Woke up to some rain this morning and was a little worried about visibility at Devils Tower. Well, the rain stopped before we had loaded up the car so I need to stop worrying. It was a short 9 mile drive where we had a fantastic panoramic view of it. The tower rises 865 sheer feet. It was formed by magma which became exposed through erosion. It became the first national monument in 1906 under President Theodore Roosevelt. Instead of climbing it like the 7 other people who climbed it today, We took the trail at the base which is paved and about 1 1/2 miles. There were 2 other longer unpaved trails that were slippery from the rain. So even though we had our walking sticks we took the paved trail.
Joe is standing next to one of the columns that has fallen off the tower. There are lots of other enormous boulders around the base that you can climb on but you need a permit to actually climb to the top of Devils Tower.
Off to Yellowstone we went on I 90 W. I mistakenly thought we would be there in a couple hours so when Google maps said 7 1/2 hours I tried again but got the same answer. We were in for another long drive. Joe got another chance to drive 80 with little to no traffic.We noticed the landscape started out as rolling hills with few trees and lots of shrubs. The further west we got the hills got bigger and the exposed rock was deep red, then black, then grey, then brown and then red again.There were fewer animals, some oil pumps, an open pit coal mine and just a lot of rock formations. The man at one of the information centers gave us a shortcut–through the local route–hand drawn map and all. Fun!
We made it to the Rockies and it was quite a spectacular ride. Joe was driving like he was playing one of those race video games. It got even better when a Porsche came up behind us and wanted to play. I said let him pass! We climbed and climbed. We got to an altitude of 9,630 feet with a temperature of 35 and yes, snow on the sides of the road. The scenery was breathtaking and our ears were popping! We loved it.