Casper came up in some research as having potential. However, it is too Western for me. The town was clean, but very much like the dusty desert in Arizona we're looking to leave. The University of Wyoming mascot is The Cowboys, and the town seemed to be more into rodeo than I am.
Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Do, do, do, dooo, dooo... We were unexplainably driven to see this rock formation that seems to reach toward the heavens. It is in the beginning of the Black Hills approaching South Dakota. The landscape in Northeast Wyoming is more to my liking with many trees and rolling hills like Wisconsin. Native legend has it that seven sisters were in the forest when a bear pursued them. They prayed to be rescued, and their prayers were answered as the Earth heaved the ground below them up to the sky. The bear tried to reach them, leaving claw marks in the rock, but they remained safe.
I thought we might see it from I-90, but the geography is tricky. The tower was formed by volcanic forces underground and only emerged in the last few million years due to erosion of the land around it. Although it seems tall, it's only a little over 1,200 feet above the level of the nearby Belle Fource River. In other words, the top of the tower is even with much of the land in the region, its the area around it that has dropped into beautiful rolling woods.
Most of you know this monument from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It is stark in its verticality. So much so, it is one of the top climbs in the country. Sarah and I waited around to hitch a ride but we must have missed this connection of the intergalatic transport. Where's Mulder when you need him?
We caught Mount Rushmore on the way to the hotel in twilight. We're going back tomorrow to see it along with the Crazy Horse project.
Wyoming and South Dakota
After the parks we drove to and stayed in Casper, Wyoming Sunday night and to Rapid City, South Dakota today where we will see the presidents carved into Mount Rushmore tomorrow. On our way to Rapid City we stopped at Devil’s Tower, the sight of the Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Randy and I both love sci-fi movies so it was a fun stop, and in a beautiful setting.