Small Town, Smaller Town

By Rocky Mountain standards, Boulder is considered a real city with a population of over 106,000. Nederland, has a population of 1700. Still, it offers up good restaurants. I had a great breakfast at Ned’s and a fantastic Reuban at the Deli. There are all the shops you’d expect and more. A roadside BBQ trailer, Greg’s Empire of Junk, gift stores, bicycle shop and of course a craft coffee spot. It has a high school football team that is well boosted and even has a small batch brewery, The Very Nice Brewing Company. I even saw hops being grown in town. 

I photographed a few of the more colorful shops, but in addition to these there is the Colorado Railroad Museum, a mining museum and the Carousel of Happiness.  

These photos show just a taste of what Nederland offers to visitors. Nederland, being close to the Eldora ski area, benefits from tourism pretty much all year long.  

About 20 minutes further up the road is Ward, a smaller mountain town, the Yin to Nederland’s Yang. About 170 people live in Ward. There is one store for everything; coffee, sandwiches, gifts, etc. Across the road is a glass art gallery. The rest of the town is residential. 

This is a view of the center of Ward from a road above town. The building on the left is the store, the one one the right the art glass gallery, some residences are seen in the background. Along the road are some unusual structures, abandoned vehicles, household appliances and what’s that? Jet skis? 

A shopkeeper in Nederland told me that this is something of a scam, that they really don’t want new people in Ward. She said it has always been this way. An interesting theory that stirred my imagination. Are the ramshackle facades of some of the homes hiding mansions behind them? Think about it. 

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