Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Exploring Small Towns in Colorado

I learned that a former pastor of ours from Wenatchee WA had lived in the small town of Wiley CO, some 50 miles from us, so we decided to make a day of exploring the area. Right near Wiley and on the same road we came across McClave, a tiny town with maybe 200 or so people. Typical of many very small prairie towns, this one also had abandoned buildings and evidence of more prosperous times. The main street of McClave consists of one short block. These buildings are, or were, the grocery and the gas station. There was, however, a very large school, serving, we guessed, the many ranches and farms around the area.

Out on the highway again we spotted a long row of what looked like cattle barns. We investigated and found many yards full of young beeves, probably awaiting being made into hamburger and steaks. It was kind of sad.

It looks like this is where the aforementioned sad deeds take place.

On down the road we saw several of these complicated grain elevators. This one was just at the entrance to our destination, Wiley. All along Highway 50 in southeast Colorado one sees almost nothing but vast grain fields and a few huge cattle yards and meat processing plants.

Across the street we noticed a pile of something golden. At first I thought it looked like sawdust, then realized that since the only trees out on the prairie are mostly ancient cottonwoods surrounding the houses and along the roads, that couldn't be it. Closer inspection showed that the pile was corn. I'm sure this is what the unfortunate cattle we saw earlier were fattened up on!

The town of Wiley has a population of about 450 and is slightly larger and more well kept than many of the old, worn out villages through which we've passed. Even so, Main Street is not very impressive! Several of these buildings seemed deserted.

This is the church where our former pastor had served and where he married his wife. I did not find out when and how long he was the minister here. The church in his day was a Church of the Brethren, but now is simply called Wiley Community Church. It is one of three churches in town and the most attractive.

We'd planned on having lunch in Wiley, if there was a restaurant. We were in luck. The Cornerstone Cafe´ was open for business! We found out that the cafe´ was actually owned by the church in the picture above, and we were pleased to see a "prayer wall" inside along with invitations to Bible study advertised on the placemats. They also invited diners to donate $5.00 to feed any hungry or homeless folks who might wander in. Our donation coupon was tacked up on another wall till needed by someone. We noticed there were quite a number of these coupons up there. Oh, and the food was excellent, too!

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