Like New Mexico, Colorado is one of those states that we feel drawn to.
Late May, 2017. Back in Fort Collins, Colorado for a few weeks.
Like New Mexico, Colorado is one of those states that make our hearts sing. Every time we venture away from our home base in Texas, we pass through the “Nil Sine Numine” state, and Fort Collins in particular, because that is where Andrew’s parents live. During our sticks-and-bricks life we saw Andrew’s mother maybe once every two years – rushed and ultimately frustrated visits during her limited time in Austin. One of the advantages of our new life on the road is that we are free to spend unhurried time wherever we choose, so we choose Fort Collins as often as we can.
As much as we love Fort Collins, there are many other Colorado towns, and Colorado drives, we cherish. In our road trip days we favored romantic mountain hideaways like Lake City, Ridgeway, and Dunton. Now however, in The Beast, we prefer less terrifying experiences, like not sliding down a snow-packed mountain pass or descending a 12% grade over a switch back. We stick to the Eastern plains – equally meditative and romantic for the right eyes.
In the Southeastern corner of the state is a perfect little paradise called La Veta.
In the Southeastern corner of the state is a perfect little paradise called La Veta. This is a tiny town that has one gas station, one hardware store, one paved road, one non-profit gym, one liquor store, two great RV Parks, and about 5 world-class farm-to-table restaurants (and about 3 greasy spoons/bars). We stay at Circle the Wagons, which is meticulously maintained with love, artistry and care.
A common theme across the less-populated sections of any state – decay.
A common theme across the less-populated sections of any state – decay. As populations, and economies, migrate to urban centers that boast unchecked development and growth, the rural areas and small towns are left to falter in disrepair and ultimate decline. We try to capture this fading life on our photo drives.
Still, there are signs of life in a lot of the small towns we visit.
Still, there are signs of life in a lot of the small towns we visit. We see a lot of resilience in the immigrant communities and the food and culture they offer. We see pride in history in the monuments that are erected. We see the perseverance of the many faiths that thrive through these forgotten communities.
Text/Images ©Andrew Auten, ©Christine Auten, ©Story and Picture, ©Worst and First – All Rights Reserved