Saturday, July 14, 2012

Close Encounters of the third kind! Then Wild Bill


Yep today we visited The Devils Tower National Monument, with our geezer pass the whole car got in for free.

We left Rapid City around 9am and were here in about 2 hours at Mountain View Campground in Sundance, WY, yep the Sundance Kid is from here.  Its a nice place to stay to see the local sites.  Tomorrow we have a 400 mile drive to Cody, WY.  After 2 nights there we head through Yellowstone NP to stay in West Yellowstone for 4 nights.  We are taking the route around the Big Horn Mountains tomorrow which adds 90 miles and takes us into Billings, MT before we head south.

Here are a few of the pictures from today.

First view of the tower in the distance

Getting Closer its a bit hazy
Took this from in front of the visitors center

We walked around the base trail in two shifts so someone would be with Bonnie's Dad.

There are two climbers in this picture a man and a woman

The Native Americans consider this land sacred and these are prayer clothes

Love this heartwood pine, it beautiful when poly coated

Burned out Ponderosa Pine stump, from a fire.

This is a prayer bunch tucked in a crack in the rocks

Quick visit to Aladdin, WY general store

We all got a dip in the pool when we got back.
It was hot out in the sun today.  It helps that it is so dry here it keeps you somewhat cool.  The sun is behind the hill now and we have the windows open.  We are at around 4500 feet in elevation and it will be in the 60's tonight.


We were on the road by 8:30 this morning headed for Cody, WY.  We opted not to cross the Big Horn mountains at just over 10,000 feet in the pass, due to construction and gravel sections of the road.  Instead we took the interstate up to Billings MT. and came down thru the valley.  We had an uneventful trip and the route only added 88 miles and was about the same time.  We drove just over 400 miles and that brought our total to just over 2000.  We arrived in Cody about 5:30 set up and went to dinner at Granny's good home cooking.  Then mom wanted to go to the rodeo which is held every night so we did and got back home after 10. The wind came down from the moutains and about blew all the dirt out of the rodeo ring. Dad was in bed in 10 minutes maybe 5.  The rest of us are headed there as fast as we can get ready.

The mountains came into view

Finally a picture of the state welcome sign.  Montana

Bonnie with the bull Hollywood on the way into the rodeo.  Her eyes are shut because of  all the wind blown dust.

Bronc Riders

Barrel Racing
They had it all but the wind really made it hard on competitors and the fans.


Slow start to today.  Bonnie slept in till after 10:00 this morning and decided it was a good day to do laundry when she got up.  We will do things later today she said.  High today is to be 82  and my thermometer shows 84 already.  But we have nights in the 40s to look forward to after we get to West Yellowstone.  Bonnie's brother and SIL are also traveling out in this area and we hope to meet them somewhere here in the Yellowstone area.  Last we heard they were in Montana.

We took off to look around Cody and see some of the sights.  We headed out to the Buffalo Bill Dam, highest in the world when it was built in the early 1900s.  A few years back they actually raised it 25 feet.  It was build to provide irrigation water and it continues to do that as well as provide hydro electric power from several power houses.  In the beginning I was the only one interested in the dam but once we got there everyone was glad we came.  They even give you a golf cart ride from the parking lot out to the dam and visitors center.

Shoshone River from the top of the dam

You can look straight down the dam face

These are all the floating logs at the top of the dam, the cleanup starts next week

This is one of the Power Houses

Beauty all around

The old winch that did all the work, now they bring in a crane on a barage

Original balanced valve, it was replaced with a similar when they raised the dam height

This ball is concrete and wood, it is the original and also was replaced with a like new one .  It was used to block the valve.
From the dam we headed back into town and looked around and stopped at a couple places to shop.  I ran into WalMart and picked up a couple flash drives to back up our photos.  I would hate to lose them.

Then a little after 5 we headed over to the Irma Hotel.  Its named after Wild Bill's girlfriend.  We bought 4 $2 chairs to watch the 6pm shootout from.  We had a fun time and Dad one a poster for being the oldest at the shootout.  The shootout is held every night and is done for charity.

The original hotel
Guarding the seats

Sundance Kid

Sheriff Wooster and Bonnie

Sheriff Wooster has an early discharge

Marshall Dillion and Doc Holliday

Sheriff Wooster gets the bad guys

Bonnie and Sundance
After that we headed to the coach for supper and to relax a little and prepare for tomorrow.

We head into and across the park in the morning.


Up this morning and started to have breakfast, then the tire pressure alarm went off, left front tire on the car.    I checked it with a gauge and it was down a bit.  So aired it up and put the sensor on and it still read low.  The cars internal system was fine so we took off with that sensor reading a little low.  When I checked it tonight it was a little low again, so will check it in the morning and if need be have it looked at.  I will put the gauge on it again and move sensors around if need be.

We pulled out of Cody before 10am and headed over and through the pass to Yellowstone NP.

On the road to Yellowstone

Bonnie got a picture out the window
 We were in travel mode today so while we drove through the park we did not pull off much since we had the car in tow.  We did stop for lunch along a trout stream and watched the fishermen while we ate.

Pulled over near the trout stream

Bonnie went down to check out the water

Or was it the fisherman
We did not run into a lot of traffic but the speed limits are 45 or less so it ended up taking us about 4 1/2 hours with stopping for lunch.  We arrived in West Yellowstone and checked in to the campground for 4 nights.  We have traveled 2136.4 miles to date and we should be as far West as we are going.  Tomorrow we will start 3 days of touring the park.

We have been hoping to see Bonnie's Brother and his wife while we were out on this trip and today was the day.   We have been in touch via text and voice the past couple of days and it worked out so that they are here in West Yellowstone tonight.  They picked up pizza and came to the campground.  We shared the pizza and pictures we each have taken and had a good visit.  Bonnie's folks were real happy that we were able to make the connection, another great memory for all involved.

We were all able to get into the picture
Lots more Yellowstone pictures to follow

Well thats it for this week, Thanks for Checking in.