Midnight ATV Rides

If you’ve ever been in the woods in the middle of a clear night under a full moon, you know exactly how bright it can be. The world doesn’t get dark, it just changes color. Which, of course, makes it the perfect time for shenanigans. Like racing ATVs down the back-roads with no headlights on. Because what could go wrong, right?

Well, of course, that’s what my sister and I thought. A midnight ATV ride will be fun, we thought! We can watch the storms roll in over Cheyenne! We can listen to the wolves the state of Colorado says aren’t real! We can go explore the old, half collapsed house from the early 1900s!

It was all well and good until we got to that house. It’s a little old shack with a couple rooms, already sinking into the land around it with the roof long ago caved in. About twenty yards away is the remains of much bigger, though still relatively small, house that was probably one level with a loft of some sort. I say probably because all that’s left is the foundation, the chimney, and a pile of collapsed lumber. We always figured a family had come to settle the area, built the little house to have immediate shelter and then built the bigger house later and abandoned the little one. How the little one survived more intact than the big one over the years is anyone’s guess.

Just across the road from these ruins is a still functional and lived in little ranch. Horses, sheep, some cows, all the good old farm creatures. Except for one. One was not a good old farm creature.

My sister and I come in on our ATVs, taking it slow so as to not disturb anyone at the ranch, and park them on the side of the road near the ruins. We hop off the ATVs and start poking around, enjoying the beauty of old forest ruins bathed in moonlight.
And then we hear it. A strange screeching that is certainly not coming from any creature that belongs in the forests of the Northern Colorado Rockies. We’ve both clearly heard it, and it is clearly coming from the ranch.

Now, it is important to note that we grew up in these forests. It is hardly the first time we were out there in the dark. But it is also important to note that we grew up in these forests while listening to Art Bell, a paranormal talk show host, every night. We were well prepared to deal with forest creatures, and completely primed to believe that those creatures might not be entirely natural in origin.

So, strange, unearthly screeching? Honestly just par for the course. But we still wanted to know what it was. So we carefully make our way back to the road and the ATVs, looking around and listening to see if we can find what is making that strange noise.
Then we see it.

“It” happens to be a peacock. A large peacock. In the middle of the Colorado Rockies.
But that’s not the weird part. Oh no. Because the peacock is not alone. He is, in fact, sitting on the rump of a horse and proudly riding him around as the horse wandered about his field.

My sister and I both glance at one another, glance back at the peacock and horse, and immediately realize no one is going to believe our story. So we climb back on the ATVs and head back to the family cabin, not even sure if we believe our story. We continue to take full-moon ATV rides, and continue to encounter strange things, but nothing has quite topped the peacock. Yet.

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