When I travel, I revel in the crazy encounters, in the soft souls that hold me for a time.
And sometimes, I revel in their absence.
Wyoming. It’s vast. The sky pools overhead and the hills undulate on and on and on, spotted with scrub, never quite hiding how far the landscape can stretch. For all the millions of people in this country, it still has its empty places.
I peered out of the car windows, looking for prairie dogs.
We stopped in a small town, population less than a hundred. A visitor information office sat sentry, housing maps for the nearby national forest. We were given our directions, and water from the house out back, from an enthusiastic and helpful lady. I pet the horses fenced in next door.
An hour later, we were bouncing along the dirt forest roads. I aggressively ruled out spots that portended neighbors. Winding our way high onto a hill, we came across a spot that, though not entirely flat, contained an old fire circle and was as isolated as we could get. We took it.
The evening was spent setting up camp, stoking the fire, eating our camping food, hiding from a quick burst of rain in the tent, watching birds and chipmunks, and generally being alone and slightly wild.