Friday, August 22, 2008

22-08 Pagos Springs Colorado, Wondering Thoughts

Pagosa thoughts


I’m thinking about my next destinations, as my time in Pagosa Springs is coming to an end. I’ll be leaving at the end of the month. Heading over to Mesa Verde, Canyon Lands, Monument Valley and Canyon De Chelly . But before I leave, I thought I’d share a couple interesting tid-bits about the area.

Pagosa Springs began using geo-thermal for heating the town in 1989. Now it only has 15 customers using the basically free heat for their businesses and homes, but I noticed the other day, they were continuing to replace many side-walks and streets in town that will be heated by the hot springs. No shoveling snow in town this coming winter.

The year around community appears to be much smaller than the summer residences. All those part timers are a tax burden on the whole gov. system since they pay little to no taxes to support the local government and rarely get involved while summering here. The part timers have gorgeous expensive homes, but leave as soon as the cold breezes blow off the mountains.
When I was visiting Durango and commenting on the, shall we say, mediocre service at some of the restaurants, a local said, well, keep in mind, many of them work two and three jobs to be able to live in the area. Holding on to a way of life that keeps getting more expensive.

Oh, I joined 4 other campers and went to a local Dinner theatre production in Pagosa on Saturday. It was a Melodrama called, “Foiled by an Innocent Maiden” Lots of audience participation, cheering on the Maiden, oh’s and awes and booing of the villain, who gets his come upends in the end. The dinner and show all took place in a big white tent as the local theatre doesn’t have an official home yet. But their enthusiasm created a real fun evening.

Water out here in the west is as valuable as gold. The Pagosa area, although it has the deepest hot springs in the world, is very limited in drinkable water. To the point that very few wells can be dug due to the solid rock which covers much of the land out here. I see many pick-up trucks driving around with large plastic tanks to be filled with fresh water for the many homes that have no access to water, except by transporting it in these large plastic tanks. Must be a lot of effort hauling fresh water every couple of days for home use. In many ways, having to haul water much as the Native Indians had to do over a 1,000 years ago. The Pagosa area just passed by a very slim margin a bill to start supplying water via a community water district to many of the these home with no water access.

Strange Occurrences. Back at the Hide-a-way Rv park, one of the campers guests, Janet decided she wanted to sleep outside one evening. She awoke in the middle of the night, the black sky dotted with stars, the air crisp and cold, to the sounds of horses hooves clipity clopping and the voice of an Indian chanting. No one was visible and Janet quickly decided to go inside the camper for the rest of the evening.

When she told the story around the campfire the next night, trying to figure out was it a fellow camper playing a prank, a really vivid dream or the spirit of the ancient Indians who lived in the area, many of us thought it the spirit of a local Indian. After all, we’re only about 12 miles from Chimney Rock where many ancient ruins have been found. Or, it could have been a drunken cowboy.

Mimi told us about another experience at Parelli’s Horse Ranch, where she’s been taking a two week horse training course. Apparently, this is the ranch that started the horse whispering thing. It’s now a huge business with ranches here and in Florida, England and Australia. So, what Mimi heard one day from a fellow student was that a glowing light was seen floating above the horse pens an evening or so earlier. More strange occurrences in this enchanting forested land.

Have you ever read a book and it seemed to have a message specifically for you?
During this same period, another odd occurrence happened while I was reading Jimmy Buffet’s book, A Salty Piece of Land. The book was not only a fun read combining every guys dreams of being a cowboy, sailor, pilot and fisherman, but it spoke to me on many other levels, as two of the main characters were single. Having lived much of my life as a single person, I was able to relate to the characters so well. The book spoke to me of following your own path, which I of course have done all my life and have no regrets.

Then came the odd occurrence. Near the end of the book, the characters in the book find themselves back in Key West. They drive up to Marathon and end up throwing a wreath into the water to honor someone’s passing.

The scene in the book seemed completely out of place and I wondered why Jimmy Buffet put it in the book. Sometimes, one receives messages or insight in the most unusual ways. You see, only about a year previously, had I been a part of a group throwing a wreath into the ocean to remember a dear friend. So during this week of odd occurrences, I send out a thought to my dear friend Eric Hathaway who we celebrated by tossing a wreath into the Gulf of Mexico. Peace my friend.

PS, A special welcome to Karen and Russ of Florida, who have joined our on-line Roving Reports. They are getting ready to become Traveling Campers within the next year or so and already have their camper and are testing it out in beautiful Florida. Florida has some great state parks for camping and I envy them. But I’ll get back to my beloved Florida one of these days.

For now, I get to enjoy the great states out west, Yippe, Yehaw!

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