We did not have the Devil’s Tower on our list to visit but Rumi said it was a must see. So we whizzed down I-90 towards the tower enjoying the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest.
Devils Tower, a laccolithic butte composed of ignesous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains in the northeastern Wyoming, was the very first official United States National Monument. It was proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906. Devils Tower isn’t simply tall, it’s also very wide. Its summit is around 180 feet by 300 feet, roughly the size of a football field and the circumference of its base is around one mile.
Devils Tower was famously featured in 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” culminating in a scene in which an alien mothership descended upon the rock formation. This first picture is when we started seeing the tower in the distance.
As we got closer to the it kept growing in size. It was hard to imagine how big it was going to be when we got to it.
As we looked up at the tower from it’s base we felt so small. The more we looked at it the more we thought we saw movement. Searching the side of the tower with the camera zoom lens, we found two rock climbers. We were told they use the parallel cracks to shimmy their way to the top and between 5,000 and 6,000 people climb the tower a year.
When we left Devil’s Tower, there were long stretches of highway between communities so we enjoyed the unique things in the middle of nowhere. The Red sandstone, with the trees up against the red and siltstone cliffs were magnificent. If you are into rock formations, this is an area you must see.
We saw this road sign on Wyoming Hwy 90 as we traveled from Devil’s Tower towards Cody on our way to Yellowstone. I was curious about it and found out that Highway 14 may be one of the shortest state-maintained routes in the state, at just 0.36 miles in length.
What’s that thing? It’s a roadside snow fence. First time I had ever seen one. I did learn that they are not designed to “catch” blowing snow—in fact, they’re not really a barrier at all in the traditional sense. Instead, the slats of the fence slow down the wind as it passes through, the wind then drops some of the snow it’s carrying. This helps to keep the snow off the highways.
White gypsum interbedded with red shale and siltstone about 10 miles southeast of Newcastle, Wyoming.
Our next stop was Cody. It was founded in 1896 by the living legend, Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. He is known for his exploits as Pony Express rider, scout, hunter, entrepreneur and showman. As we ended our mini tour of Cody the moon came up, it was time to put our day of over ten hours of sights and conversations to bed.