Pawnee Bluffs

I pass several herds of cattle, sometimes standing in the road or very close, and I can’t help but lean out the window and holler “Moooo!”. This is the high plains of Colorado, a sweeping, treeless expanse of rolling hills and prairie grass, broken only by scars of dry river beds. To the north the landscape is painted with tall towers of white windmills, rotating silently and reminding me of the century I live in. If it weren’t for the blur of windmill blades and bob of an occasional oil pump, one could almost imagine a tribe of Pawnee Indian braves, riding across the plains with bows drawn, chasing a herd of buffalo.

There are no Indians roaming the prairie anymore (or herds of buffalo, for that matter), but a section of this land is set aside for future generations to see. The Pawnee National Grasslands is packed with early American history and a diverse multitude of wildlife. Spring or Fall is the best time to visit. It is not the mountains or forests, certainly not lakes or meadows or canyons, but it has a beauty of its own.

I am camped high on a hill, near the trailhead and picnic area for the Pawnee Bluffs. It has been hot in the afternoon, but a steady breeze and a little spritzing keeps the camp bearable. It is always windy here – even throughout the night – and is undoubtedly the reason for the wind farm to the north. I’m not sure how many wind turbines there are, but one person I talked with said they stretch all the way to Nebraska.

I receive several TV stations and get partial internet, so at least my nights are semi-filled with entertainment. As the sun goes down and night settled over the prairie, the windmill tower lights all twinkle like a Christmas display. Off in the distance to the south, several oil wells have pipes that spew out flames twenty-four hours a day. Combine the lights and the flames with a dark, star-filled sky, and I get quite a show each night.

My plan is to stay put through the holiday and then move on north. There are a couple of hikes out to the bluffs, and a little motorcycle exploring to keep me busy, or as busy as I want to be.

5 Responses to “Pawnee Bluffs”

  1. Dick says:

    Sounds like a good place to stay out of the way for the holidays. We’re making a round trip to Texas over the holidays to pick up our stuff from storage. Darin’s new house has 5 bedrooms, of which one is becoming our new storage room.

  2. Donna says:

    TV and internet. You can keep up with Spike’s soaks and Junior and Barbie’s escapades. To bad you won’t be able to get Showtime or AMC with an antenna, but I’ll save Dexter and BB for you.

  3. Dale says:

    Dick – That sounds like a good idea to save money on a storage building. Are you going to rent a truck or U-Haul?

    Donna – rvsue would love this place for isolation – there is no one around. It may be hot but Spike could soak in the cattle tank up the road. The water is crystal clear – I even think about jumping in when it hits 90!

    Someday I may have to break down and get a dish!

  4. Daryl says:

    Add dish, then a generator, pretty soon you might as well get an RV!
    What happened to Thoreau’s “Simplify, simplify!”?

  5. Dale says:

    Daryl – There is nothing more simple minded than watching TV! You don’t even have to think.

    Spritzing – Verb, using a squirt bottle to spray water in ones face and various body parts. A red neck form of A/C.

    Bovimania – Psychosis, meaning the uncontrollable urge to lean out the car window and yell “MOOOO!” at cows in a field.

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