How do you put a lock on the wide open spaces? And what are you locking in? Or out?
Five years ago, Dan and I took a big looping auto tour of Wyoming. We started in Jackson Hole, visited Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Cody before driving east to Devil's Tower and into the Dakotas.
We hadn't planned to dip south to Thermopolis at all. We had never even heard of Thermopolis. We had planned a northern route along highway 14 through Sheridan so we wouldn't have to use interstate until we got to Gillette.
As we were about to leave Cody, I glanced down at the map and saw the words:
"Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site". Intrigued by the petroglyphs and enticed by the thought of a hot springs, we detoured south to Thermopolis.
We stayed that night in the State Park Hotel; enjoyed the hot springs in the State Bath House. Next morning we presented ourselves at the towel check counter in the bath house to request "the key", for which we had to sign in blood and leave our first born as collateral. We were given directions to the site and told that once we were through the locked gate it would be another half-mile to the petroglyphs. Then we were admonished, in no uncertain terms, to lock the gate behind our car after we pulled through.
We really weren't sure what we were actually going to find. But we weren't expecting to have all of this completely to ourselves.
Without tour guides. Without stanchions and ropes to keep us at a safe distance. Without motion detector alarms. Without plexiglas. Without little discreet tags to tell us what we were looking at.
Just the two of us, the guests of the spirits of ancient artists' in whose outdoor gallery we were enjoying our own private showing.