19 May 2012 | Craig, CO, USA
Craig, Colorado is an old cowboy town, tucked into the Rocky Mountains close to the Utah border. It's a tough climate...rugged, arid...cold in the winter, hot in the summer. Real cowboys settled here (and a few outlaws, too). These guys worn denim jeans that were not pre-washed or pre-worn. Their Stetson cowboy hats kept off the sun and their boots were ideal for riding horses and keeping varmints from biting their ankles (plus it made them an inch or two taller).
We visited the Museum of Northwest Colorado on Craig's short, but historic main street. It's easy to envision horses tied up in front of the saloon or tumbleweeds blowing down the street. The three-story museum is housed in a well-maintained, old county building and contains memorabilia from days past in western life...old ranching/farming tools, a replica of an old country schoolroom, black and white and some sepia photos of old families that had built their lives here. A special room is dedicated to cowboys and gunslingers and it catches your imagination as you walk through.
An added bonus was a Norman Rockwell exhibit borrowed from the Rockwell museum back east. It included hundreds of “Saturday Evening Post” magazine covers with Rockwell's unique, iconic impression of American life. We remember getting the “Post”, a weekly magazine, long before “Time” or “People” hit the scene. What we didn't ever realize was that it was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin and published since 1728. Long before television, this high class weekly journal explored world and US news, American life and published short stories and serialized novels by well known authors.
One negative about the visit. We were visiting a museum. “Museum” conjures up an image of old stuff...really old stuff. Unfortunately, we remember most of it well...like it was yesterday.