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Old 04-11-2011, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Then there was the Navajo Trails Fiesta every year. Talk about a wild town during that--drunken Indians (and cowboys) everywhere.
Not to pick nits but I think you're referring to the Spanish Trails Fiesta, yes?

<title>General photograph collection P 001,* I.1: Durango (Colo.) (fullpage* view)

<title>General photograph collection P 001,* I.1: Durango (Colo.) (fullpage* view)

<title>General photograph collection P 001,* I.1: Durango (Colo.) (fullpage* view)

<title>General photograph collection P 001,* I.1: Durango (Colo.) (fullpage* view)

Here's one of Jazz:

<title>From Vol. 1 of Nina Heald Webber Southwest Colorado Collection of postcards at Center of SW Studies, Fort Lewis College
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Actually, for awhile, it was known as the Navajo Trails Fiesta--presumably because when US160 (which was numbered US164 southwest of Cortez for a period of years) was built down into Arizona, the highway was named the "Navajo Trail."

( Spanish Trails Fiesta (Durango, Colo.): inventory of records at SW Studies Center )

As far as the photo, you'd more likely find me in a photo like this. I knew a number of those guys (though I would have been real little when this photo was taken in 1962). The photo shows the old US160 highway bridge, which I watched nearly be lost in the 1970 flood--only some heroic efforts by some guys with some borrowed Bureau of Reclamation equipment saved it), and the old Rio Grande Southern railroad bridge. The RGS was long gone by then, but a spur went west of town up Lightner Creek to a loadout for the coal mine. As for 480, it still earns a living for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad:


Last edited by jazzlover; 04-12-2011 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The photo shows the old US160 highway bridge, which I watched nearly be lost in the 1970 flood--only some heroic efforts by some guys with some borrowed Bureau of Reclamation equipment saved it), and the old Rio Grande Southern railroad bridge
This is the 100th anniversary of the big flood of 1911. Here's some of the wreckage:

http://dhs.durangoschools.org/cdp/98-17-005.JPG

I believe this is an earlier incarnation of your RGS bridge getting doused in that one:

<title>General photograph collection P 001,* I.1: Durango (Colo.) (fullpage* view)
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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Yeah, the 1911 and 1970 floods were quite similar in that they were both caused when the remnants of a Pacific hurricane slammed into the southwestern United States. The 1970 flood was one of most amazing weather events that I've witnessed. It was even more amazing than the 1965 South Platte flood in Denver, which I also witnessed. As I said earlier, southwest Colorado is way overdue for another major flood. They used to happen more frequently--1909, 1911, 1920, 1949, and 1957 were also notable.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Yeah, the 1911 and 1970 floods were quite similar in that they were both caused when the remnants of a Pacific hurricane slammed into the southwestern United States. The 1970 flood was one of most amazing weather events that I've witnessed. It was even more amazing than the 1965 South Platte flood in Denver, which I also witnessed. As I said earlier, southwest Colorado is way overdue for another major flood. They used to happen more frequently--1909, 1911, 1920, 1949, and 1957 were also notable.
Well keep in mind you're in a dry cycle right now. I can see why it happened so much in the earlier part of the last century as that was a relatively wet period. I believe that was true from the town's 1881 founding to the 20s.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Well keep in mind you're in a dry cycle right now. I can see why it happened so much in the earlier part of the last century as that was a relatively wet period. I believe that was true from the town's 1881 founding to the 20s.
The climatic history is much more complex than that. One of the driest years in history in southwest Colorado was 1879, right before white settlement began in the Durango area. Forest fires ravaged much of southwestern Colorado that year. Much of the 1890's were droughty, broken by a savage winter in 1899. The 1930's were droughty, as well, as were several years in the 1950's. 1977 was a savage dry year in much of western Colorado, too. Southwest Colorado actually see-saws in and out of drought pretty regularly--quite common to see a pretty wet year followed by a pretty dry one.
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