In college my girl friends and I convinced a huge group of people from our dorm to go out to this place called the Pawnee Buttes to watch the sunrise. No one had heard of these buttes (and some seemed a little suspicious of their existence), so it was pretty surprising when we were able to get everyone in the car and on the road well before the (it’s the buttes–have to say it!) buttcrack of dawn. I can’t blame the skepticism–to get to the buttes from Fort Collins, we had to drive east into the middle of nowhere (if you haven’t been to Colorado, much of the eastern half feels like the middle of nowhere) and pull into a grasslands area that was, well, just a whole lot of flat, grassy land. The only reason the girls and I even knew these buttes existed was because our ecology professor offered extra credit for going (and we were a little skeptical ourselves about taking him up on it, to be honest).
After entering the grasslands, it takes a good bit of driving along gravel roads and past slightly sketchy old buildings amidst seemingly endless stretches of grass and dirt (see the picture above)… but then, out of nowhere, there is this: