Ogden, Utah

Wyoming is cool.

Bit boring sometimes on the road, but mostly awesome views. Lots of big empty prairie interspersed with uplifted, colorful and broken sedimentary rock formations. And sometimes igneous. But mostly sedimentary.

Did I get any pictures, though? No, of course not, because my camera is still on the fritz and I won’t be able to do anything about it for another couple of days.

One thing has been bugging me for the past few days, though. I’ve seen it on ranches from South Dakota into Montana and on into Wyoming, but I don’t recall seeing any in Utah (mostly because so far, Utah is an enormous mountain range).

Basically, what’s been bugging me is: what in the hell are these things?

Srsly, wtf?

They’re on prairie ranchland, usually to the west of the road (and never on both sides); they’re all made of the same thing: wood, modular, angled slightly back from vertical toward the road.

They’re not fences, because they don’t hold anything in – the ends are open. The actual ranch fence is visible in the foreground of that pic – mostly just the posts, because my camera phone isn’t the greatest.

I rejected a few theories, such as:

– Alien landing signals (aliens don’t need signals)

– Things to annoy cows

– Tornado early warning devices (you see one in the air, run for shelter)

– Things to annoy curious city boys from back East (there are cheaper ways to do that)

– Warnings for when the kids are having tractor races that a road is nearby

– Jackalope traps

– Things to bounce basketballs off of

About the only thing I can figure is that they’re driftbreaks, meant to keep blowing snow off the roads. But I don’t know, and the one and only time I approached an actual cowboy and said “Howdy…” he said, “That Obamma bastard has ruint the country!”

Seriously, all they can talk about around Wyoming is the upcoming election, and I have a good idea which way Wyoming’s going.

Anyway, web searches haven’t helped much, either. Just try searching for “weird wooden fence-like structures on ranch land.” Be sure to turn SafeSearch on if you value your sanity. So if anyone knows what these are, please tell me.

So. Utah. First time here. A lot greener than I expected, but then I didn’t really know what to expect. The hotel I’m in, Ben Lomond Suites, is just a couple blocks from the brewpub, Rooster’s. Both are pretty awesome. Ben Lomond has amazing rooms at cheaper than I’ve paid for crappy ones elsewhere – but then, this is probably an off-season for Utah; too late for summer activities and too early for serious skiing.

Skiing’s a weird word. I always want to put in an extra i. Skiiing.

In any case, I take back what I said in a previous post about not selecting lodging based entirely on proximity to the brewpub. Sometimes, you get lucky.

I’d been warned that Utah has funny rules about bars. For one, there are no bottles behind the bar. Rooster’s had a glass wall behind which was the brewing equipment, though, so I enjoyed the scenery. Apparently the reason for the no bottles behind the bar rule is that if you watch the bartender make you a drink, you might think it’s glamorous or classy or something, and you can’t have that.

Well. I’ll just be pleased that Utah has brewpubs at all, though this might be the only one I visit on this trip.

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About Waltz

An international man of mystery, Waltz is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. Kind of a puzzle burrito, actually. With conundrum cheese and secret sauce. And a side of Riddle Rice.

Posted on September 13, 2012, in Beer, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So here’s the thing: you can’t just go asking questions like that without me taking them as a personal challenge. I googled “drift Fence” because I was pretty sure you were right on the money with that one and you were. I always like to cite my sources when practical so, based on an image search, I found this link and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalll the way at the bottom of the page is my source. http://www.pinedaleonline.com/archive/2002/march/

  2. Those would snow fences. They’re there to catch waves of snow before they cover the roads.

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