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  • Small Town Travel and Beyond

    Flagler Co

    Flagler is a small farming town mostly consisting of wheat fields. It is located just off Interstate 70- about 40 minutes east of Limon, Exit 395. You know you have arrived when you see the Pepto Pink Cadillac perched high on a steel post out front of the I-70 Diner, located on the north side of I-70. It is clearly visible from the interstate. The diner has quite a bit of history. In May of 2007 six semi truck trailers from Fargo N.D. brought it to Flagler after being purchased over the internet by Tom and Jean Bredehoft. Once arriving at its new home, It was reassembled and the grand opening was held July 4th, 2007.

    The Park
    This park, although very small, has some unique features, like the hand carved caricatures, and After the vintage aircraft which stand as a reminder and a memorial to the 21(including 13 children ) people that lost their lives September 15th , 1951 during the Fall Festival Days Air Show. One of the stunt planes, flying too low, ended up flying into the spectators. The name of the victims are listed here. There has never been another air show in Flagler since the tragedy.

    Grain Elevators
    The Equity Coop Co. grain elevators are directly across from the park. I personally like walking around these buildings. elevator to have their purchase of grain poured into the semi.

    Today, I am making another trip to Flagler This time to do some more sightseeing, by foot and by air. Just as the chef from the diner promised, he called to tell me the harvesting has began. Connections have been made, by the Mayor , Tom Bredehoft, for his friend Gary, to take me up for some aerial shots of the wheat harvest.… We are not quite sure of what time this will begin. It has been raining almost every evening, making the harvesting more difficult. The combine operators have to wait for the sun to be out for several hours , allowing for the ground to have a chance to become a little drier, making it easier for the large machines to traverse the fields.

    On my way to Flagler I decide to make a few stops to check out other towns. During which time, Gary , the pilot and I have had several phone calls , keeping me abreast of our potential flying time . When I finally arrive it is after 1:pm. We still are not ready to fly. I head down the dirt road, directly behind the diner where there is another grain elevator with large fields just behind it. You never know what you might find unless you go check it out and this was the case today. I called my pilot, letting him know I was in town and down by the grain elevator and he suggested I climb the stairs to the top.
    This appealed to adventuresome spirit. When I walked over to the stairs leading to the top there was a sign saying no trespassing, and it made mention of the the danger . To make sure of no trespassers there was a lock on the gate. Bummer, It sounded like a great idea. A couple minutes later a pick up truck came by and stopped. The young man introduced himself as Eric and he has the keys to the gate. Surprised that he even knew I was down here, he told me Gary called him and gave him a heads up. Gotta love small towns.

    Eric unlocked the gate, giving me access to the stairs. This all sounded great, until I began the climb. How could I forget that I have a fear of heights? As we climbed higher,higher, and higher, I did my best to not look down, because the steps were like little see through grates. I looked up , rather than down, not sure which was the worst of the two evils. When I looked up, I saw all the narrow stairs that were ahead and above me, and the blue sky.
    if I looked down, I saw how far up I really was, making for a rather nervous climb. Once we reached the final set of stairs going up ,we had to walk across another set, leading to the roof of the elevator. I kept thinking to myself, " Oh what have you gotten your self into this time?' Reaching the top, I quickly snapped a half dozen images as all I could think of was getting down from there. Being rather nervous ,I handed my camera off to my guide asking him to carrying it as this would allow me to carefully descend the steep steps without distraction, or be thrown off balance by my heavy camera.

    The Library and Hospital Museum

    When I was finished terrifying myself by climbing death defying stairs, or at least they seemed that way to someone with a fear of heights, I drove over to the Library and clerks office.The Librarian told me that the building was once The Hotel Flagler,built in 1909,and in 1937 it became The Flagler Hospital. It closed in 1963. Eventually it became the library. It is a very small, quaint library. Upstairs is a museum, which showcases how the hospital rooms looked at one time. Each of the rooms, which was just a bedroom in this house, offered something different. One was the delivery room which has a catalog of the names of all the babies delivered here. In the next room, is a host of medical memorabilia. This 9 bed hospital was considered to be the very best between Colby Kansas and Denver.

    Time to go flying

    I'm not thrilled of flying , nor of being in small aircrafts. If I want images from the air, I guess I am left with little choice. I head over to were the plane is. It is just across the freeway overpass, When I arrive, Gary has the plane out from the hanger and ready for take off.
    Gary, my pilot. 
    He gives me some basic instruction, such as ,please don't step on the wing flap when you are climbing on the wing to get in the cockpit.. Since this is a rather significant part of the plane, and its ability to fly safely, I take the instructions to heart, I climb very carefully over the flap, making sure not to touch it. After all, precious cargo is on board, ME! 

    After both of us are in, Gary makes sure my safety belt is nice and tight. Next he puts my head set on, making communication easier. He goes through a safety check, pulling a nob and pushing buttons, of which I have absolutely no clue as to what they are. There is a steering wheel (not sure what the proper name is) on each side, The pilots and co pilot's. Today I'm in the co pilot's seat.
    As I sit there, I contemplate asking him if he wants to give me some instructions on how to fly, just in case an emergency should happen. I decide against it. If that type of situation arrises I will be of no use, I will recall zero of the instructions given and I will be too busy screaming to hear the tower telling me how to fly our little coffin. So why waste the time asking for instructions.

    Gary starts to tell me about the plane as we taxi down the grass run way. He says it is a 1950' s Piper Comanche, then he says, "maybe I should have not told you how old it is".He may be right about that! I ask him if his wife enjoys flying? He replies " She won't go up with me, she doesn't want us getting in crash together and dying." I said ,"Gary,your wife and I have one thing in common, I don't want to crash or die with you either!'

    Lift off was pretty smooth. Once in the air, there were some bumps along the way, and at times, making it difficult to get the images as the camera bounces up and down in my hands..Gary apologizes a few times as he see's the challenges I am having. No worries, I assure him, doing my best to get the images of the combines in the fields. He makes a couple passes over the land, flying just a little lower and tipping the right wing, giving me the opportunities for better angles. It paid off! There were golden fields and green ones, and purplish hues..The view from above is so incredible., and the mission accomplished.
    Before heading back to the highway I had to make one last pass down a dirt road to look at the fields. 

    It is 4pm. the day in Flagler was terrific, and memorable. Impending storms are looming in the distance. I have a 2 hr drive home and I am driving right towards the storms.
     Time to pull over on I-70 and push the magic button that controls the power top on the convertible. 12 hrs after leaving my home, I returned, Exhausted ! 

    Flagler Facts -Wikepedia
    Flagler is a Statutory Town in Kit Carson County, Colorado, United States. The population was 612 at the 2000 census.
    The town was established in 1888 as a small settlement near the then-new Rock Island Railroad, named Malowe after Rock Island Railroad attorney M. A. Lowe. (Prior to the settlement, the location had been home to a general store and post office named Bowser after the owner's dog.)[6] The town was later renamed after Henry Flagler at the request of his daughter, who liked the area.
    Flagler is near Exit 395 on I-70 and about 120 miles east of Denver and Colorado Springs.
    Boxer Irish Bob Murphy was born in Flagler. Author Hal Borland moved to Flagler at age 15 when his father became publisher of one of the local newspapers, and attended high school there.

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