Devils Tower, Spearfish Canyon, and Rapid City
Before I begin, a word about punctuation. It should be “Devil’s Tower,” of course. But when you go into the visitor center, there’s a big note about dropping the apostrophe at some point in history. So if that’s their style, I’ll go along with it.
When you drive toward Devils Tower, you’re probably going to come across the little town of Aladdin (that’s if you leave the highway, as we did). And when you do, you’d better stop and go inside this store.
We asked about this sign, and the woman at the counter assured us that it’s real. “But we don’t all go along with it – we keep our own houses. It’s just what’s on the sign,” she clarified. We bought cheese curds and their “famous” chocolate peanut clusters and headed on.
You know Devils Tower as soon as you see it. There’s open prairie, and suddenly this thing rises up out of the ground. We drove all the way up and decided to take the loop walk around.
Here’s the view if you turn your back on the Tower and see what it sees.
Dad asked a ranger about the burnt trees. She said there is some controlled burning, and there had been a recent fire (not controlled), and to please not ask her anything more difficult, as it was her first day.
Here’s a close-up of the Tower itself. Doesn’t it remind you of the basalt columns we saw in Iceland. Look down toward the bottom of the photo: those are climbers.
This painting inside the visitor center depicts one of the legends of how the Tower was formed. I like that the bear has a long tail.
Yup. Prairie dogs.
We liked this farmer herding his cattle. I think he was looking forward to when we continued our drive and left him alone.
On the way back, we stopped by the Wyoming Welcome Center and found petrified wood in the front yard.
Getting back into South Dakota, we drove down through Spearfish Canyon and stopped off at Bridal Veil Falls. I wonder how many falls in this world are named “bridal veil”?
And here’s Roughlock Falls, a little farther down the road.
Getting back into down, we found that the restaurant where we planned to have dinner didn’t start serving until 5pm, so we wandered around a little bit. There are statues of presidents all around the area.
Dad and David went to check out the gun shop, so we just wandered.
Bunny ears for Bush Sr.
We also found an alley where people are apparently allowed to add graffiti to their hearts’ content.
I haven’t got a clue what this is. But Yen took a photo, so I’m posting it.
We finished the day by driving up Skyline Drive for a look at the sunset.