2012 Western Road Trip: Devils Tower

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Sorry for the delay in my vacation recap. I was overly busy this past weekend with chores around the house, most important of which was planting all of our flowers and my new vegetable garden. I figured if that didn’t happen last weekend, it wasn’t going to happen this summer.

After Mount Rushmore, Jason and I were back in the car en route to Devils Tower National Monument in the northeast corner of Wyoming. It was late in the afternoon, and we wanted to get there before dark. Best case, we would catch it around sunset and enjoy the perfect light.

Devils Tower is about 30 miles off of the interstate, and it was in this stretch that I fell in love with Wyoming (or as I would figure out later in the trip, specific parts of Wyoming). We had our first pronghorn sightings (i.e. antelope). We also drove by more cattle. Living in Wisconsin, it’s not like it’s unusual to drive by fields full of cows. But South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana are totally different with the cattle. I kind of loved it!

Actually, we did drive by a small cattle situation. A calf had somehow gotten under or over the fence and was hanging out dangerously close to the road. Another car had pulled over and people were preparing to help out. We kept driving, but my thoughts stayed with the poor “baby cow.”

At some point, I told Jason that we had to be close… And then there it was. First impression from a distance – Devils Tower is super cool!

Devils Tower

By the time we arrived, the gate and visitor center were already closed. We payed our entry fee with a provided envelope and made our way around to the base of the tower.

Devils Tower

Because of the late hour, we really didn’t spend a lot of time here. We were kind of bummed, because it seemed like a neat place to explore. We hiked a small portion of the Tower Trail and just admired the grandeur of the tower.

Add me into the scene for a little scale.
Little Laura, Tall Tower

Soaring Birds

On the way out, I made it a point to have Jason stop at the prairie dog town within the park boundary. I was hoping to get better pictures, but those prairie dogs are quick little suckers. I couldn’t get enough of the little rodents and their squeaky bark-like noises.

Who knew that prairie dogs warranted caution?
Beware Prairie Dogs

Hello!
Hello!

Prairie Pair

Run!

Finally, we needed to get back on the road to hit the interstate by dark. After all our visits on the first day, our final assessment was that Badlands was pretty cool, Mount Rushmore was disappointing, and Devils Tower was way more awesome than we thought it would be. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Up next… Our Yellowstone Arrival!

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