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...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

May 16, 2017 08:32AM avatar
"...in my beautiful balloon".

That's for you 1960's refugees.

Continuing the Merry Saga....

1983 was my first winter in Chama. Even though I spent the Holidays down in sunny Phoenix, I was back in Chama in January, 1983. I had rented Rich Braden's ("employee 2") house across the road from the water tank in Chama, and settled in for the winter.

In February there was a hot air balloon rally that utilized snowmobiles as chase vehicles. I don't know how I got roped into this, but Don Varenhorst, who owned the Spruce Lodge, owned a couple of snowmobiles and asked me if I wanted to help out. I knew (and STILL know) less than zero about riding a snowmobile, but I volunteered. Most of Saturday was spent zooming around the airport at the Chama Land & Cattle property. Sunday, I got offered a ride with the crew I assisted. This guy new how to ride the local winds. In the morning the surface winds come off Cumbres blowing south. As the sun warms the air, northerly winds come up from the south. This guy lifted off fro near the rodeo grounds, we drifted south a bit, gained altitude, caught the northern winds and we went north over Chama, dropped down into the southerly winds and set back down less than 200 feet from where took off. Naturally, I took some pics:

First, this is the property owned at that time by Bernie Watts. Bernie had moved to Durango to work for the D&S. At one time he had a field of NG boxcars, a SG coach body he had converted to a house, and a NG coach body. The first summer I was in Chama, I had a small travel trailer parked here. By Feb. 1983, the only things left here were two burned boxcars and the NG coach body. That body is 0252, new under restoration in Colorado Springs. Oh, yes, that's an early 1960's VW Bug buried in the snow down there too.
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Up we go...and to the north. A major thing in this pic that is now gone is the sawmill that was still very much in business in 1983. It shows in the bottom of the pic
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Over the wye...
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Down town and the yard.
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An enlargement of the above. There a few buildings in this shot that are now gone. Including the gutted hulk of Kelly's Bar/Café, and Jones Merchantile which went up in flames a couple of years later.
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Subject Author Posted

...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983 Attachments

Earl May 16, 2017 08:32AM

Re: ...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

Tomstp May 16, 2017 01:31PM

Re: ...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

KevinM May 16, 2017 06:29PM

Re: ...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

rainbowroute May 16, 2017 10:17PM

Re: ...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

Earl May 17, 2017 04:31AM

Re: ...Up, Up And Away......" - Chama, Feb. 1983

Casey Akin May 19, 2017 10:34PM

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