When you turn your back on the Rocky Mountains in the west and head east from Fort Collins, Colorado, you suddenly find yourself in a completely different landscape: the Pawnee National Grassland – a section of the Great Plains that borders on Wyoming and Nebraska.
This area really does seem as vast and charmingly desolate as I hope it comes across in the video. Agriculture was mostly abandoned after the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. There are some oil rigs, some live stock farming – but mostly it’s the land of prairie dogs, coyotes, tumbleweeds and people firing guns for sport.
When our friend Jeff Marks visited from Brooklyn this past weekend Scott, Jeff, Peter, Deanna and I decided to enjoy what this part of Colorado had to offer instead of the mountains. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to film – so I’d like to return to the Pawnee Grassland another time – especially to hike, film and photograph the Pawnee Buttes.
A fact I learned while writing this post: National Grasslands are pretty much the same as National Forests, which means they’re owned by the US government. The difference is, of course, that National Forests have mostly trees and National Grasslands are mostly prairie.
As a German girl, I naturally get goosebumps when I hear the word prairie or see tumbleweeds. The dream of riding alongside Winnetou or Old Shatterhand one day is still alive…