Day Thirteen
Day Thirteen

Devil's Tower National Monument, WY to Custer State Park, SD
June 25th, 2004

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Brian & Theresa - Hiking at Devil's Tower
Brian & Theresa - Dinking with the cell phone company again
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
Miles Theresa Drove
108 (800 Total)
Sunny in the morning, overcast in the afternoon, a little chilly
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Cows, bison, whitetailed deer, bunnies, chipmunks, prairie dogs, animals that look like antelope but may not be
Blue Bell Campground
Wall, SD

Daily Didactic
We began the day in the kozy komfort of Devil's Tower KOA. We headed up the road for a short hike to the National Monument visitors center. Here's a good thing to know. When we went into Yellowstone, Theresa had the foresight to purchase a fifty dollar National Parks Pass, instead of just paying the twenty dollar entrance fee. Turns out our pass works at National Monuments too, so it's already almost paid for itself. Anyway, the couple of mile hike up to the visitor center was very nice and had a lot of photo opportunities for the tower, what you see below is a ridiculously small percentage of the same picture taken over and over. The Tower itself is pretty impressive and is the result of an underground geological event that was then exposed by errosion when this area was a shallow sea. It is made up of a bunch of hexagonal columns. It is also a sacred native American site that settlers retitled with a fairly negative name and that we apparently persist in rock climbing against native protests. It is well worth looking at some day, if you are in the neighborhood.

We did a sub-hike around the base of the tower and then followed the larger loop trail back down to our campsite, through some of the beautiful red rock that also identifies the landscape around here. We climbed into the bus and headed the roughly two hours southeastish to South Dakota. We stopped in Custer for some gas and groceries and ongoing communcation by pay phone with our cell phone company, and then headed into Custer State Park to find a campground. An observation. There are a lot of things named Custer around here, for a guy that seems to be famous for making a colossal error in judgement. We are sure that was offensive to someone and apologize in advance, but it's got us a little curious. Custer State Park is wonderfully fun to rubber neck in. We drove down the Needles Highway, which is about the width of two VW buses and takes a couple of dozen hairpin curves, with very small tunnels and rock spires that jut upward just beyond the side mirrors. It is very hard to take pictures of and we didn't do so well. We intend to head up to Rushmore that way tomorrow and will give it another shot. We found the last campsite in Blue Bell Campground, on the wildlife loop, and called it a night.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

Morning at Devils Tower Our morning hike
Theresa looking up Theresa looking straighter up
A view, from the base of the tower, back at the valley below You can see here where some columns have broken off
Theresa and Brian standing at the end of a fallen column Pretty view
Prettier view Pretty flowers
A whitetailed deer Theresa on the Red Rock
Striped cows The road to South Dakota
We will see Black Hills road
A bus sized tunnel on the Needles Highway Another petite tunnel on the Needles Highway
A bison using a tree for a scratching post

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