Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 24, Day 35

 We got up and out early, for us - a 9:00 AM check out! Had some McDonald's breakfast, then started driving toward Devil's Tower. We enjoyed looking at the last of the Rocky Mountains as we moved into more and more plains.  At one point we were driving up route 25 and could see the mountains on the left and the high, dry plains on the right. We saw a huge herd of antelope along the way.

We ate lunch at a place tha
t had a horse tied up out front, along with two motorcycles and a few cars. There was one employee who acted as both waitress and cook.  We finally made it to Devils Tower by about 3:00 PM. Like everything else in the west, pictures fail to do it justice. It is a huge part of a forty million year old volcano. People were climbing it. It did look easier than El Capitan in Yosemite, but it is still an enormous climb. The top is about the size of a football field, and has some mice, snakes and birds that live up there. How the mice and snakes got there I don't know. Huge columns have fallen off of the tower over the years and they the are at the bottom of the tower. It was neat walking past them.

As we were walking around the tower, we noticed the bark had been chewed away. We asked a ranger who told us that porcupines chew the bark off of the trees to get to the sap in the trees. The sap is their primary source of food. Who knew?

Prairie dogs live in the fields at the entrance of Devils Tower. They're not
 really tame, but do get pretty close to people. The were fun to watch. Two little pups were wrestling each other. The one that I posted the picture of, seemed to be an old guy who just sat by his hole and watched what was going on. 

840 miles after entering Yellowstone two days ago we finally drove out of Wyoming. I had no idea it would be that much driving in the state. We entered 
South Dakota and the Black Hills, going through Rapid City down to Mount Rushmore. We enjoyed
seeing it in the evening, and then saw the movie on how it was made (lot
s of dynamite and drilling). We returne
d after dark to see a patriotic program on the four presidents, then they lit the mountain for a night view of Mt. Rushmore. When the program ended they introduced every vet and current military person in the audience, about 100 of them.

Today we plan to see the Crazy Horse sculpture, some mammoth remains, and then head east across South Dakota.


  1. It must be freaky to see all this iconic stuff for REAL. But keep drivin'.

  2. Hey! Some of the stuff you've done the last few days is the same stuff we did. When we went to Mt. Rushmore is was reallly neat because the kids made Pete go down to the front, since he served in the USMC. Pretty emotional stuff. Sounds like you're having fun but ready to head for home.