Close Encounters of the C2 Kind- June 2004

Day 1 and 3 Devils Tower

No trip to the west is complete without a visit to Devil's Tower, Wyoming. Especially if you grew up with the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. From the moment you see the monument it is really an amazing site. It is left over from an eroded volcanoe. The inside of the volcanoe is what you see today, it is the cooled magma. The outside of the volcanoe just eroded away exposing the harder inside.

There is a very nice loop hike around the tower in the trees and you get to see it from all angles. This is a favorite climbing spot as there are many routes up the sides.

The tower sits all alone and the views are really nice as you move around the tower

If you pay attention you can always see wildlife
The Rabbit has great camouflage.

The intrepid adventures

The rain let up as Christine does her best "glad to be alive, and I didn't realize you took my picture" dance

We went back for a second day at the tower when we new it was going to be a very clear blue sky day

The size of the boulders around the tower are so large that you don't get the right scale unless you are right next to them.

As always the wildlife is as much a part of the experience as the scenery. Here a Blue Jay and our favorite varmints- the Prairie Dogs play, maybe alittle too close to the road!

Hiking the Black Hills of Wyoming- June 2004

Day 2
We spent the whole day hiking the Black Hills National Forest area just north of Sundance Wyoming were we stayed during our trip. The forest was very pretty. The national forests seem to sit in these isolated hills above the plains. There is a series of trails that go all over the forest.

Once you get up in the forest the views are very exciting.

All the wildflowers were in bloom on every trail

Don't know if they were aspen or birch trees, but they lined the trail for awhile and made a great corridor of hiking
More far reaching views

the weather started out threatening, but it cleared without much concern

got a view of some more deer on the trail as well

Its better when Christine leads, we tend to get lost when I go in front!
A great day of hiking and a very memorable trip.
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