I met Vicky when she called “Hey’ at me from her horse on the side of a steep hill covered with her goats. I had just turned off US 287 onto Owl Canyon Road, a gravel shortcut to a farm north of Fort Collins. “I have the easiest job in the world.” She described how little effort it takes to guide a small herd of goats around their land for about five hours each day. “Only on nice days. They won’t go out in the rain. Then, I feed them hay.”
Vicky and her husband have lived in this area since the 1970’s. She told me where to find the ruts of stagecoaches from the Overland Trail and where Butch Cassidy used to hide his horses. Every few moments a car rumbled along the dusty road and we remained quiet until the sound abated. “They’ll pave this within a year, I bet. There are more and more people here now.”
We commiserated on the joys of aging. “I love being old. I wear whatever I want. I celebrated my 66th birthday last year camping at 12,000 feet. I don’t understand the people in Wal-Mart riding around on scooters. You’ve got to stay active.”
While we chatted all the goats shimmied over the hill. But before Vicky trotted off and I pedaled on she offered perhaps the most honest assessment of how we will live tomorrow I have heard.
How will we live tomorrow?
“That is a good question. I’m a liberal from Roxford, ID – my husband and I do not fit in this landscape. I wish there was a way to get to less fossil fuel and use more wind. But I like my air conditioning. I’ve lived the old way, but I don’t want to go back to that.”