Homeland Security on the Range
Our place is adjacent to a large ranch of 16,000 acres or so. It is not all fenced along the county road that passes through. This is known as open range. Cattle are sometimes in the road or crossing the road, so drivers of vehicles must beware. There is a sign that warns about “Range Cattle.”
It is beautiful country, so some folks passing through want to leave the county road and drive “off road.” Since it is private land, not a public park, it as as rude to do this as it would be if I decided to have a picnic in the backyard of someone in a subdivision, or go for an uninvited swim in their pool. The difference is that on the ranch trespassers are bolder because they are less likely to be caught. After all, they see no houses around. The cattle do not tattle.
In particular, there is a part of the ranch where the Overland Trail passes through. There is a place on the Overland Trail known as Signature Rock. (There are many Signature Rocks on many trails.) The soft sandstone allows a person to carve his name and often the date. It is interesting to see names carved in the late 1800s.
It is so interesting, that some people drive up this piece of the Overland Trail with four-wheel drive vehicles to reach Signature Rock. The problem is, the old wagon ruts from the Overland Trail can be damaged by new ruts from modern vehicles.
What to do to prevent further damage to the Overland Trail? Someone on behalf of the ranch put a gate across the trail at the access to it by the county road. There used to be a sign that said, “Posted No Tresspassing.” The sign is gone, but the gate remains. The gate is locked. Unfortunately, the gate is not attached to a fence.
I hope they work and that no one dares drive around either of them.
At our ranch, we still use fences. We even attach gates to them.