Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gunnison, Colorado

We've spent the past week family-reunion-izing with H's family in Gunnison, Colorado — not really H's hometown, so much, but one of the numerous places they lived (and arguably the real hometown for younger siblings), and where the family matriarch currently resides.

Gunnison is in a broad, fairly flat valley just west of the continental divide. The house we stayed at is in an area just outside of town of ranching land being slowly turned into suburban residences:

... and with some nice sunsets.

The town itself is quite charming. The clear absence (or perhaps just weakness or poor taste) of any kind of Design Review Board has led to a kind of anarchic approach to architecture which would never have arisen in the more conservative building approach of New England:

(the second house apparently being designed so that small performances could be given on the stage in front of the house — a disturbing thought, given the loud and apparently drunken debates about the artistic merits of various Lynyrd Skynyrd songs coming from the back of the house at 11am)

The freewheeling architectural style has also apparently given rise to a creative approach to greenbelts, such as this embanked and stone-walled one:

However, the most curious aspect of downtown Gunnison is the fact that, on either side of the north-south streets (though not the east-west ones), run foot-wide irrigation ditches — the maintenance of which is presumably a municipal responsibility. Most of them are simple dirt ditches, but I did find one concrete-lined stretch:

Residents do in fact install pumps to pull water out of these ditches to irrigate their lawns, sometimes covered with little huts:

And, naturally, no 9-year-old boy could resist the temptation of travelling by jumping from one side of the ditch to the other (although I had my camera ready to catch it, he did not in fact fall in):

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