Day 10 – 9/9 Devil’s Tower Monument (WY), Keyhole State Park (WY) and Spearfish (SD)

Another frigid morning, 29F with a feels like temp of 22F, but no snow.  We had the furnace at 66 overnight and it felt just right (a tad on the cold side, but great with blankets) to sleep.  I slept great.  Now that I’m up, it’s 5:30am, I have the space heaters going.  The forecast says it’ll be below freezing until 8, which is when the sun is up, and it’ll warm up to 50s through the day.

What a great day!  We got going a bit late as the girls did not want to wake up around 7 as we had agreed, so they ended up waking up around 8, and jumping right into school work.  We agreed we’d go as fast as we could so we could leave around 10. 

Bella got most of her work done, and Bia did what she could, but since she missed some of the live meets, she had to wait for videos to be uploaded, so we left and took the computers. 

We were able to leave around 10:40.  We took Maggie, left the trailer with the furnace on at 60F and the fan on low, hoping all the windows would dry up, which they did. 

We drove towards Devil’s Tower Monument, which is 2 hours away in Wyoming.  On the way, we passed Spearfish, which was on my list of places to see, so we drove by and looked for the canyon, but could not really find it, so we kept going.  As soon as we crossed over to WY the scenery changed, and there were more mountains.  It’s really nice there. 

We were able to spot Devil’s Tower from the road, and it looked very impressive.  It looked cooler and cooler as we got closer and closer.  Just a huge rock formation called a Butte, which is when you have a rock with vertical walls, and there’s a small flat surface at the top.  That’s Devil’s Tower. 

The park is amazing, with really awesome views of the land around it.  We took a lot of great pictures on our walk around the tower, there is a nice easy trail to follow.  The story goes something like this, Devil’s Tower got its name due to a translation error, when the white man found it and asked the locals what it was, the translator said Devil’s Tower instead of Bear Tower, and so the name stayed and has not changed even now due to tourism.  The Indians called it Bears Tower because of the legend that kids were playing in the area when giant bears went at them, so they got together and started praying for their gods to help, and so the land raised up high to protect them, and the bears were clawing the rocks trying to get them, which is why the sides of the tower look like they were clawed by bears.  Cool story.  The geological explanation is that this rock formation was kind of like a plug to a magma hole, and eventually the magma needed to get out and pushed the rock formation out and up so it could exit the ground, and that’s how it got there.  I like the Indian story better. 

On our walk around, we stopped to eat, and we chose a spot with an amazing view of the land around us, we were high up, on a rock sitting there enjoying the view, the breeze and ourselves.  Bia was a bit cold so she sat in front of me so I could cover her, and Bella and Carol were behind me.

Maggie was inside Bia’s backpack the whole time as pets were not allowed on the trail.  We sat there for about 20 minutes, and it was really nice, nice time to just appreciate nature, life, our family and be thankful for all we have.  We then continued, I was going a little faster ahead with Bia as she wanted to use the bathroom, and Carol was going slower with Bella as Bella was making something.  It just happened that Bella was making bunches with pine needles and grass, to leave on trees and tokens of apology to the natives, she wanted to apologize for the white people being so cruel to them and taking over their land.  What!!? She’s 8, and she was sincerely feeling that, and built 2 bundles to leave on the trees as apology and appreciation.  Wow, she’s amazing. 

Bia and I had a really nice walk, I could tell Bia was very happy as she talked non stop the entire time hahahahah… We enjoyed it a lot, as we watched the tower change colors as we went to the other side and the sun light was hitting it, it was more neon green at one point. 

We also could see climbers way at the top of the tower which was cool.  Really nice place, really awesome time, totally worth our 2hr drive.  Oh, and not to mention it is part of the National Parks System, so since we got an annual pass at Badlands yesterday, we did not have to pay to get in, so this is technically our second National Park!  woohoo. 

Our next stop was Keyhole State Park, and our plan was to just check it out. 

The park is by a reservoir, and it is an amazing site.  It is very beautiful with the rock walls forming cliffs into the water, and just amazing views. 

We drove around the park, stopped at a few spots and took some pictures. 

We even said one day if we decide to camp in WY, we need to consider that place with a boat, it’s just beautiful. 

From there we decided to return, and the GPS had us go through Spearfish again, so I looked up the address for the Spearfish brewery, called Crow Peak, and we decided to stop there for dinner and drinks.  If you have not seen my beer Instagram, check it out and follow:

We got there within an hour, it was a tad hard to find so we passed it on our first drive by, and found it on the way back, I think it’s because the building faces on side and when you come from the road you see the back with no signs and it’s connected to a gas station, from the other side you see the front and the big sign.  We stayed outside, got some beers and food from local stores across the parking lot.  We had a great time.  Beer was great.  Food was awesome, BBQ from Bunky’s is really good, weather was good (not too cold). 

Bella was on her computer inside most of the time, and Bia was outside playing and listening to music while Carol and I enjoyed chatting, having some beer and planning.  What a great way to close up the day, I love relaxing spots like breweries like this, where you can just chill.  We finished our food, our second beers, and drove back another hour, got ready for bed and that was it.  What a great day.

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