September 05, 2015 – Ogallala, Nebraska to Golden Colorado

Saturday, September 05, 2015 – Ogallala, Nebraska to Golden Colorado (217 miles)

I have the title for another book.  It will be Incompatible Sleeping Companions and here is why.  Since menopause, I have had a hard time falling and staying asleep.  It is normal for me to toss and turn until 0200.  Well, this morning Dr. Early Bird got up at 0222.  I know, because I looked at the clock.  He make breakfast, clang, thump, bump.  He did his exercises and rocked the motorhome. He read the news on line, with a few videos at high volume.  I know because I stayed awake.  Right now, while I am writing this, Andy is sleeping at his computer.  He is a keeper though.

Since we were both awake, I got up at 0600 and took a shower.  We were on the road at 0700 Mountain Time.  Traffic was light. We crossed the border into Colorado at 0732.  The terrain changed to mostly treeless, brown grassy hills.

We took the I-76 fork in the interstate toward Denver.  The roadside was filled with yellow flowers. I am almost certain they are black-eyed Susans. They went on for miles and miles and were beautiful. All the roads at the interstate exits were dirt roads, only paved right at the interstate. I also enjoyed expansive views, or vistas, as we call them.

Unlike Nebraska, out here in Colorado there is a stark difference in the color between the green irrigated crops and the brown grass outside the circle of water.

Just outside Sterling, CO I saw a huge gray building up on a hill.  It looked like a prison or maybe some secret government facility. I Googled and found that it is the Sterling Correctional Facility.  It’s big.

Those who make fun of my slowing driving, I want you to know that I kicked it up to 60 miles per hour today.  That way my miles aligned with minutes. There is really no need to do so as the GPS tells us our estimated arrival time.

At 0915, we passed Fort Morgan, the boyhood home of Glen Miller.  According to the billboard, it is also home to a wild animal refuge. The billboard had pictures of lions and tigers on it.

At 0938 I began to see mountains in the distance. I thought they may be clouds, but in time they did turn out to be mountains. I think we had just passed Fort Morgan, which is 80 miles from Denver.

I saw one bovine standing on top of a hill with no other cattle in sight.  It got me to thinking, and I could not come up with a singular term for cattle.  It was too far away for me to determine whether it was a cow or bull, so I can’t use one of those terms.  I had to look it up.

From Wicktionary  (

For the animals themselves, “cattle” is normally only used in the plural.

  • I have fifteencattle.
  • How manycattle?

There is no singular generic word for “cattle”, apart from archaic neat. Gendered words such as “bull” and “cow” are normally used for adults, “calf” for the young, etc., though especially children will use “cow” for all three

  • There are fivecows and a calf in that herd of cattle.

Where the gender is unknown, “cow” is often used (although properly a cow is only an adult female).

  • Is that acow in the road?

The phrase “head of cattle” may be used without regard for gender.

  • Onehead of cattle’ ‘
  • He sold 50head of cattle last year.

Occasionally “cattle” may be found in singular use:

  • First I saw the mandible, which looked a bit like a strange-shapedcattle; then I saw the cervical vertebrae, which looked like a horse (“Intact Ottoman ‘war camel’ found in Austrian cellar”, BBC, 2015 April 02)

So, presumably, I can say I saw a lone cattle standing on a hill with no other cattle in sight. “I saw a lone cow” would work too.  Who would know what I was talking about if I said, “I saw a lone neat standing on top of a hill”? I could go with “50 head”, but can’t bring myself to say “one head of cattle”. And, now that I think of that, I’ve never heard “50 heads of cattle”.  That sounds as though they have been chopped off.

We found the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at 1110. We have stayed in fairgrounds before, but this was is much nicer than any others we have seen.  I had called every RV park in the region and they were all full for the holiday weekend. Here is Sao between some close neighbors. It’s fairgrounds, not an RV park.

b Sao in Golden CO

Here is a close up of the rodeo sign on the hill in the background.

b Rodeo

Our view forward

b View Forward

Patricia Ross from Hugo House Publishing came by to meet us.  I have been exchanging emails and phone calls with her.

b Patricia Ross

I’ve had two professional opinions that my Big Creek Journal does not have enough sales potential as a book in its present form.  Patricia thinks I should write a series of essays (I’ll think of them as chapters) pulling my favorite things from the journal. Although she is a professional editor and writing coach, she would not promise me that we could turn it into a best seller. Dang. Separate email to follow on this subject.

We took our walk around the fairgrounds and there were some interesting sights.

We could see this large arena with dozens of horses with white-clad riders from a distance.  I asked Andy if there is such a thing as karate cowboys, but he only laughed for an answer.

b Karate Cowboys and Girls

There were also a number of people watching from bleachers, so I asked a girl what was going on.  They are “liberty”, whatever that means.  They perform fancy stepping horse shows in the event arena here in the fairgrounds during the summer.  They are practicing.

Across the road is a big paddock with hundreds of horses.  A front-end loader was dumping hay all around.  The place was too big for me to get a picture of the whole thing.

b Horses

I spotted a demonstration garden so we checked it out.  I think this was a demonstration of local plants that will withstand the environment here without needed excessive care and water. As it is, the plants looked thirsty to me.

b Landscaping Garden

The next garden was vegetables food stuff. They were loaded with tomatoes.

b Vegetable Garden

I was quite taken by this arbor with two picnic tables inside.  The vines are thriving and I bet they will cover the arbor by next year, if someone trains them up there.

b Grape Arbor

The sky was getting dramatic as we headed back to Sao.  Some showers were passing by over the hills, but we did not get any rain.

b Rain Over the Mountains

b Rain Dropping Over Bluff


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