“Suddenly, we were the ones being herded. There was no backward route. No way forward. And there was no way we were going near those bushes.” – “The Cows… Part One (Boulder, Utah)”
At this point of certain rural doom, a kindly lady drove up and whipped open her passenger side door. “Get in,” she said. “That new female is pretty aggressive.” The cows had gotten loose again; a fairly frequent occurrence we gathered, and the roads were no longer safe for walking. Our benefactor had moved to Boulder twenty years back, she said, and never wanted to leave her utopia. Cheerily, she drove us to the diner, instructed us on how to safely walk back to the lodge and rolled off in a cloud of dust.
The diner was closed. And now, of course, we were fairly hungry. We’d walked, faced death… we needed food. Our last option was the gas station down the road. We’d have to drive there, which meant we first had to get back to the lodge on foot.
What exactly had the warmhearted lady meant by “go back around that way?” There didn’t seem to be a “that way.” Walking down yet another back road, we became aware of dogs and potential chickens, and by now, I had developed a heightened suspicion toward any and all farm creatures. We encountered a man and dog and hopefully asked him where the “back way” might be -but he was as puzzled as we were.
It appeared there was no way back but the way we’d come. He suggested intimidating the cows, which conjured up all sorts of ludicrous imagery and would probably be quite amusing for bored residents with video cameras. He also advised carrying a handful of rocks to wing at stampeding offenders. Seemed a bit weak, defensively speaking…
By now though, the diner was finally open. It was 8:30, and Boulder was stirring. Hannah and I had breakfast, hoping the cows would reorganize and remove themselves by the time we had to walk through their neighborhood again.
Our beaming waitress was in town for the summer to learn English and see America before heading home to Russia in another month. After encountering Tibetan monks the previous afternoon, this didn’t surprise us in the least. Boulder seemed to pull in people from all over the globe. The diner was a happening place that morning. I guess when you’re the only game in town…
I selected my weapons in the gravel parking lot and looked ahead down “cow alley.” The innocent looking calves were still there, which meant “Cowzilla” would be lurking nearby as well. I told Hannah to stay left and we shuffled down the road, alert to both the rustling bushes and our aggressor who was momentarily engrossed with nibbling a patch of grass. The plan was to sneak past her, but in a confident “we’re not afraid of you” manner. I didn’t want to have to get more intimidating than that, but I had my rocks at the ready.
In the end, we did a steady slide to the left, carefully avoiding the ominous cow-filled bushes as “Cowzilla” bellowed and blustered from the right, angrily climbing up to the road to enforce her point. And our only running that morning came in the adrenaline-laced sprint past “Cowzilla” -probably the only resident of Utah who refused to welcome us to the state.
If you’re aiming at “memorable,” I guess you can’t be too picky in how you achieve it.