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There isn't water to be had in the Colorado wastelands. That's why they are wastelands. That and the average wind speed is 30 mph and up. 40 below some winters and 110 above in the summer. I lived in eastern Colorado for several years and we would drive across 15 from Julesburg to Fort Collins on occasion. Might see 3 vehicles in 40 miles. NOTHING there.

I don't know if this is the area you are looking at but other areas the same.
I lived on the Front Range near Denver in Colorado, not the plains, but sometimes that 40 below and 110 seem to happen during the same day. Short growing season made more difficult by unpredictable snap freezes or heat waves. I've been out on the plains visiting enough to know that the wind can quite literally drive you crazy.

Cannot for the life of me imagine trying to homestead under all those conditions (water, weather, and wind being the main, but not only, issues). I know people do it and have done it in the past, but I cannot imagine how difficult it is/was.

There are a lot of more hospitable desert climates for homesteading, where you won't have the unpredictable weather issues, aren't out in the middle of nowhere for things like hospital services, or, more importantly, have better access to water and water rights than eastern CO. Especially if you're new to gardening (and I'd assume animal husbandry, no experience here) in an arid climate, it is a steep learning curve coming from more temperate areas.
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