Friday, July 10, 2015

Devil's Tower, Wyoming

July 9 There are so many places on the map that I want to go see and I don't know if I can squeeze them all in. Some I can't go see without complications like the Hole in the Wall where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out along with other cattle rustlers and of course there are caves and trails and places that I won't get to hike and climb but I can live with it if I get to see a small part of the country that I have read so much about. That brings us to Devil's Tower. It is a place that has been on my list for a long time and now we are here and it is a big chunk of rock with a long line to get into the national park gate but we have come this far and are camped at the base, we might as well go on up. It's beautiful, the Black Hills are beautiful and the days are warm filled with sun and the night are cool, good for sleeping.
We left Ellsworth AFB without much drama. The people B was so worried about being close to us rolled up their canopy, put away their furniture and disappeared in their truck. We got the Tahoe in and straight to hook up and by then the neighbors showed up, hooked up to the camper and took off. We had plenty of room to spare. We made a couple of stops today, here's the route.
From the AFB we headed west on I-90 to Belle Fourche, SD to the Geographic Center of the Nation. This used to be in Kansas but after Hawaii and Alaska were admitted into the Union as states, it moved to a point about twenty miles north of Bell Fourche. There is a stake in the ground in a field with rattlesnakes and dirt roads so Belle Fourche built a marker behind their museum/visitor's center. There is also a cabin that was the first cabin built in Butte County, SD by John Spaulding during the 1876 gold rush. His great-grandfather built a house in Massachusetts that is the oldest standing house in the United States. There was a retired guy named Harry working in the cabin and he told us all about it. He retired as a Sargent Major in the Army National Guard and worked as a Forest Ranger in Butte County for 28 years. The man had some stories to tell.
Our first stop was here but they did not have any yarn for Becky. They only bought wholesale wool. She has had a hard time finding wool spun or dyed in ND and SD.

Tri county Museum
 After a bit of lunch, we rolled on westward to Sundance, WY, home of the infamous Sundance Kid. I read a book about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid not long ago and the Robert Redford/Paul Newman movie was a favorite of Becky's growing up so we made the stop to see the statue that Sundance had erected to honor the first place the Sundance Kid was jailed for horse thieving. Strange the things that we honor and who we honor. They had the original chairs, railing and court set up for the old courthouse where Sundance Kid was arraigned.

I can't get over the amount of yellow sweet clover that is everywhere. It lights up the landscape!

Random plane on a pole along the freeway.

In the jailhouse now, in the jailhouse now..
We toured the museum and bought some drinks for the road then set out for Devil's Tower KOA. I think I lost money writing that sentence. KOAs are not cheap but we needed propane, laundry and to pump out so it was worth it. A nice place to stay with a great view of the tower.
Becky dresses her little cowpoke.

Ridin the range partner.

The KOA.

July 10 We didn't do much in the morning, slept in and got a late start. The dog was limping from her exploits and in the middle of the night she jumped on the bed and started whining and whimpering. She didn't want to stand on her right front leg. She was babied.
Iris, you look so pathetic.

Then we ate some lunch and loaded up in the car. Had to hunt down the boy who turned up at the playground and who didn't want to go to the Tower. But we drug him along and after the visitors center and buying some postcards, we went outside and looked at the trail. He complained because it was paved and he didn't want to go and wouldn't have any fun.
Well the paved path was not really handicap accessible but Becky was game to push me up the steep parts and I do mean STEEP! They were short sections and we enjoyed our walk around the tower.

This climber made it to the top.

This climber rested on this ledge for quite some time before heading on up.

At the visitors center, we were told this climber was a young lady. Here she puzzles herself out of a box. Eventually she worked her way across to the right and up. We saw her swing from left to right on the rope. High drama!

The Patrick montage. For a boy who wasn't into doing the hike, he got awfully excited and tired!

This was part of the path. Pics do not show the steepness. The first part from the visitors center to the trail was probably the longest section and then there were a few short steep parts.

Tomorrow we head out in search of a new adventure. Custer's last stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

1 comment:

Karen and Tony said...

Hi Evan! I followed the link to your blog from facebook and read through most of your posts. I'm so happy to find someone else in a wheelchair who enjoys RV travel as much as I do! My husband and I have been fulltiming since 1993 and plan on RVing until we physically can't. Hopefully for many more years!

Anyway check out my blog when you get a chance. I'm not nearly as adventuresome as you but I've posted about the accessibility of campgrounds,national parks,trails and attractions that we've visited. I also have a lot of information about boondocking and camping cheaply in you're interested in that.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your adventures!