Wide Open Spaces

“I’ll be in the neighborhood,” I said into my cell phone. “Mind if I come by?”

“Sure, what time?” she replied.

“Well, I have an appointment until nine, so I can be there by ten or ten-thirty…” It went without saying that sixty miles of highway qualified as drop-in distance.

Wyoming is a small town with really long streets, as the saying goes.

Judging by the road weary faces that roll through Lander en route to the parks each summer, the distances implied by that truism aren’t always appreciated. I guess they’re an acquired taste.

Once acquired though, there’s plenty to savor in traversing the state – grazing critters and kiting birds; small towns and neighborly waves; quiet time and postcard vistas. The cloudscapes alone are usually worth the gas money. But mostly, there’s lots and lots of space.

And like elk musk on the air, or a tug on the line, that space is insidiously addictive. It is humbling, and startling and exciting, all at once – possibility, for better or worse, masquerading as landscape.

“Okay,” she said. “Have a nice drive.”

“You bet,” I said.

We’d never met, but I knew exactly what she meant.

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