After a couple of great days in lovely Spearfish, South Dakota, it was time to continue our westward journey. We were hoping to stay in Sheridan, Wyoming, which looked like an attractive town, but we would be arriving on the weekend, and there was a big camping and music event going on. This made lodging options pretty much nil, especially with a pet and for a reasonable cost. So, we had to content ourselves with driving through beautiful northeast Wyoming but staying in Montana over the weekend.
We took a detour off the highway to head up to Devils Tower National Monument. Thanks to my high school friend Danny who reminded me just how close we'd be -- one of the great things about Facebook! It was only about an extra hour of driving (it's north of Gillette in the map above) and well worth the drive, especially since we have our national park annual pass, so entrance was absolutely free.
Long before we arrived at the site, we could see it up ahead. This is one impressive "igneous intrusion"! Gotta think back to your high school or college geology class for that one, and that's been quite awhile for us! Devils Tower rises an impressive 867 feet above its base.
It kept getting more dramatic as we drove closer. We pulled off the road several times for photos. This one was my favorite.
But this zoomed-in one wasn't bad either!
Finally we reached the entrance to the NPS site. We couldn't stay long since it was a hot day, and dogs aren't allowed on the trails, so no hiking for us this time. A lot of folks had the same idea as us as the monument parking lot was packed on this Friday morning. We took a few more photos, bought a refrigerator magnet for our collection (even though we have no fridge to put it on!) and left.
On the way out, we stopped to check out the prairie dog village in the park. Cute and busy little rascals!
Continuing on, we pulled off for a pit stop at a Wyoming information center. Turns out that this place was along the old Texas Trail (which I'd never heard of prior to reading this monument). It's much more interesting to me learning about American history by traveling the country than from books in school. MUCH more interesting.
Before leaving Wyoming, we were treated to glorious views of the snow-capped peaks of the Bighorn National Forest to the west. Wow! You just don't see things like this back east.
I was struck by how green and lush Wyoming looked as opposed to my first and only brief visit there when we were in South Dakota last fall and everything was pretty dried out and dusty.
It was soon time to say goodbye to Wyoming as we entered Montana and made our way to our next stop, Billings. Wish this photo had turned out a bit better....
Stay tuned -- Montana is up next!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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