It's no secret that I love weirdness, and on the high plains along the road from Buena Vista to Santa Fe, there's plenty of it. We're talking abandoned train stations, a shining castle fashioned entirely out of beer cans and scrap metal, and Earthship homes that are made out of piles of tires and look like dirt-encrusted bubbles. A few weeks ago, Zach and I decided to take a road trip to visit two of these amazingly random roadside attractions: the Colorado Gator Farm and the UFO watchtower. It was the best day ever.
400 alligators live here - it started out as a tilapia farm, and the gators were eventually brought in as rescue animals and to help dispose of the dead fish. This place blew my mind - the owners were very kind and the handmade facility was a nice break from the commercialized sterility of a lot of zoos these days. I seriously could have stuck my hand into an alligator's mouth through the fence if I wanted. I didn't do that, but I did find out that they have GATOR. WRESTLING. CLASSES. I will most definitely be back.
All these handpainted signs were cracking me up:
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that they also have a biodome. I got really excited about this and spent the next week or so trying to figure out how to build a biodome of my own to live in. No, seriously - for several days I was totally convinced that living in a large greenhouse would be the answer to all of my problems. Still trying to talk Zach into that one...
Then, on to the UFO watchtower. I know this is the first question on your mind, so I'll just go ahead and answer it: YES, they do weddings!
There's a rock garden full of objects that visitors leave behind as a "token of their energy". Also... something about vortexes? I forget.
I was especially intrigued by the Denny's nametag. I mean, what happened to Dustin? Did he get fired that day? Was he abducted? Did he have some sort of vortex-related epiphany that inspired him to suddenly quit his job and travel the world? I need to know these things.
I giddily left a stack of business cards there and made the UFO guy PROMISE TO CALL ME if someone books a wedding in the near future. I'm pretty sure that if you were to get married here, you would have to do the ceremony in a metallic gold spandex mini-dress or something. While wearing gas masks.