Saturday, June 8
Well we went from sleeping with angels to walking with the devil. We left the Angels Keep B and B in Cody WY after making a last minute adjustment to our schedule. We decided to spend the night in Spearfish SD instead of Gillette, WY. We looked more closely at the map and the mileage and decided we would hike around the Devil’s Tower Monument and then keep going to Spearfish rather than backtracking to Gillette.
The drive from Cody involves going over the Big Horn Mountains. The route we selected involved a pass at 9666 feet. Our last high elevation drive of the trip. The route was a good road with few travelers. Prior to the mountains, we went through high plains including the town of Emblem, population 10.
Lunch was at a small, local restaurant in Buffalo WY and then through the Powder River basin region of Wyoming. This area produces coal,oil and gas. In fact, Wyoming has no income tax, relying heavily on severance taxes paid by mineral extraction companies. We saw a large coal burning power plant, numerous coal hauling trains, oil rigs, and devices that appeared to be related to natural gas collection.
We arrived at the Devils Tower National Monument in mid afternoon. DT was the first national monument, signed into law by President T. Roosevelt in 1906. It is comprised of igneous rocks in columnar form that is surrounded by sedimentary rock that eroded, leaving the harder DT standing. It is over 800 feet above the surrounding area, a distinctive feature in NE Wyoming.
We walked around it, about 1.5 miles. Much easier than the people who climb it of whom we observed two. (Click on the picture to better see the climbers.)
Chris and Ed June 8 10 pm