The Basics

Wide Open Spaces

While traveling on the backroads, you will sometimes get a sense that nobody lives here.

You can travel for miles without seeing any sign of civilization beyond the occasional small herds of cattle. Occupied houses are rare and outnumbered by abandoned homesteaders shacks and log cabins. Fences often disappear entirely and are replaced by the infrequent Open Range signs that warn you cattle may be having their mid-day siesta in the middle of the road.

None-the-less, most of this land is privately owned unless posted otherwise. Before abandoning your car and heading out across these open spaces, its a good idea and common courtesy to find the property owner and get permission. If you see fenceposts or gates with bright orange blazes, then getting permission isn't an option. They mean no trespassing in no uncertain terms.

However, I've never been shot at for stopping the car, getting out and smelling the sage, listening to the sound of silence, or to the voice of the wind, or the gurgle of a stream, the howl of a coyote, or the unidentified song of a prairie bird. I've never been asked to move along when I've stopped to admire a sunset, or simply marvel at the splendor of the endless sky. Most of those that have bought and paid for a piece of this marvelous state don't mind sharing it with those who come to visit. They simply ask that you respect it and leave no trace you were there.

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