One of the goals for the Great American Road Trip was to see the landscape in its natural form whenever possible, which led us to the Comanche National Grassland in Southeastern Colorado, where we spotted these ruins of a stone hut on the side of a dirt road.
It was soon after sunrise, and we were still rubbing the sleep out of our eyes. Of course, we got out of the car to check this out. It was a bucolic moment until a rancher pulled up in his ATV and, smiling broadly and repeating, “You’re alright, you’re alright,” he explained that we were on private property. Further, his cows were skittish because they were giving birth, so we had to leave.
The rancher’s insistence that he were alright made me wonder at the size of the gun he must have had with him. We did ask about the structure, and he shrugged and said it’s an old shepherd’s hut. So strange — clearly, this isn’t important enough to preserve or to raze, so it’s just perched on the landscape like an ancient ruin.
A few of the rancher’s cows:
Sure enough, the Comanche National Grassland includes “privately owned tracts of ranchland mixed in with the government-owned land.” Thanks for the crystal clear signage, people.