Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fort Collins, Colorado

As the name implies, Fort Collins was once an army garrison.  After the American Indian conflicts of the 1860s had ended, the army abandoned the post.  Fort Collins then became a town initially economically aided by the Overland Trail, as well as local farms and ranches.  Today it is an industrial, technological and education center (University of Colorado).   As usual, John had done his research on the town and determined that the area we should check out was the historic Fort Collins.  
It is an area of wide streets,  small parks, shops, sculptures and fountains. There are also pubs, restaurants and a small stage for entertainment venues.  Serving as a backdrop are large Victorian-styled sandstone buildings built in the 1800s.  Perhaps it is those buildings which Walt Disney modeled his Main Street after in his Disneyland Parks.  I am not sure about that, as many years have passed since Disneyland was built and this older section of Fort Collins was revitalized in 1985.
In the lower right-hand picture of you may see a colorfully decorated piano, one of several in this two block area.  Usually when we found one, someone was on the piano bench and plunking out a few notes. Fort Collins seems to be an economically vibrant college town.  The shops are quite varied; appliance, auto upholstery, spice, books, fossils and gems. Any number of the tourists favorites can also be found;  ice cream, cookies, cupcakes and fudge.  I will also always remember this as a town of bicyclists, hikers and panhandlers- and practically everyone has a backpack behind them.  Many of them look as if they just came in from hiking the Rockies.  Perhaps students from the university never went home for the summer, instead they are working in Fort Collins and spending their free time in the hills.

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