 years, and while it's been an adjustment, the sky, the land, the peace, the quiet, the humble nature of the place, and the silence are food for the soul. Granted, it's not a place for everyone, but there's room to create something out of nothing here, and for some of us, that in itself is Heaven on Earth.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,470,363 times
Reputation: 6449
Interesting. Your town has the distinction of being the southernmost in Colorado. Amazing that at one time it had a population of 1,000. From the photos looks like a cool place.

Last edited by CAVA1990; 03-12-2011 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:17 PM
 
17,109 posts, read 23,426,130 times
Reputation: 12382
Any place there for coffee or a brew?
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,470,363 times
Reputation: 6449
You guys should host a music festival of some kind. You've got plenty of open space for one. They put Kerrville and Galax on the map.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:28 PM
 
27 posts, read 194,598 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
From the photos looks like a cool place.
What photos? Am I missing something about how the forum works. I can't see a link to photos anywhere....
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,470,363 times
Reputation: 6449
I just went to google maps and they have photos you can click on. Also on Google Images just put "Branson, Colorado" in the search box. Plenty come up.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:01 PM
Status: "1 Foot in CO, 1 in NM" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
313 posts, read 318,877 times
Reputation: 409
Thanks for the comments. Yep, we are the southernmost town, and yep, Branson hit its peak in the 1920s with over 1,000 people, passenger rail service, and lots of businesses. Then came the Depression, the Dust Bowl, two fires that destroyed the downtown, drought, the downturn of the RR, and the town has been in decline ever since. BNSF coal trains still come through, but only when they're empty and headed north to Wyoming. When loaded, the route is too rough. On top of it, the US Army has us in its sights for the threatened Pinon Canon Maneuver Site expansion. Tiny Branson has guts, though, 'cause it's still kicking.

Over at the old schoolhouse/library, we try to keep water boiling for instant coffee and tea (yeah, I know that's not what you had in mind!), and we've got local burritos in the freezer to heat and eat. Lots of trucks come through here, and we know they'd stop if we had some kind of cafe. We also have about 6,000 books in storage (donations to our library), and I'd like us to get a funky, Blue Highways used book joint going. Books and Brew. We're also on the way to Capulin Volcano Monument.

We've been talking about establishing some kind of annual event, too. Maybe an Outhouse Festival. This week we've got a Rocky Mountain Celtic duo coming in from LaVeta for a performance at the School Gym. This is probably the first live music concert in Branson in YEARS. Huge breakthrough. Tiny steps, tiny steps. A certain percentage of our residents don't want to see change at all. It's a process...
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:41 PM
 
17,109 posts, read 23,426,130 times
Reputation: 12382
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovinedivine View Post
... We're also on the way to Capulin Volcano Monument. ...
THAT'S IT! The old Volcanic Virgin Sacrifice Festival trick... people will drive for days to see what a real live virgin looks like ....
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- Any Questions about City-Data? See the FAQ list.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,470,363 times
Reputation: 6449
How about hosting a Western version of Woodstock or a Phish concert?
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:44 PM
Status: "1 Foot in CO, 1 in NM" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
313 posts, read 318,877 times
Reputation: 409
Jeez, we'd probably have to drive for months to even find a real virgin! And Capulin already has their yearly Run Around The Rim race, which is starting to pull runners in from all over. But, hey, anything can happen in the Land of Enchantment (NM).

The concert idea feels more than a bit overwhelming at this point in time - but I appreciate that you're thinking about us. I think we'd probably need to go with something a little more country in flavor!
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