Day 13

Sundance, WY to Minot, ND

I had been tired from two long days of concentrating on the curvy Black Hills' roads. I had a relaxing sleep and by the time I was ready to leave the Bear Lodge, most others had left.
Before leaving, I took this and the following picture of the lobby.
Bear Lodge must in fact have been just that... a hunting lodge.
Leaving Sundance.
Here's the reason I had travelled a bit further west before heading home...Devil's Tower. Is it recognizable to you yet?
The area you find Devil's Tower in is very different than the formation itself.
See the rolling hills in the distance? The lighting in this picture is too dark for you to see that the gulch just behind the trees is made of red rock.
From this distance, the tower doesn't look imposing but it seems strangely out of place.
On one side of the road, they talk about the possible origins of the tower as surmised by geologists.
On the other side of the road, they quote an Indian legend where 7 little girls escaped from a bear by a rising rock. I liked this story better!
Either way, if the rising rock moves you, you can own a ranch right by it!
Again, rolling hills, red rock... fact the red rock leads right towards the tower... whose rock is VERY different... in colour AND texture.
Now we're getting closer.
The striations in the rocks surrounding the tower are horizontal but the striations on the tower are all vertical.
See? Red rock, horizontal striations...
Grey rock, vertical striations.
To give you a feel for the surroundigs, I've taken pictures starting to my right (east)...
...and have worked my way left (west)...
...towards Devil's Tower.
I suppose that's what makes the formation so intriguing. It just doesn't seem to belong.
As I turned into the official park area, I got a big kick out of these horses who were competing for a shady spot.
The park entrance is very pretty.
The general store/restaurant was very colorful.
Some friends of mine climbed Devil's Tower.
I was impressed that they had made it to the top.
After seeing the tower in person, I'm really, REALLY impressed!
Just past Devil's Tower, still along Wyoming Hwy 24.
The ranches are so vast, it's amazing there's enough fence out there to enclose them.
The rock formations along the road were so neat! I liked the different colors in this formation...
...and I liked the rock piles on the top of this one.
There were many ranch roads which I assume led to the ranch houses but not many were visible from the road. Another indication of just how large these ranches must be.
I loved the antique store and country store in Hulett.
Also in Hulett, this is looking back over the bridge across the Belle Fourche River.
When I got to Belle Fourche, I met Tic Tac.
Tic Tac is owned by Denise & Marty(?)...
...who were moving from Arizona to North Dakota. All the best in your new jobs/home!
For the next 250 kilometers, this is all I saw. Cows on grassland along a long, straight road.
Anyone who travels along Hwy 85 North, will recognize these hilltops. They were the ONLY change of terrain after miles and miles and miles of road!
Finally in North Dakota, I was travelling along 200 when I saw a beautiful combination of fall colors...
...and water.
THEN I realized that the road I was on was part of a dam...
The south side...
...the north side... of the infamous Garrison Dam... the Garrison Diversion project which has been quite controversial in the Red River if you're interested.

I travelled just a bit farther then stayed in Minot for the night.

        Map of Day 13 to left.

        Next: Day 14
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