Cruising along from The Roaring Fork Valley towards Jackson, WY the roads are mostly flat and deserted. I am one of the few cars out on the road but then everyone is cruising along at higher rates of speed. On highway 80 the speed limit is 80mph, but with warning signs of wind gusts of upwards of 35 mph I don't feel comfortable going quite that fast, Mile after mile, Kit and I are cruising along. We cross over the Continental Divide several times, the Oregon Trail and see lots of fences. These fences outline all of the fields from federal land to private and there are fences. These fences keep me from wanting to jump out of my car and run into a field seeking out land features i'm not used to seeing.
For me this landscape of the Wild West represents what I was taught in elementary school all those years ago. Except now for the first time I am seeing plateaus, mesas, antelope, huge deer, and ranches scattering the landscape. I saw my first ever cowboy, or so I am going to think, He was sitting atop his horse, cattle dog sitting by his side with a long line of cows calmly walking towards the next fields in an orderly line. What seems like a surreal experience for me as I am driving by is just another everyday occurrence out in the West.
To finally see these places, landscapes and characters in person has been one of the greatest learning experiences that you can't learn from a text book. It might seem silly to some but when you don't grow up around this every new sighting is exciting and I feel like a 5 year old all over again asking questions to learn more about the world we live in.