I came out West on a fast horse named Dreaming. I was uncomfortable in my own skin back then, American Indian on one side (storytellers and sadly missing from the landscape by the time I arrived just after WWII ended) and Irish/Welsh/Scottish on the other, I wanted to escape the 60's and all the protests of Boston (my protests were with my family and not global or universal or so I thought) CO captured my fancy and kept it for 32 years; I lived in the high desert of the Grand Valley and adored the smell of sage before breakfast, cattle and horses scattered across my rented land (all 160 acres of it by the vast CO River); I took myself and my young son camping and 2 wheeling in my tiny VW bug, went on jeeps trails I shouldn'ta been on (people talked about where and how high they had seen me up in Battlement Mesa or wherever); I wanted the Old West, the familiar West of my NEngland television set and if I couldn't have that, I was going to recreate the passion all by my lonesome. I had bald eagles over my head daily eying my 16 cats (don't ask how I started with 1 and got to 16), I had good ol' boys and drunks and cowboys and gossips to contend with, afterall, I was a danged "Easterner" even if I was living by myself with no phone, no man and no gun, I was still "suspect" because, well, I was an East Coast lady. And alone. I weathered that storm. I learned about myself, gardening and how to make it on nothing, making "do" and in the end, after I thought they all hated me for being different, I came back with my now grown son and a gentleman from the gravel pit my "home" had become said "Oh, this place belonged to a gal we now call the Little Pioneer" and I practically cried. Colorado HAD understood my spirit afterall. They knew what I was doing there and they got me before I even "got me". I can write more profoundly about the West thanks to my life lessons learned in the sage and the rabbit brush, I couldn't or wouldn't be my "self" without those lean but richly rewarding experiences I couldn't have gotten in my living room, watching the Lone Ranger. I am a Little Pioneer, I own that, I think it defines all of us who come West with a big dream of finding or changing something within ourselves. The Real West exists if only in our hearts souls and in our intentions.