Day 6 – Devil’s Tower

This was our route this day
  • We awoke early and started packing – opting to not take showers, though the shower house was remarkably nice
  • While we packed, EB tested out his new slingshot (he bought at Wall Drug) and the kids climbed on a large rock formation right next to our cabin.
  • After a short play at the playground (long enough for CJ to get nice and dirty) we set off for our next destination
  • We made a short stop in Belle Fourche, South Dakota – the official Geographic Center of the United States and took some photos
  • We then headed toward the main event – Devil’s Tower
  • This, too, was an unbelievable site and we took many, many pictures that don’t even come close to capturing the immensity of this rock
  • We first saw it on the horizon from several miles away and it slowly grew bigger and bigger
  • We arrived, paid our entrance fee, then drove a few miles in to park right at the base
  • We made some PB&J sandwhiches and at them on benches for a quick lunch, then geared up for the 1.3 mile hike around the base (not everyone was enthused about the hike, though we all survived it)
  • The hike was paved and wove in and out of boulders, hills, and trees. We saw 2 chipmunks along the way, but no other animals
  • We spotted about 10 climbers up on the Tower (we read that Devil’s Tower draws around 5,000 climbers a year because of it’s unique structure) – the climbers are the best way to gauge the size of the mountain
  • We also spotted a few Native American trinkets that are left for religious/ceremonial purposes – that visitors are advised to respectfully leave alone.
  • After the hike, we headed out but didn’t leave before pulling over at the “Prairie Dog Town”, a natural area full of wild prairie dogs. We practically had to drag EL back into the van to leave!
  • We were all quite impressed by our visit to Devils Tower
  • We then drove and drove and finally stopped for dinner about 2 hours from our campground. We enjoyed dinner at Qdoba, a restaurant we eat at back home
  • We then headed toward Greybull, Wyoming via route 16 which was a scenic drive through the Big Horn National Forest**
  • We finally made it through the treacherous mountain pass and were rewarded with a picture prefect mountain sunset, with just about every color there is.
  • Right at dusk, we pulled in the KOA in Greybull, Wyoming, checked in, and were pleasantly surprised by the deluxe cabin with 2 bedrooms, living area, kitchen, and bathroom!
  • As usual, we unpacked what we needed, made beds, settled down and prepared for our early departure

**The Mountain Pass

This episode deserves it’s own bullet list

  • The giant mountain ranges had appeared on the horizon like clouds and slowly grew closer and closer.
  • We soon realized our road was starting to head into one of the mountains – not passing between, but zig-zagging up the side of a very tall one
  • Little by little, yellow signs warning drivers to slow to 25 MPH for curves started appearing
  • With each passing curve, went higher and higher
  • Nicole, who happened to be on the side of the van closest to the edge of the mountain, grew more and more nervous (to put it lightly).
  • We went higher and higher and higher – and on many of the curves, we could see nothing beyond the guardrail except what seemed like 100 miles of Wyoming from a few thousand feet up
  • It was nearing dusk so the sun was at the perfect level to blaze directly in through the front window, adding to the challenge
  • After about 30 tense minutes of driving, we made it up the mountain and found level ground – heaving a collective sigh of relief – partly that we were through, and partly because Mom was now calm.
  • Just when we thought we were clear, we encounter similar conditions heading down out of the mountains. This time it was a bit less intense and did not last as long, yet still stressful. But we lived to tell the tale! And will make a note to never try it again!

Videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One thought on “Day 6 – Devil’s Tower

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s