I’m not kidding people die of dehydration more than anything else I’m talking 2 liters minimum.
first-aid and survival kit including after-bite, splint supplies and emergency signalling devices, and a thermal blanket. I am absolutely not kidding people get lost a mile from the road and die of exposure.
Map, your phone won’t work more than a mile from city limits.
change of socks.
an offering or three. you might not need any, you might need all of them.
Always close any gate you open. Even if the fence around it is gone. Both from a spiritual perspective and becuase there’s a nonzero chance the farm isn’t abandoned and the livestock is lurking in the scrub.
Cattle will stare at you. As long as they’re on the other side of the fence or river or ditch it’s fine. If there’s no barrier you need to leave. Range cattle fight coyotes and cougar and the worst of winter and don’t give a single fuck about you.
That’s not lore Range Cattle will fucking kill you.
Never approach any horse, but especially the ones without humans. They’re either fae or feral and the odds of them eating your hands are about the same.
Drink your water.
There are Others in Colorado, but the relationship is not nearly so adversarial out here. They’re like your neighbors but only sometimes corporeal. Mind your manners and obey any posted signage and you’ll be fine.
posted signage includes trees fallen across paths or washed-out sections of trail (trail closed), bits of dead animal on stumps or fence posts (occupied, fuck off) and the smell of urine (Mountain lion or bear turn right the fuck around)
Don’t eat anything you find there unless you brought a permit for it with you. Anyone who says you can forage on public land is a liar and going to get their ass poisoned or cursed.
If you did bring a permit, leave an offering anyway. The Law of Man is not the same as The Law of Mountains and you need to pay taxes in both.
Salute magpies, and any bird larger than them.
Everyone going uphill yields going to everyone going downhill, regardless of whether or not they’re human or real.
If you’re over 7000 feet and you seem to have picked up another member to your party, it’s just the mountain wondering what’s happening. It’s like bird watching for them. Be polite, pick up your trash and call the mountain whatever name it gives you.
Drink your fucking water.
If you feel like you’re being followed, especially at dusk, you absolutely turn around and tell whatever’s behind you you know they’re there. This is becuase it’s almost certainly coyotes and they need to be told to fuck off. If you can see what’s following you, face it and walk calmly backwards towards civilization until it goes away or you’re back in your car. If you can’t see what it is, tell it you’re headed home now, then you can turn back around and proceed calmly back from whence you came.
Do not, under any circumstances, run.
things that run are meant to be chased and everything up here is faster than you are.
also you’ll fall off a fucking cliff.
If you get back to the car or edge of the wild space and still feel like you’re being followed, check your shoes, pockets and any baggage for extras and leave them. If you’re STILL being followed, they’re being rude and you’re allowed to chuck a rock at them.
I’m not kidding about the water.
Don’t go into any “abandoned” buildings because 1. there’s a nonzero chance the building isn’t actually abandoned and then you have to explain to the rancher what the fuck you’re doing on their land 2. if it is abandoned it’s probably structurally unstable 3. the only things inside are rattlesnakes and tetanus.
Exception to above: if you hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck. you can step inside then, but do not touch anything, especially the building it’self.
You are encouraged to walk out to abandoned tractors and plowshares and touch them. Don’t move them but stop to say hi and have some water.
If you find human remains, don’t panic. If they’re out there, they wanted to be found. Write down (you won’t be able to remember later, trust me) where you found them and inform the park service/police as soon as possible.
Part of your big spring break plans involve going to the costo where you can get all that shit they don’t carry anywhere up here.
Being able to ethically source your food AND reduce your grocery bill because FARM CO-OPS ARE AMAZING.
Rez Dog is a Real Breed and your Eurocentrism can eat my ass Linda.
Wind Chill Factor? You mean people live in places without constant wind???? that sounds fake but ok?
Meeting your flatlander friends at the airport and driving straight into the mountains to the highest point you can to see what altitude they pass out at.
Blaming literally EVERYTHING on the Altitude. “This weather is weird” “It’s the altitude”/”This steak tastes great!” “It’s the altitude”/ “My husband is a lyin’ cheatin’ son of a bitch” “It’s the altitude.”
In a similar vein, all precipitation from a light drizzle to six feet of snow is greeted with “we need the Moisture”
The four seasons are Winter, Still Winter, Those Two Nice Weeks In May, Tourist and Fire.
Being able to identify animal tracks not because you were in scouts but because you want to know what knocked over the dumpster and spread trash all over the parking lot this week.
The Ravens are practically citizens of your town and better customers than most humans.
Horseshoe Lake and Wildflowers by Orville Courtney Via Flickr: This is a shot of Horseshoe Lake which is east of Silverton, Colorado. A lot of the high altitude lakes have these wonderful colors as the snow and ice melts. Even though it would have been nice it the wind was not blowing (would have made the reflection better), it was still a beautiful day!
I think it stumbled into a rural-gothic novel this weekend without meaning to. It involved a possibly dead neighbor in the woods, an inability to get a hold of a single damn law enforcement official to ascertain actual deadness or not deadness, an endlessly barking dog that wouldn't leave its yard despite nothing keeping it there, and a traveling caravan of cowboys.
Ok is this a book or real life because you’re getting dangerously close to describing my weekend here.
In rural Colorado, the book-lovers behind the Rocky Mountain Land Library are working to transform an old cattle ranch into a literary “home on the range” for visiting writers and artists. Learn more about their dream of a live-in land library here.
A US farmer risks his life to stop a wildfire that broke out in a hayfield in Weld County, Colorado. Eric Howard uses his tractor and a set of discs to plough up a firebreak just a few feet from the scorching blaze. After a thunderstorm brought lightning to a rural area near Brighton, Colorado the fire broke out and quickly consumed 30 acres of an 80 acre field. Mr Howard’s actions were designed to prevent the fire’s spread as it continued its path across the land.