Well over 10 years ago, I was invited by a rail vehicle manufacturer to an industry event that they were holding to promote one of their vehicles. It was held at the TTCI test facility outside Pueblo in Colorado. Pueblo also has an aviation museum so it was inconceivable that I would go all that way and not check it out while I was there.
Most of the exhibits are outside in some pretty harsh sun so they are rather sun-bleached. There is an interesting mix of old types on display while a few are indoors and look in better condition. Helicopters and vintage fighters are always going to be good for me so hopefully there is something in here you like.
Before the days of the big hotel chains, towns and cities used to have local hotels. These were in the heart of the city and dealt with travelers passing through or staying for a while. The level of comfort was a function of what you were able to pay but the nicer ones were pretty grand looking structures. If a city has enough traffic, places like this can still survive. They often go way upmarket to justify choosing somewhere different. Otherwise, they have tended to wither away. The buildings can live on though. The Vail Hotel in Pueblo now appears to have been converted for other uses. Some things seem to suggest it is still a hotel but I wasn’t able to verify this. Whatever the use now, a cool looking place has survived. So many of its like have been demolished over the years so it is nice to see that it is still being taken care of.
When I arrived in Pueblo Colorado, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm. After our second day of testing, the weather had turned a bit and, as we headed back to the town, there was some storm activity over the Front Range. The road you drive out on is a federal facility so stopping to take pictures is not the best plan. However, once we got back to the more populated area, I did pull over and take a few shots. That night, there were some serious storms around us. I saw a few over the mountains as we drove but nothing too dramatic.
A recent work trip involved some testing of a locomotive. The test track in use is just outside Pueblo Colorado. The testing program involves a ton of different tests, many of which are pretty boring to watch if you are not involved. We did get to do some high speed runs while I was there though. The locomotive is designed for 125mph so it has to be tested to 130mph. We got to blast around the track for a while. Wildlife would scatter as we approached – usually. The loco is a modern design so at this speed, things were really quite uneventful. The ride was smooth. The noise was pretty quiet and would have been better if we didn’t have instrumentation cables out of the windows breaking the normal seal. Soon you will be seeing these locos in service in a number of states across the US.
For cities that are looking at redeveloping their downtown, it seems that a Riverwalk is a popular approach. Pueblo is one of the places that has gone with this approach. I checked it out when getting dinner one evening. There was a brewpub along the river and, after some food and beer, I took a walk along the river. This was an old path of the river but it has obviously been tweaked a bit. There do seem to be some businesses springing up along the river and there were certainly plenty of people out despite the heat and humidity. A lot of them were obviously hunting Pokemon. I wonder whether this will be the center of more development next time I go back.