Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, and Nowhere

So we got a little sidetracked yesterday. We gave Mount Rushmore a drive-by, we didn’t really want to pay $10 to get a closer look, it was impressive though. We took a short hike somewhere on the backside of that mountain. Nice to be outside the car for a bit.

We decided not to pass up the opportunity to see Devil’s Tower once we entered Wyoming. It stands 28 miles north of I-90, but it was totally worth it! It’s the massive stump of volcanic rock left over after the mountain had eroded away. Evidently there’s a grassy knoll on top that’s the size of a football field. We hiked and jumped around on the boulders down below. It was beautiful. There’s a field full of prairie dogs nearby that was also quite fascinating.

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So when we left Devil’s Tower, we thought it would be smart, since we were eventually headed north anyways, to try and keep the 28 miles we had already come. Long story short, we turned up into an area near the Thunder Basin national grassland. A couple hours of traveling on a gravel road and seeing all of maybe 3 other cars, and we noticed we had about 70 miles until empty. The towns listed on our map were unbelievably small, and didn’t have gas stations. We were concerned enough to pull over and ask some locals if we should continue north or what would be best. We were advised that it would be best to backtrack some and head west. In the end, we had about 3 miles until empty when we arrived in Gillette, yes still in Wyoming(actually, even further south)! It was an awesome detour. We cannot believe so few people live on and work so much land! The open range was beautiful. The detour was well worth it.

We grabbed some grub and I drove for a few hours through Billings, Montana. We parked and camped in the van shortly thereafter. Hopefully we’ll see Glacier National Park later today…

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