Day 33 – Ranchester to Sundance WY
Yes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Several of the streets here are their names. We went out for a steak dinner. At sunset, we drove up to a fire watch tower looking for a view of Devil’s Tower. E climbed the stairs as far as you are allowed, but with all the smoke from the Canadian fires, he could just barely see it.
Our campground had a group of campers that are all part of the same “muh freedumbs” political cult of what looked like nomadic families. Most of the rest seemed to be SxS enthusiasts. Oh and hunting season had started. It was 86º, so I don’t get that, but whatever. Yeah, we didn’t make any friends.
Day 34 – Vore, Devil’s Tower
We made a loop from our campground, to the Vore Buffalo Jump, to Devil’s Tower, and back.
The Vore Buffalo Jump is very interesting to read about, but the place to see it feels like a total tourist trap, which is weird since it used to be affiliated with a university. Everything is a guided tour, which means you get lumped with other people. Their selling point was we’d get to go inside a giant tepee shaped building. So, we looked around at the stuff in their teeny-tiny shop and opted out of a tour.
The drive to Devil’s Tower was very pretty. Who knew Wyoming had such wonderful landscape? With so many wildfires raging, we were also lucky that it was a nice day. There were tons of bikers, some even towing tiny campers; we also saw a bicyclist loaded down with camping gear.
Devil’s Tower is a must see. But wow, does the National Monument have some stuff to figure out. You pay on the way out, which is super weird. They have traffic control to keep everyone from hovering in the parking lot at the same time, but it doesn’t work very well. The teeny tiny visitors center gift shop even closed from 1:30-2:30 for lunch. I get people taking lunch, but no one can cover him? And he gets a whole hour on a busy Saturday during their season? It seems they must have some staffing issues. Maybe they wouldn’t need as many staff if the place made sense. Timed Entry would go a long way at this National Monument. Still, the monument itself is worth the hassle. Just aim for a better day of week and time of day. Google maps can show you when it’s busy or slow. I’m also guessing it looks way different in the morning when the sun shines on it from the other side. We did see three climbers…and I got a pic of two of them. Oh and our friend F pointed out that it’s the mountain from Close Encounters of Third Kind. cool! And then E remembered it’s also in Paul.