Like lemmings over a cliff


Over in the Old Country — which is anywhere near the European Continent when referenced that way — there is a strange occurrence that happens every few years.

This isn’t the usual shipping of American troops over to save folks from marauding invaders. Nor is it the echoes of the Statue of Liberty to bring “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to this continent. And it's not even about the latest gaffe in sending their Prince who does not want to be a prince but be treated like a prince, craziness they loaned us.

No, this is an act of nature whereby these little mouse-like creatures called lemmings get so amorous that they soon over-populate and in an act of pure madness rush over nearby cliffs to their deaths. Sounds like some people I know. Scientists say that the poor little creatures are just trying to find a new home and it's not jumping over the cliff that kills them but it's the sudden stop when they hit bottom that does them in.

Although Miss Trixie and Ol’ Dutch are late to the party, a human lemming migration has already started across the USA as people make their way to vacation destinations. Some seek cooler climes; some seek beaches and sun, and others just seek anyplace but work to find some respite from the rigors of everyday life.

Soon after you read this, Miss Trixie and Ol’ Dutch will be on their way to colorful Colorado once again with the big old Conestoga behind 400 horses. And it's going to be more expensive this year because the cost of feeding those horses is climbing even as we speak.

But even though we were delayed in our migration to the Colorado home, thousands of other cars, trucks, campers, motorhomes, motorcycles and even bicycles have pointed westward in anticipation of a cooler summer, splendid views, picnics, campfires, fishing and reacquainting with old friends.

While Ol’ Dutch does claim Colorado as his place of residence, he has been delayed leaving the warmer climes the last few years. This is because No. 1 and No. 2 granddaughters are in Texas and now I understand why other grandparents often get delayed in their plans. And since No. 2 and I share the same June birthday, if you think Ol’ Dutch is gonna leave without his presents you have another thing coming.

After the requisite opening of gifts, eating some cake and ice cream plus many hugs and tears, we will leave the grands behind and head west. Thankfully we have joined the ranks of all the other sore-armed folks who got their shots and can at least have some hope of immunity. I mean from the corona virus but, regretfully, not from an obnoxious tourist.

There is one thing to be sure of however, and that is with the relaxation of the COVID restrictions, this looks to be a bumper year for vacations and Colorado will soon reap windrows of green cash off the sickle of retail sales. The roads will be packed, motels sold out, gas stations full of massive trucks pulling trailers full of ATVs; and grocery stores will be inundated with old people smelling of Icy Hot balm, cedar chests and Estee Lauder perfume just wanting to score on a loaf of bread, some bologna, a can of Pringles and a Coke.

So, saddle up old Dobbin, pack those saddle bags and hit the trail west. It's a great time of year and the open road stretches out before you.

As Horace Greeley extolled in July of 1865, “Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting, and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.”

Trixie, Cooper and I will see you on the mountain trails or at our Pickin’ and Grinnin’ jam sessions. Let’s all celebrate for summer is here.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is Additional news can be found