I’m currently travelling across Colorado. I’ve never really been out west like this before, not Colorado, Wyoming, Dakotas kind of west at least. I’ve been to Phoenix before, been in the city and gone out to see the Grand Canyon and whatnot, but I flew to Phoenix both times I’ve been there, so this is a really interesting experience for me.
The drive from Michigan to Colorado is at times a boring one. Iowa’s kinda’ interesting, the windmills are neat. Nebraska is a little on the boring side. But so far Colorado has been interesting. I’ve never seen wide open spaces like this with the rolling countryside and the grass as far as I can see, with only small settlements dotting the countryside. I’ve grown up in corn country myself. I’ve travelled across Ohio and Indiana (There’s more than corn in Indiana – there’s soy beans too). I’m used to miles and miles of corn, but actually being able to look out over the miles and miles is really interesting, and something new.
That’s on the right side of the high way. On the right side are cattle pastures. It’s fascinating to look out and see the miles and miles of grass and nothingness and then to see these clusters of cattle, munching on the grass, no barn or water or anything in sight. My mom keeps asking, “Where do they get a drink?” and “Where do they go for shelter?”
My mom says that you’d have to really love your solitude to be able to live in a place like this. “Can you imagine your husband dragging you halfway across the country in a covered wagon to this and then having to live in a sod house?” It’s beautiful, but it could be really lonely I think.
Every girl has their fantasy ideas. For some it’s the Knights of the Round Table. For some it’s the Gladiators in the Coliseum. For some it’s the Pirates of the High Seas. For some (like myself) it’s the West and the Cowboy. The songs “Cowboy Take Me Away” and “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” have been my theme songs for years now (for that second one a friend of mine replied “They’ve all turned gay” after the release of Brokeback Mountain). There’s something about the attitude, and the horse, and the hat, that’s really appealing to me. Maybe it’s the six-shooter and the fact that a cowboy can save you from whatever is after you, be it man or beast.
This fascination with cowboys has led to a love of cowboy novels; those set in the wild west (or the modern west) with the handsome cowboys and the women that love them. I’ve read these novels, and I’ve imagined their locations, seen pictures in my head and tried to wrap my mind around the vastness and beauty of these locations, and I didn’t think that I was that far off. But now I know better. Now I can see just how wrong I was. I can see that these rolling hills are a little like the ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru, you can see pictures and think you know what it looks like, but nothing quite compares to looking at it with your own eyes and seeing it for yourself.