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Norther Exposure, sure. But X-Files?

Brief by Central Staff

Salida – September 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Northern Expsosure, sure. But X-Files?

How many ways can a magazine get a story wrong?

We manage quite a few ways ourselves, but we’re more than willing to hand the prize to VQ: Vintage Quality motorcycles, a monthly published “for the connoisseur.”

Its October edition carries a two-page article by a Paul Garson about his visit to “Dr. Doom’s Domain,” where “Harleys and UFOs converge in Salida, Colorado.”

Listing all the errors would take a lot of space that we’d prefer to devote to our own opportunities for errors, but here are a few:

“The area is the crossroads for three interstate highways.” We are in fact about 100 miles from any interstate highway. U.S. Highways 50, 285, and 24 are federal primary routes, not interstates.

“The locals call it `S’ mountain …” Newer arrivals, visitors, and even locals sometimes refer to the mount at the end of F Street as `S’ Mountain — for obvious reasons. But locals all know — and just as commonly call — the site by its name, which is either Tenderfoot Mountain or Tenderfoot Hill, depending upon whom you ask.

“… the mayor of Salida, Robert Taylor, a.k.a. Dr. Doom.” The nickname is right, but the real name is Ralph Taylor, or “R.T.” to locals.

“… a state trout hatchery that is having a strange problem. It seems the trout have started swimming in circles and won’t stop. They won’t swim straight so it’s hard to herd them anywhere. Crop circles? Fish circles? Did a UFO gravity field affect their navigation system?”

Somehow, this isn’t funny. He’s talking about whirling disease, which is a serious problem, not a mystery. And it’s not a problem unique to Salida — it affects trout fisheries throughout the West. The author never explains this affliction, though; instead he merely includes it along with various reported “sightings.”

We hope that traveling motorcyclists still visit and enjoy Salida, even if they feel somewhat disappointed when they realize that it’s not much of an “X-files kind of place.”