Sunday, November 27, 2016

Touring South Dakota (and Wyoming) Day 3 - Devils Tower

The day after the Run Crazy Horse Marathon we had two flight options back home: take a direct flight home early in the morning, or connect through Denver and get home really late. We of course chose the second option. Why kill 1/2 a day off at home? We decided we would get up early and see Devils Tower in Wyoming.

The almost 2.5 hour drive took us through the Black Hills National Forest and through the town of Deadwood. Deadwood is famous for some western stuff like Wild Bill Hicock and Calamity Jane. We missed the turnoff for the historic downtown and decided not to turn back around in interest of time. On the way towards the tower we also passed a buffalo jump - an area used by Native Americans to hunt and trap buffalo. Surprisingly there is not a lot built up by the tower and much of the area is farm or ranch land.

The first view of the tower is pretty impressive since it just shoots up from nowhere.

Close-up it's also pretty amazing. It's not a perfect cylinder and it seems to morph shape and change color as you walk around. We got there before the place got crowded and did the 1.3 mile trail. The surrounding valley was also gorgeous.

We decided we'd have lunch in Sturgis at the Bare Knuckle Saloon. Decor was pure biker-meets-western, the food was good, they had their own beers, and the staff was friendly. Not sure it would be a place for us during Bike Week when they have bare fist-fights for charity.

Downtown was being ripped-up (literally the whole street was torn up) so our tour of Sturgis was short. We headed to the Rapid City airport and enjoyed two flights with no issues. We got home really late but we were happy we pushed our luck in order to see a truly great National Monument.


Side note: Check out Devils Tower on Google Earth. The 3-D is fun!


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