Well shit… He’s coming this way.
I jumped back in my car as the stallion came closer, the rest of the group following closely behind. As they drew near, they started to seem more inquisitive than anything else. I’m always surprised be how close a wild animal will get to the Tesla because of the lack of noise/gas/smell. It offers a glimpse into their world, showing our similarities and lending to our better understanding. Before I knew it, I was surrounded and noses were pressed up against the glass of my Model 3.
Almost instantly, a slight wave of anxiety came over me. I watched circles of condensation form from the hot air blowing out of the onion sized nostrils. Their lips pressed up the against the glass, exposing their teeth. What would happen if they tried to bite something? I wondered as I saw one’s lips start to curve around my passenger side mirror. Suddenly I wanted to be anywhere but here, not sure of how to get out of this predicament. If I drove away suddenly, would they get startled? Would one of them kick my car? It seemed as if I had no choice and I slowly pulled off. To my delight, they simply watched me fade into the distance. Even in the middle of nowhere, there never seems to be a dull moment.
I was attempting to reach the outer limits of the Wild West. The places you only hear about in stories as bandits ride off in a cloud of dust, narrowly escaping the pursuing cowboys. This search led me to Johnson County Wyoming, to the sheer red rocked cliffs that hid the likes of Jesse James as well as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. “Hole in the Wall” was the exact location I was looking for, but at the moment, my attention was focused on how far I should continue pushing my car forward. I had underestimated the amount of headwinds I would be facing earlier on the drive and had used quite a bit more battery than I had anticipated. Could I even make it? was starting to seem like an appropriate question to start asking.
I had traveled so far into the back roads, that I wasn’t sure turning around was feasible. Updating the map was impossible as cell service for both my phone and the car was non-existent. Pushing forward seemed like my only option and it wasn’t one I would be let myself be upset with. With every turn I took, another surprise awaited me — a hidden lake, a field of trees changing colors, glorious red crags cutting through the hills, a few deer taking a rest — tired from running in the beaming sun. It all seems so picturesque, as if I have gone back a couple hundred years in time.
After a few hours though, I seemed to be lost. Although I thought I had followed my GPS consistently, I must have gotten on a road who’s reality didn’t match the computers data. The potholes on the road had gradually gotten bigger and the fear of bottoming out continued to grow. The world around me was so wondrous though. I didn’t want to leave; didn’t want to give up.
An SUV from a ranch in the distance must have spotted my dust cloud as it started to head my direction. I felt relieved, even if a little bit embarrassed. Pulling up, they asked if I needed help and when I told them I was searching for Hole in the Wall, a chuckle escaped their lips and a genuine smile came over their faces. They informed me that even though I was only about 20 miles from it, the road would make it take at least an hour and they questioned if my car would be able to make it. After thanking them and driving off, I was sure I gave the impression that I had bit off more than I could chew. I probably had, but pride was driving me at this point and we all know that pride does not easily give up.
Past another group of horses, around too many curves to count, I was determined to find this hide-a-way. All the while the roads got rougher and the seemingly never ending wilderness filled every thought. Romantic images of cowboys overtook my imagination, fully entertaining me as I pictured myself among them.
A sign appeared in the distance, so small at first that I questioned its reality. Is that a mirage? I thought jokingly.
Hole in the Wall 5mi I read, my heart fluttering a bit with joy. Looking down the road it pointed though, all I saw was deep cracks and pothole; far too big of ones for me to make with my clearance. I got out of the car and started walking down the road a bit, feeling defeated. This would be the first time in almost 150k miles that I would not reach my destination.
All things considered, I thought to myself, this was a perfect day.
It wasn’t over yet though. Now that I had reached a road I could not travel, I was a bit concerned about the road ahead. I was far past the point of having enough battery to turn around. The only way was forward into the unknown.
Not much later, I found myself peering out into the horizon, thinking about how much of a wonderland Wyoming is. Yellowstone and Teton are always remembered, but outside of the tourist spots is a vast wilderness begging to be explored. I may have been set back this day, but all it did in the end is whet my appetite for more.
I guess I know where I’m going when I get my Cybertruck.
Luckily, the day ended rather uneventfully. The road to Hole-in-the-Wall seemed to be the worst of everything and as I started to head south, the potholes gradually got smaller, the crags in the distance lessened, and the horizon was once again consumed by flat golden fields.
About 30 miles later I was once again on paved roads, my battery having kept a pretty steady charge as the roads had dictated a slow speed. Now I was on a highway and the speed limit was 80mph. There was no way I could go that speed though, only having about 20% left to my battery and 50mi to go. I set autopilot to 50mph, put my hazards on, stayed in the right lane, and got to the charger with 3% left.
What a day.
Closest Supercharger Casper WY 74 mi
6985 Nugget, Evansville, WY 82636
Hole in the Wall