Thursday, 9 July 2015

Day four - almost a close encounter

Day four dawned bright and dry once more and this time we set off for Wyoming and the Devils Tower, the distinctively shaped hill that featured in the movie Close Encounters.

As we approached the state border, the country changed from rocky and buff coloured outcrops to red stone and areas of red sandy soil.

 Red outcrops kept occuring as we drove through Wyoming
Crossing the State line into cowboy country by the looks of things
Not far from Sundance we came acrss this aircraft mounted on a pole.
According to the Sundance Times, this was a real Beachcraft Twin Bonanza vintage aircraft that is owned by  Mick and Jean Quaal, who were unable to afford to return it to flightworthiness.  Instead they decided to erctit on a 70 foot pole so that people driving along the i90 could see it, not actually flying but at least up in the air once more.

This photo was taken by Stan Horning whilst it was being lifted up onto its pole, a few days before we drove past.  Leaving the i90, we saw some more pronghorns and then in the distance we could easily pick out the flat topped hill. It kept reappearing as we got closer and closer until we were entering the park.

A small herd of Pronghorn antelope

Devils Tower stands out and is easily recognisable from a long distance

 The day was perfect and the sky just cloudy enough to be interesting as a backdrop to the tower.

Arriving at the Devils Tower park, we went to the Devils Tower Restaurant and had lunch.  We then drove up to the tower car park and walked up to the base of the tower.

The locals consider it to be a holy place so we were asked to respect that.

We walked around to the jumbled bolder field and finding a seat, sat and listened to the silence.

Above a bird of prey was riding the upcurrents around the rock
Around the base of the hill there is a large colony of prarii dogs and we drove slowly watching them and taking a few pictures.

We then went back to the Devils Tower Trading Post and bought some souvenirs to take home and I bought myself a souvenir baseball cap.

Returning home we passed through the small town of Sundance once more where, according to this grain store, the Sundance Kid got his name.

I find the reality of these two villains hard to take seriously, since Butch Cassidy came from Lancashire in England and the same home town as the 1930s comedian, ukulele player and film actor George Formby. George Formby spoke with a high pitched voice with a strong Lancashire accent and I often wonder if Butch Cassidy sounded the same.  It would not be very frightening, or easy to understand for someone from the West.
On the way back to the lodge we saw some more pronghorns
Some of th econtryside close to the Wyoming SD boarder
This garage had a collection of vintage cars on the forecourt
 Finally we were back in Terry Peaks and on the trails leading to the lodge.

That night we had another thunderstorm. The sky had not cleared entirely by morning but later in the morning it became bright and sunny once more, but was cooler than before.

The next post is day five

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how the thunder storms only came at night - a good thing for you, I guess.

    I am wondering how many souvenir baseball caps you have now?!