After venturing Westward to Nevada Territory in the late 1800s, author Mark Twain astutely remarked: “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”
Obviously, Twain never stopped in Pueblo where we celebrate the precious, life-giving resource in very creative ways.
Water – not whiskey – is what I’m talking about.
There are many opportunities for you to make a splash in Pueblo. And the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo (HARP) is a great place to start.
You can test the waters first by taking a pleasure boat ride along the Riverwalk, learning a little history of our beautiful community as you float by lots of historical landmarks. Or, if you’d rather be the captain of your own ship, you can rent a paddleboat at HARP and try hard to leave a wake in Lake Elizabeth.
Once you’ve determined the water’s fine, take a stroll along the Riverwalk and view the wonderful monuments to water that local artists have created: Pueblo’s fountains.
You’ll discover a great water feature on HARP, between Union Avenue and Main Street, that was designed by Puebloan Ken Williams. This fountain is especially pretty after dark – lights sparkle through water droplets and make for a colorfully magical sight. Hugely popular with the younger set, Physician’s Fountain, near Angelo’s Pizza Parlour, tempts everyone to take off their shoes and splash around. Numerous waterfalls along the Riverwalk contribute to the relaxed and refreshing atmosphere of the park.
Venture a few blocks from HARP in almost any direction and you’ll encounter even more water features – from the fountain on the corner of Union and Grand outside El Pueblo History Museum, to the fountain in front of Vectra Bank on the corner of First and Main, to the thematic water fall and fountain located outside the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center. You can even make a quest out of it and visit the fountains on the grounds of Pueblo Community College and CSU-Pueblo. Be sure not to miss the historically significant fountain at the entrance to Pueblo City Park. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement, Pueblo’s urban kayak course – the Whitewater Park that meanders under the levee murals that have put Pueblo in the Guinness Book of World Records – just might fit the bill. Rated as one of the country’s top five urban parks, it features eight drops that can be mild or wild, depending on the water flow.
Pueblo boasts a number of outdoor pools where you can splash around, get a tan, or just people watch, if that’s more your style.
If you’re wanting to dunk a worm – or even an artificial fly – there are Gold Medal fishing opportunities along the Arkansas River west of town, and dozens of lakes within an hour or two from Pueblo, making for yet another great way to cool down and enjoy Colorado’s most precious resource.
By Karen McMahon