Road Trip, 70's style
Visiting the ranch where my brother-in-law worked was fun and exciting. The field that stretched toward the mountains looked like fields back home, but I soon found out that distances are deceiving in the mountain country, and that field went on forever it seemed. Cattle (or horses, not sure which) grazed in that field but couldn't be seen because of it's vastness. There was an old refrigerator in the ranch's bunk house which had a menagerie of animals in jars of formaldehyde; baby mountain lions, rattlesnakes, bears... it was slightly scary yet exciting to know that I was in dangerous country with animals that we didn't have back home.
Right before we left we went to Royal Gorge, which has a suspension bridge that is a quarter of a mile high. With the excitement of a young boy I couldn't wait to go across that, but it wasn't to be. It was late evening and a horrible thunderstorm and downpour was making it almost impossible to see the road, and at the last minute my mother decided she didn't want to go across the bridge just then. I remember there was a ghost town close to there that they used in a John Wayne movie that we drove through, but I don't think we even stopped as there was nothing much to see.
On the way back we went north through Wyoming, which had the most awesome scenery of the whole trip. Huge mountains, endless fields, incredibly large herds of deer and antelope right along the road, and a sky so big it took my breath away made this my favorite state right then and there. I also remember that it was somewhere in Wyoming that I lost one of my favorite possessions, a bone handled hunting knife. Being the man of the trip I naturally was in charge of protecting the females, so I had brought this knife along and had put it under my pillow at one of the motels we stayed in. I guess in the commotion of leaving I had forgotten it because when I went to get it it was nowhere to be found. I sort of made up for losing it by buying a really neat, western style bb gun that I loved the look of. When I got back home I found it didn't shoot nearly as well as my old, worn out one, it just looked a lot prettier.
That was most of what I remember about our western trip. This story is in bits and pieces, like my memories. I wish my eleven year old brain would have told me to buy a camera, even though back then they were out the price range that my paper route sales limited me to, and I probably would have still saved my money for that BB gun anyway.