Heated Escape from Colorado

With the main gate cattle guard in place, we have some choices to make about our departure.  The weather in Pueblo, Colorado is baking.  Storm is not thrilled about taxing the RV cooling system with a roller coaster ride through there during the heat of the day.  Pressing us to leave sooner rather than later is the scent of smoke drifting over the ranch on Wednesday night.  We discover on Thursday morning that a dreaded, rapidly and erratically spreading wildfire is ravaging the dry landscape about 30 miles south of us.  The occasional small ashes are already drifting down on us.  Read about the frightening and enormous “Spring” wildfire by clicking here.

Running from a Wildfire

Pueblo Temps
The Jeep can endure these temps, but the RV rebels!

We decide that leaving on Thursday is our best bet, but Storm wants to wait until after 6pm to depart.  The temps in Pueblo will still be at or above 100 at that time, but at least they should be starting to fall.  This also puts us transiting Denver after 10pm when the traffic there should be a little less maddening.  In order to lessen the strain on our engine, Storm decides not to trailer the Jeep until we get on the other side of Pueblo.  Instead I drive the Jeep and follow along behind him until we reach a rest area north of Pueblo to load.

Testing the Cattle Guard So We Can Escape*

A Long Night

Spring Wildfire
Monte sends us this photo of the Spring Fire in Colorado Thursday night as we head to Nebraska

For those of you who like us are concerned about Monte’s ranch – you should be.  If you checked the link in the first paragraph of this post, you can see that the fire now covers over 100,000 acres.  Monte assures us that he has solid evacuation plans. 

As for us, after plowing a lonely, moonless path between the nocturnal fields of Nebraska, we park our rig in the Cabela’s parking lot in Sidney, Nebraska about 1:30am local time.  Thank goodness for these generous stores that allow RV parking overnight.  After some much needed slumber, we awaken the next day to discover that our newest adventure is just beginning!

*The video in this post is my first attempt at using a “green” screen to add me in after the original recording. I am not great at video selfies. Monte was busy watching to be sure our undercarriage cleared the grate and Storm was driving the RV so there was no one to record me talking.  Please excuse the rough edges.  I learned at lot from this first attempt so I hope to improve in the future!  Note to self:  no reflective sunglasses when green-screening 🙂

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

6 Replies to “Heated Escape from Colorado”

  1. Jim & Sandy Dukeman says: Reply

    Sounds and looks like you guys got out of there just in time. I think I saw where there were a lot of fires around Denver as well, hope you don’t run from one into another one. Drive safe, keep moving and go EAST. You just might get the chance to be a RELIEF DRIVER on this trip. :>))) See ya in Oshkosh. GOD BLESS
    Jim & Sandy

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thankfully we are in Wonderfully Wet Wisconsin now. They have had too much rain, they claim. After what I saw in Colorado, I don’t think there is too much rain unless we have to start swimming everywhere we go! Can’t wait to see you in OSH!

  2. We are hoping Monte’s place will be ok! Terrible that it was arson.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I agree on both things.

  3. Robert EPTING says: Reply

    Does a cow know not to step on that cattle guard? I kept looking at it expecting to see a fence with a little guard tower and maybe a sniper to keep them in and the predators out, but no, just a bunch of pipes welded together far enough apart to break the cow’s leg if she steps through the crack.

    Looks like if there are orthopaedists for cows, those cattle guards would be generating a lot of business for them.

    And where there are orthopaedists, trial lawyers are bound to camp out.

    I can see why Monte lives so far out in the country.

    See you at OSH, but flying the Arrow this year, while Show Girl waits for her new rudder.

    N. Clement

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Not being a cattle guard expert myself, I can only share with you the information I have gleaned from the web.

      One website claims that cows “just know” that they cannot walk on rounded pipes with large ditches underneath without falling through. Another site purports that a cow’s vision makes the ditch below the guard (apparently the most important part of the structure) appear to be an infinitely deep hole which even cows realize they should avoid. It seems that if just one cow falls through, the herd accepts this as a valuable lesson and no herd member will attempt a crossing after that. (Not sure how they elect the sacrificial cow :-))

      So while the cow orthopedists may garner a patient from the occasional rebellious or uninformed cow, I don’t think there would be enough cattle guard injuries to keep them or the trial attorneys busy :-). But again, I am not an expert! Maybe it is a good thing that Monte is so far out in the country!

      Occasionally the cows outsmart the guards as in this video: https://youtu.be/MkE1uUzq16U

      So sad to hear that Show Girl can’t make it to OSH. We will miss here, but we are glad that you are still planning to make it!

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