This is the latest installment from my travels west….
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. This past weekend Bartlesville had what you might call a perfect storm with three big events going on all at once. Thursday night was the kick-off for the 24th annual Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival at the Bartlesville Community Center and it was also the night of the big homecoming parade downtown. Throw in the start of the Tulsa Fly-in out at the Bartlesville Airport and I think you get the picture. Most of the hotels were full and I found that local restaurants had crowds in them way after normal business hours. Although the inclement weather on Friday was a challenge on the football field, at Oklahoma Indian Summer and out at the airport, both the game and the Fly-in went on as scheduled and better weather on Saturday brought out big crowds to both the Oklahoman Indian Summer Festival and the Fly-in..I personally got to fly in the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane and if the Tulsa fly-in group brings it back next year you’ve got to go for a ride. It has three engines and a pair of wings hooked on to a corrugated tin travel trailer that flies. The wonderful history of this plane and all the others that participate in this great air show is a real plus for ourcommunity and our local economy.
The big news coming of the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival is all the talk about next year’s event which will be the 25th anniversary of the festival. The committee has already signed a big name recording artist for an outdoor concert and there are rumors flying around about VIPs who might attend and even a possible parade.
I am bringing up this next story because I just returned from Pagosa Springs, Colorado where I had heard that the Springs Resort and Spa had commissioned an engineering and hydrology firm to determine the true depth of the hot springs on their property. Naturally I wanted to check it out and on August 20th in front of a crowd of onlookers, the consultants verified that at 1,002 feet the pool is the deepest in the world, setting a new record for the Guiness Book of World Records. This natural phenomenon was discovered hundreds of years ago by the southern Ute Indians and called “Pag-Osah” a place of peace and healing. It is claimed that these waters relieve arthritis, normalize heart rhythms, lower blood pressure, convert blood sugar to energy, strengthen bones and promote at least fifty other physical improvements including brain function and hair growth. The Springs Resort and Spa offers luxury accommodations, a full service spa and 24 four hour a day access to 23 individual hot springs and a large fresh water pool.
While you’re at the Resort there are plenty of things to explore including many cliff dwellings and historical sites such Chimney Rock Archaeological area which is one of my favorites. This place where the Pueblo people lived hundreds of years ago sits on top of the highest peak in the region. Why these ancient people chose to live there has been a mystery since the discovery of the site in 1920. The hike alone can kill you as the narrow trail leading there is sometimes less than ten feet wide and a fall would send you off the mountain to instant death. Mysteries and myths, legends and theories, you’ll have your own after this day trip.
Chama, New Mexico is an hour and a half south of Pagosa which is the home of the Cumbres and Toltec railroad. The old steam engine and the original cars have been completely restored and offer you a ride that I promise you’ll never forget. Through narrow, steep passages and dark steam filled tunnels, you cross over the continental divide, stopping at an old railroad station for lunch and then come back down. It’s an all day trip and you’ll want to take your camera.
Soon I will be telling you more about this place that’s only a day’s drive away and explaining how you will have the opportunity to bid on a stay at the Resort and passes for some of these day trips.
Till then, I’ll see ya down the road…