Cañon City was, from the top of the hill, a pretty little town nestled in a leafy green valley with a river running through the center. Coming down the hill though, the first thing you see, just before the town sign, is a large prison.
I've noticed that in prison towns, people are meaner. Drivers are more aggressive, store clerks more surly. This was true of Cañon City, which should've been a charming place but seemed collectively deranged by having human misery be the town's main industry.
Pueblo is weird. I'm there now. The town looks as though there were once many thousands of people living here, but some horrible catastrophe wiped most of them out.
Vacant and semi-vacant buildings stand everywhere, and businesses drape hand-lettered signs in their windows saying "We're Open" as in, "The Plague Did Not Kill Us", while the storefronts around them lie deserted.
Below is the road I cycled on for 5 hours to get to this forlorn place, the end of the world.