Sneak peak! Jennifer Goodland's Big Year Colorado photography gallery at Leela
|Keota, one of Goodland's favorite places to photograph.|
Every single one. One that I keep visiting over and over again is Otis in Washington County. They have the best café ever; the best food made by humans anywhere in the world throughout time, actually. Hands down. I was on a road diet of nothing but breakfast burrito's and cheeseburgers because everyone has it in Colorado. So I sit down in Mom's Kitchen Café and they serve me the best coffee I've ever had. You wouldn't think coffee could be that special. No, this coffee is incredible. The breakfast burrito was the best thing I've ever had. I kept going back there when I was shooting that leg of the trip. I would drive an hour because the food was so incredible. They make everything fresh -- local produce, local meats, they make everything by hand. Apparently they've been in a couple of books. Everybody who stops by there is flabbergasted by how good the food is in this little agricultural town. They do comfort food, biscuits and gravy. The menu itself isn't anything special, it's the way that they cook and what they put into their food.
There's another town that I've been documenting for the past few years that's also one of my favorites. It's called Keota, and allegedly it's Pawnee for "the fire has gone out." A lot of people refer to it as a ghost town, but it's definitely not a ghost town. There's a family up there who sells eggs and great goat cheese. I think there are about three families that live up there and it used to be a bustling place before the Great Depression. In fact, Keota plays a really big part in the new History Colorado Center. I've been talking of Keota for years and years and years, so I like to think that's why they decided to put it in there. There are lots of buildings to photograph, and there's this cemetery. Back at the turn of the century it was very hard for a lot of these towns along railroad spurs, like Keota used to be, to get certain supplies. Things like tombstones because they are very heavy and transporting them might be more money and trouble than it's worth. So one of the things they did to make headstones was to pour concrete into flour sacks, burlap bags. When it hardens, they peel away the burlap bag, and BOOM, it's a headstone and you can write on it. You can still see the little grains of the burlap and the seams of the bag they used to make it on the concrete after all these years. I just think, how ingenious is that?