I want to ride my bike across towering mountain ranges and endless, empty deserts. I want to follow rutted dirt roads through thick pine forests until they become smooth dirt roads that glide across wavy farm land. I want to dodge thunder storms and eat greasy food at barely-there diners in towns with populations that could all fit on a school bus. I want to ride my bike from dark to dark.
“Sign here. And here. And one more, here.” The Ranger smiled reluctantly. He glanced nervously at the four boys, ages 9 through 11, that we dragged into the station with us. “You watched the video already?” he asked. We had. “You remember the rules about the artifacts and the ruins?” We did. “Tie the permit to your pack. Good luck.”