Deadwood and Devil's Tower

June 28, 2017 - Devil's Tower, Wyoming, United States

We broke camp a little late this morning after watching a deer graze through our camping area.  We had a few stops planned today on the way to our overnight in the Bighorn Mountain Range.  First up was Deadwood, South Dakota.  We found the Mt. Moriah Cemetery where “Wild Bill” Hickok is buried.  Often when we travel, Bill is either referred to as “Buffalo Bill” or “Wild Bill”; even when in Europe.  We took a few photos of his grave and that of Calamity Jane who insisted on being buried next to him.

From there we found the site of the bar where Wild Bill was killed by the cowardly gambler, Jack McCall.  The bar formerly known as “Nuttal and Mann’s Saloon” no longer exists.  In fact, the town suffered fire and flooding that would have destroyed the saloon.  Now, the main street is elevated at least a single story above where the original main street.  There are lots of gambling establishments in Deadwood.  Not much of a town to brag about.Kelly and Wild Bill


Our next stop was Sturgis, South Dakota; home of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Festival.  This was a “must do” drive-through stop for Bill.  He even toured the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum; which was not so impressive – but hey, we were there!


We continued to wind our way towards Devil’s Tower, stopping at the 125 year old general store in Aladdin, Wyoming for ice and an ogle.  The old stove in the center of the store was worth stopping in to see.  The place was also advertised as a bar; however, it was more like little shot bottles and cans of beer in a side room.  We took state road 24 instead of I-90 as another of my “scenic route” attempts.  This one was well worth it.  The road was rimmed by red rock shelves and colorful views around every curve.  From about 10 - 15 miles out, Devil’s Tower could be seen; as could approaching storm clouds.Devils Tower


We arrived at the visitor’s center at Devil’s Tower only to determine that there was no place for us to park.  We had to drive back down to a “trailer drop” and then return.  I had really wanted to walk around the entire base of this tower on the 1.3 mile trail.  Bill agreed.  There was a pretty good crowd of people who made the same decision but for the most part, the trail was not congested.  I never tired of looking up at the magnificent columns of rock stretching over 860 feet high.  While on the trail we also watched a beautiful buck grazing in the peaceful meadow below.  It was a great walk.  We made it back to the trailer and hooked up just as the large storm came through. Bill shooting Devils Tower


We hopped back onto I-90 in order to reach our campsite before dark.  We headed northwest to US-14 and then ALT-14 for yet another scenic route through the Bighorn Mountains.  This road is only open in the summer and soon after beginning the ascent up the mountains, it is pretty clear why.  Again, my gamble paid off.  This was beautiful country.  I had my nose in a map when Bill saw an elk cross the road in front of us.  Wildflowers were plentiful along the roadside as well.


Leaving Devil's TowerWe reached Prune Creek camp around 7:40 p.m. and set up in the cold and rain, but right next to a babbling brook.  Not much to do in the rain except play a little poker.  Bill has been teaching me 5-card draw.  I seem to have an affinity to winning hands with queens.  We’ll have to break out our heater tonight.  Bill is concerned that running our furnace will run down our battery.


Kelly and Wild Bill
Devils Tower
Bill shooting Devils Tower
Leaving Devil's Tower
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