Let me preface this post by saying a little something about the “Hole in the Wall” area. This was an actual hideout used by many outlaws in the old west. Butch Cassiday and the Sundance kid were the most commonly known of the big names to have made their hideout there. Many others reportedly used the place as well. What was it? It was a narrow passage through a canyon where lawmen could not pursue do to the dangers of the outlaws gunning them down as they entered. Inside was a large ranch area with several regular folk living there and running the place. Today the ranch is still there but owned privately and a person has to purchase a hourseback tour, or some such thing, in order to see the actual precise location, which James and I were not inclined towards.
All that being said, here’s how this comes to be significant.
After coming to terms with the fact that the Badlands would not be do-able we set out for the Hole in the Wall hideout. It wasn’t too far a ride and we were able to get in the area in plenty of time that day. As we headed out of Casper going west then north towards the supposed location, nothing at all on the horizon looked like anything even remotely interesting. We headed north on a small road that turned from pavement to gravel and still the scenery was about as exciting as cow pastures in Texas. An hour and a half or so of riding and things started to get interesting. Finally we came to a bluff and stopped to look over, and what we saw is in the picture below.
We were blown away, antelope could be seen playing in the valley, running back and forth; the red rock that jutted from the ground was glowing more and more as the sun lowered. It was tremendous to say the least.
We got back on the bikes and made our way to the bottom of the valley and followed an old dirt road that was so chewed up that it was actually easier to ride in the grass to the side than it was to attempt to manuever the lanes. Unfortunately even that became to much for the bikes and we headed back to the valley floor that we had observed from the bluff.
Not sure what was private property and what was not, we chose a spot behind a small rise that kept us hidden from anyone who may happen by, thought that seemed a scarce possibility given the remoteness of our where-abouts. We made our camp and settled in, all the while in awe of our surroundings, which hadn’t ceased even with the setting of the sun. The stars that came out were more than one can fathom to see from many places. The moon had not yet begun to rise and therefor cast no light, allowing the stars their full brilliance. James whipped out the camera once again and after some skillful manipulation of focus and shutter-speed, produced some pictures that still baffle me when I see them.
The next morning came and needless to say the rock walls were something to see in the rising sunlight, but we felt we shouldn’t press our luck in our clandestine camp, so we packed up early and rode out.