August 23, 2020

A Quick Visit to Devils Tower National Monument


A Quick Visit to Devils Tower National Monument

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 23, 2020

On our drive back from Colorado, we thought it would be fun to take a detour through Wyoming and stop to visit Devils Tower National Monument.  I've wanted to see the thing since Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind debuted, but never had the chance to do it.  That changed on this beautiful day.

We'd planned on spending the night in the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore, but when we saw we were only going to be 129 miles from Devils Tower, we said "Let's do it!"  Well, Miss Sheri and I said that.  The kids just grumbled something, but I'm pretty sure they were onboard with the plan.

The tower was formed by volcanic activity under the earth's surface and revealed itself after millions of years of erosion.  At least that's what the sign said out front.  I'm still convinced those Close Encounters aliens had something to do with it.

Visiting in 2020 added a different element to our visit.  We didn't wear masks for most of the 1.3 mile walk around the base of the tower, but did put them on in some of the more crowded areas.

Avery was confused and thought we had to climb over the tower, but Miss Sheri straightened him out and said we were going to walk around it on the trail.

Luke and I tried to figure out a shortcut to get around it because it was particularly hot.  We didn't have any luck finding any hidden caves through it or anything like that so just begrudgingly kept walking.

I'd always heard that Devils Tower was in the middle of nowhere and this view pretty much confirmed it for me.

We were startled when a deer appeared on the path in front of us.  He didn't have a collar on or anything.

Miss Sheri and I convinced one of the boys to take a picture of us in front of the tower.  This takes a lot more work than one might expect.  They get sick of my camera for some reason.

Outside the park, there were a whole bunch of these giant squirrels.  I thought that was funny when I first wrote it.  Then I did some research on prairie dogs and discovered they really are part of the squirrel family.  So I guess technically giant squirrels is an accurate description of them.  Funny squirology.

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