Ninth Day: Devils Tower

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series South Dakota Trip 2013

Thursday

Today we get to first spend some time at Devils Tower and then drive back to the Black Hills. We will go through Spearfish Canyon and stop in Deadwood, SD. We will then drive to Murdo, SD to our hotel. Again, this will be a bunch of pictures with my commentary on them. Enjoy!20130613_104457
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From a different angle, Devils Tower has a much more pronounced slope to it.20130613_111558
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It is hard to capture a sense of scale in these pictures, but it is absolutely, well, towering.
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We hiked around the base of Devils Tower. It was a quite pleasant hike; this is a picture I took from a higher-up segment of it.
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To me, this picture shows the scale a little bit better. We are standing at the bottom of a pretty tall tree, and looking past the tree, you can see just how big everything else is.edit this point out person
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Can you see the climbers in this picture? You might want to pull it up in a bigger window so you can zoom in and look for them. Here is a link to a zoomable view. If you want to just see the climbers circled, click here. This is one of the best ways to show the scale of Devils Tower. While we were hiking around the base, the sky cleared up, and I noticed a fantastic halo around the sun and other atmospheric optics. Here are the pictures of that.
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DSCN11388.That is no trick of the lens either, it was clearly visible and actually caught my attention when I looked up.One thing I really liked about this hike is that, at the bottom of Devils Tower, there is a large boulder field. It is great fun to run about the boulders and scramble to the top of these large boulders. There were some intact that you could clearly see the pillar-like shape, as if they had fallen from Devils Tower not long ago. It would be interesting to see one fall in person. I greatly enjoy climbing and just moving around in that sense, and I think I might enjoy actual bouldering as well. I did the same thing at Sylvan Lake. But, eventually we had to leave if we were going to make it all the way to Murdo by nighttime. So, today we said goodbye to Wyoming. I only spent a bit of time here, but I greatly enjoyed it and would like to explore Wyoming (and Montana) more sometime in the future.
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A picture taken while driving out of Wyoming.
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This really stood out. It was pretty large and seemed rather monumental. It was in Wyoming, but I can’t nail down exactly where. I want to say it was somewhere near Sundance, but I am not sure on that. Anyone know what this formation is?The next few pictures are from Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills. It is primarily a drive, with several pull-off points for waterfalls and longer hikes.
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The two pictures above remind me of Asia for some reason, but with pines. Something about the way the rock looks seems like it should be some dense Asian jungle.
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A waterfall we stopped at in Spearfish Canyon.
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14.Ok, so next up was to go to Deadwood. Deadwood was a fun stop. I actually didn’t know until just a bit before this trip that a lot of the ‘Wild West’ legends like Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley took place in South Dakota. We went to a few reenactments of famous scenes, such as a street shootout, and wandered around the town. This was another town that felt nice and cozy, nestled in the Black Hills.
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Wild Bill is buried at a cemetery on a hill in Deadwood called Mt Moriah. This picture was taken from there.
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This nice picture was taken from Mt Moriah as well.After our time in Deadwood, it was time to get going back to Murdo. There isn’t much else to talk about from today. Tomorrow, we would be heading back home to Minnesota.
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